Post-Operative Care

Proper home care will hasten recovery and prevent complications

It is important for you to

  1. keep continuous firm pressure with gauze over the area for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Do not rinse or disturb the area in any way for 24 hours.
  3. take medication as directed. (usually pain pills and/or antibiotics)
  4. not engage in physical activity that would raise your blood pressure.


Discomfort following oral surgery is normal.  Discomfort varies from person to person and with the nature of the surgery.  If the medication you have seems inadequate or if severe discomfort continues beyond 48 hours, contact our office.  Further treatment may be required.

Expect a small amount of bleeding during the first 24 hours.  If the bleeding becomes excessive:
1.  Gently wipe out your mouth with a clean gauze pad.  Do not rinse and spit.
2.  Fold clean damp gauze into a thick ball (a slightly moistened unused tea bag
may be used) and placed directly over the bleeding area.  Maintain continuous
firm pressure for at least 10 minutes.

  1. Repeat if necessary.
  2. It may help to keep your head elevated while resting.

For 24 hours AVOID rinsing, poking with tongue or fingers, sucking, (i.e. no straws), or excessive activity.
DO NOT drink alcoholic beverages or hot liquids
Ideally, DO NOT smoke (or smoke far less; cover the area with a gauze and smoke out the other side of your mouth.)
If you are still unable to control bleeding contact our office.


Swelling may occur following oral surgery, it is inflammation that is part of healing.  To minimize swelling apply a cold compress to the affected side of the face. (10 min. on 10 min. off) following surgery.  DO NOT APPLY HEAT.  It may take 72 hours before swelling begins to subside.  Contact our office if the swelling increases after that time.


Bruising of the skin sometimes occurs.  This will disappear without treatment in 5-7 days.


Do not rinse your mouth for 24 hours following surgery.  You may rinse after this time with warm salt water (1/2 tsp. of salt dissolved in approximately 6 oz. of warm water) or Listerine.  Brush and floss normally.  A clean mouth will avoid infection.


Nutrition is important for proper healing.  Eat soft foods such as eggs, pasta, rice, pudding, milkshake (no straw), lukewarm soups, and juices.  Avoid HOT foods and liquids.


Difficulty in opening the mouth occasionally occurs and should begin to disappear gradually within 2-3 days.  It is inflammation and does not “need more exercise to work it out”


Even with proper care, complications such as dry socket or infections, or bleeding sometimes arise following oral surgery.  The most common problems are described in the preceding sections, but in case of unusual disturbances, do not hesitate to call our office.


Sedatives are sometimes advised before surgery.  The effects of these drugs may seem to wear off within the first hour or two, but reflexes may be impaired for up to 24 hours.  If you have chosen sedatives on the dentist’s advice, you must arrange a ride to and from your appointment.

1480 Huron St.

London, ON N5V 2E5

(519) 455-7650

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