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Tips from an Oral Surgeon on Recovering from Oral Surgery
After any oral surgery, your oral surgeon will give you specific guidelines on how best to recover from the procedure. Following these instructions will not only help you recover quickly but will also help to heal the wound more efficiently and prevent issues associated with dry socket and irritation at the wound site. There is always a risk of further trauma or infection to the surgical site, and avoiding these issues will eliminate pain and save money in the long run.
Oral surgeon tips for recovery after oral surgery
Depending on the type of anesthetic used during surgery, most people will have to find a ride home. In many cases of oral surgery, the patient should not drive themselves home or return to work immediately following any oral surgery. Instead, the patient should take the remainder of the day off to rest.
24 hours after surgery
In the first 24 hours after surgery, some bleeding is common. The oral surgeon will supply the patient with extra gauze and cotton pads in order to suppress the bleeding as much as possible. Bite down with firm pressure on the area with gauze on the surgical site for about one hour once any bleeding is noticed. If the gauze feels stuck, soften it with water before removing it.
Dentists also recommend biting down on a moistened black tea bag. The tannic acid in black tea can reduce inflammation, reduce bleeding and help the area to clot better.
Eat only liquid foods right after surgery, and be sure to never use a straw. Using a straw could dislodge any dressings from the wound and cause a dry socket to occur. Chicken broth, ice cream, applesauce, yogurt and soft soups are all great options for those who have just undergone oral surgery. Be sure to avoid any foods with small pieces, such as smoothies with fruit seeds, chunky soups and oatmeal. These small pieces could get stuck in the wound and cause infection.
The first three days after surgery
At this point, semi-liquid foods can be introduced into the diet. The wound should be sealed at this time, and the risk of dry socket is lower (but not completely gone). Patients should still be careful about what they eat and how the wound site is treated. Mashed vegetables and potatoes along with softened pasta can be eaten at this point after surgery.
A follow-up appointment will likely be scheduled within the first week after oral surgery. At the followup appointment, the oral surgeon will check for any signs of infection or dry socket. It is important to bring up any issues or pain to the oral surgeon and dentist so they can identify the issue.
It is crucial after any surgery to stay hydrated. Again, make sure not to use a straw when drinking water. Keeping hydrated can help patients to recover quicker and prevent issues at the surgery site. Water will also keep the mouth clean — with ample water, saliva production is at a healthy level and the mouth is able to clean itself better.
Find a trusted oral surgeon
Our highly trained, friendly oral surgeons prioritize patient comfort and speedy recovery after oral surgery. Call our office today to set up a consultation for any teeth and gum issues you may have.
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