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Post-Op Instructions

Steps to Take for a Smooth Recovery

Caring for your mouth after your oral surgery is vital because it helps you recover and heal. Symptoms like swelling, blood, discomfort, and restricted movement may occur after surgery. However, these issues do not need to cause worry, and they can even be mitigated if you follow our post-operative instructions. Read on to learn what you should do after you receive oral surgery.


You may experience the slight oozing of blood during the first 24 hours after your surgery. Additionally, it’s completely normal to notice periodic bleeding for up to 10 days. A folded piece of gauze will be placed once your surgery is over, but this will need to be replaced after about an hour. If there is continued bleeding, put a fresh piece of gauze on the affected area, replacing it if it becomes soaked. Avoid putting bulky gauze packs on the affected area because it will put unnecessary pressure on the surrounding teeth. Don’t replace your gauze if there is only slight oozing. Avoid spitting or rinsing on the day of your surgery – a drop or two of blood in your saliva may cause you to want to spit, but this is regular. To avoid staining, place a towel on your pillow for the first few hours of recovery!


2 days after your surgery, your swelling will be the most severe. After, it will begin to slowly go away. To minimize swelling, use a cold compress or icepack – put it on your face for 30 minutes, and off for 10 minutes. Repeat this for about 2 to 3 hours for the best results.


Pain and soreness are to be expected after a serious dental procedure, and you’ll be prescribed with medication to manage your discomfort. That said, severe pain that lasts more than 3 days is not normal. If you experience this, contact our office right away. Keep in mind that swallowed pain medication can take about an hour to kick in, so if you don’t experience immediate relief, don’t worry! The best way to manage your pain is to stay on top of your medication schedule, taking each pill slightly early so it kicks in as soon as the previous one wears off.

Care of the Mouth

Do not rinse your mouth on the day of your surgery because it may interrupt healing. The morning after, rinse gently with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water). You can repeat this every few hours, especially after meals, for the first 3 to 4 days to help with healing. Don’t smoke or use straws because you could get a dry socket, which is very painful.


Eat whatever you’d like but try to stick to soft, easy to chew foods. Avoid chewing hard or sticky foods and try to cut your portions up into small bites to begin with. Nausea can accompany your discomfort during the first few days. You can manage this by taking small sips of tea or ginger ale.