TOOTH EXTRACTION POST-OP INSTRUCTIONS
Please note that proper care of the surgical sites after surgery has an important effect on healing!
SWELLING, DISCOMFORT AND RESTRICTED JAW FUNCTION ARE TO BE EXPECTED AND IS NORMAL!
These common post-operative problems may be minimized by your careful attention to following these instructions. Please read them carefully, it is strongly urged that that these guidelines be followed for a rapid and problem free recovery!
CONTROL OF BLEEDING:
Following your surgery gauze pads should be folded and placed over the extraction site for at least 30 minutes and continued until the bleeding stops. These should be changed no more than once in every 30-40 minutes. Making sure the gauze is placed over the extraction site. Slight bleeding is expected and desirable. If bleeding is excessive continue biting pressure with the sterile gauze pads given or a moistened and cooled (pre-boiled) tea bag wrapped in gauze over the wound and again apply constant biting pressure for at least 30 minutes. Avoid spitting, spitting causes bleeding. Do not use a drinking straw. Assume a semi-upright bed position, using 2 pillows. Avoid exercising, sports or excessive physical activity for 24 hours. DO NOT SMOKE FOR A MINIMUM OF 72 HOURS AFTER SURGERY!
CONTROL OF SWELLING:
For 24-48 hours following the surgery ice packs should be used externally to reduce swelling and inflammation. One pack may be used and alternated side to side as the applied side becomes too cold to withstand or by changing sides every 15 minutes. The third day after the surgery moist hot packs should be applied if swollen. Exercise the jaw muscles if stiff or unable to open fully.
CONTROL OF PAIN AND INFECTION:
If given any prescription medications take them as directed. If given antibiotics it is important that the medication be taken at the prescribed regular intervals and that it is finished. Pain medication should only be taken if having pain. If the discomfort is not severe taking medications (if not allergic) such as Advil or Motrin will take care of mild to moderate pain as well as reducing swelling and inflammation. Do not take aspirin or aspirin containing medications, as they will promote bleeding! If you develop hives or a rash or have shortness of breath after taking the medication discontinue its use and phone the office immediately! WARNING: Do not drive or operate any machinery after taking pain medication!
A soft or liquid diet is advisable the day of the surgery, thereafter a soft diet high in vitamins and protein is recommended for the following 2 days. It does not have to be blenderized food but it should not contain any hard foods that may injure the surgical sites such as chips, pretzels etc. Increase your fluid intake. Resume a normal diet as soon as possible.
A SMALL amount of carbonated drink (i.e. 7-Up, Coca-Cola, or Ginger Ale) every hour for 5-6 hours will usually terminate the nausea, otherwise avoid carbonated beverages. Follow this with clear fluids for the first 12-24 hrs. such as with mild tea or clear broth etc.
Do not rinse your mouth with an alcohol containing mouthwash for 5 days! The day following the surgery begin rinsing your mouth with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a large 10oz. glass of warm water), after each meal and at bedtime or to freshen your mouth. The teeth may be brushed using small amounts of a mild toothpaste or baking soda and brush gently with a soft brush avoiding the surgical sites.
Take all prescribed medications as directed. In case of emergencies call the office (619) 463-1113, Dr. Ahwal will return your call as soon as possible.