Have you recently undergone a tooth extraction, the removal of an impacted tooth, or a more complex surgical procedure? We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks you can follow at home to help reduce or avoid postoperative complications. To promote faster healing, follow this advice very carefully. Keep in mind that a certain level of discomfort is to be expected after any surgery, and swelling is especially common.
Bite into cotton gauze placed in your mouth and maintain a constant pressure for 45 to 60 minutes. Change the compress every half hour, as needed. If you notice that the bleeding is still abundant after you remove the gauze, you can start the process over with a new piece of gauze (you can also use a wet tea bag that has been drained) and bite into it for 45 to 60 minutes. Again, you should make sure to maintain a constant pressure. Repeat as necessary. Slight bleeding is normal after surgery. Even if your saliva is tinged with blood, there’s no need to worry.
Avoid eating until the bleeding stops. During the first 24 hours, avoid rinsing your mouth, spitting, drinking through a straw, using mouthwash, smoking, and exercising. You should also try to keep your head elevated higher than the rest of your body if you lie down. This will help to decrease any swelling or bleeding.
After 24 hours, if the bleeding has stopped, rinse your mouth 5-6 times a day with salt water (1 ml or 1/4 tsp. per 250 ml or 8 ounces of water), especially after meals.
If bleeding abnormally persists beyond 24 hours, call your dentist.
After surgery, it is normal to feel a certain amount of discomfort for 24 to 48 hours. The level of discomfort varies from person to person, depending on the type of surgery undergone. To soothe this discomfort, you may need to take painkillers as prescribed by your dentist.
If antibiotics are prescribed, make sure to take all of the tablets to fight the infection.
Surgery often causes swelling. To prevent or decrease swelling, we recommend applying ice cubes wrapped in a wet towel to the area, as soon after surgery as possible. That being said, do not apply this compress for longer than fifteen minutes per hour, and only during the first 24 hours. Most of all, this shouldn’t interfere with your sleep, because sleep is essential for a fast recovery. If the swelling persists after 48 hours, switch to warm compresses.
It might hurt to move your jaw after surgery. In some cases, this sensitivity can last 7 to 10 days. In this case, do not force your muscles. Modify your diet accordingly; eat soft and warm foods on the first day, incorporating increasingly solid foods in the following days. Please don’t hesitate to call your dentist if you have any questions.
Brush your teeth normally, but be careful not to irritate the affected region.
Wishing you a speedy recovery!
The following information comes from the ACDQ website (Association des chirurgiens dentistes du Québec)