Post-operative Instructions

Following surgery, ice packs may be used for the first 24 to 48 hours to help reduce swelling. Apply them wrapped in thin cloth, or use ice cubes in hand towel, placed on extraction site for 20 minutes on, followed by 20 minutes off.

For as long as bleeding is active, gently bite down on gauze placed over the extraction sites. Change gauze about every 30-40 minutes. When bleeding has subsided to an oozing state, remove the gauze. If you are having a hard time stopping the bleeding with gauze, biting on a tea bag provides tannic acid, which is a coagulant, and slows down the bleeding. Some bleeding can be expected for 2-7 days following surgery.

If sutures are present, a liquid diet should be used for 24-48 hours. You should eat soft foods: soups, eggs, malts, mashed potatoes, Jell-O-O instant breakfast, so as not to disrupt the sutures. Drink large amounts of liquids!! Water, tea, juice. Do not use straws for drinking. Do not drink alcoholic beverages for 24 hours following surgery or while on medications prescribed.

After 24-48 hours, you may wish to use a warm salt-water rinse (one teaspoon salt to one cup of warm water). Gently swish rinse in mouth for 20 seconds 4-6 times a day, especially after eating. Do not use commercial mouth rinse for 7 days following surgery. Brush remaining teeth on non-surgical site carefully 3-5 times per day.

Some pain, swelling, bruising, and discomfort can be expected following surgery. Use aspirin, Tylenol, or ibuprofen for moderate pain relief. If Drs. Baus or Murphy have prescribed medications, use as directed. Please discontinue medication that causes a rash or unusual side effect and call office immediately.

Following a surgery, rest is an important treatment. Rest with head slightly elevated. Do not think lightly of surgery. Smoking is not recommended following your surgery, especially within first 24 hours. Smoking raises your blood pressure, disrupts the clot, and interferes with healing.