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DISCOMFORT- Discomfort is expected after surgery. If you are able to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, start taking ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) immediately after surgery as directed on the bottle. If you are asthmatic do not take ibuprofen unless you have tolerated it in the past.  You may take your prescribed narcotic pain medication with the ibuprofen. Use the narcotic pain medication only if needed. Be certain to take your pain medications with food to reduce the chance of nausea. Remember, narcotics will impair reflexes and judgment (no driving). 


BLEEDING– Bleeding can last up to 24 hours, but most of the bleeding will slow within 3-4 hours.  The key to controlling bleeding is direct pressure.  Place a folded dampened gauze pad directly over the extraction site(s) with firm biting pressure. Switch gauze every 20-40 minutes.  When the gauze pads have little to no blood on them they are no longer necessary. The amount of bleeding will vary from person to person.


RINSING / HYGIENE–Begin warm salt water rinses on day 3 after surgery and continue for 2 weeks. Rinse 3 times per day. When rinsing, be sure to do so very gently. Use 1 tsp of salt per 8 oz of water. You may brush your teeth beginning the evening of surgery; however avoid brushing the surgical site.


SUTURES– Sutures will be present if you had a bone graft procedure. Be very gentle with food and brushing near the sutures. Ideally, keep food away from the sutured site.


SWELLING– Swelling is expected after oral surgery, and can peak on day 3 after surgery. Apply an ice pack(s) to the side(s) of your face/jaw, 20 minutes on - 20 minutes off, for the first 24-48 hours.  Rest with an extra pillow to elevate your head for the first 3 days. Depending on your surgery, you may be prescribed a steroid medication to help with swelling.


FOOD– The day of surgery adhere to a liquid diet consisting of broths, tea, soups, or smoothies. You may advance your diet to soft foods the following day, but keep food away from surgical sites. (For example, eggs, mashed potatoes, oatmeal, pancakes, meatloaf are fine.) Always cool down any hot foods during the first 24 hours, and no not chew any foods until all of the numbness has worn off. During the first 2-3 weeks, avoid crunchy, spicy, and chewy foods such as chips, peanuts, pizza crust, chewy candy, popcorn, and steak. Avoid using a strawfor the first 7 days after surgery.


ANTIBIOTICS– If you were prescribed an antibiotic, take it as directed with a light meal or snack. 


PHYSICAL ACTIVITY– You should rest for the first 24-72 hours after surgery, depending on the extent of your procedure. Gradually increase your activity level during the first week as tolerated. Avoid exercise or strenuous activity for 7 days after surgery.  


SMOKING – It is most important to avoid smoking and vaping for at least 7 days after oral surgery. Nicotine enters the blood stream and impairs the healing process. Smoking or vaping marijuana and other products tend to cause postoperative healing complications, and should also be avoided for at least 1 week after surgery. In general, smoking increases the chances of a dry socket and delayed healing.  


OTHER INFO– It takes 1 week for initial healing to take place. Symptoms typically improve by the 2nd week. Your doctor may alter or change some of the instructions to tailor the plan to your individual needs. If you are having any issues healing, especially beyond 1 week, please call the office for recommendations.  Prolonged symptoms may require a follow up evaluation.  

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