Do not disturb the wound. If surgical packing was placed, leave it alone. The pack helps to keep the tooth exposed. If it gets dislodged or falls out, do not get alarmed.
Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding that results in your mouth filling rapidly with blood can frequently be controlled by biting with pressure on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30–60 minutes. The gauze may need to be replaced several times. If bleeding continues, please call for further instructions.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag (or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice cubes) on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously as much as possible for the first 36 hours. Swelling typically reaches a peak in 24–36 hours and then subsides over the next 3–5 days. If swelling begins to increase after the third post-operative day, please contact your doctor immediately.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. What you eat is a comfort issue, not a healing issue. Return to a normal diet as tolerated unless otherwise directed.
For moderate pain, 1 or 2 Regular Strength Tylenol® (325 mg) may be taken every 6 hours (no more than 2600 mg in a 24-hour period). Ibuprofen (Advil® or Motrin®) may be taken instead of Tylenol®. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 3–4 tablets may be taken every 4–6 hours as needed for pain (no more than 3200 mg in a 24-hour period). Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it. This may include patients with liver or kidney disease.
For severe pain, take the tablets prescribed as directed. (Please note: if this prescription has Tylenol [APAP] in it, see the above paragraph.) The prescribed pain medicine may make you groggy and may slow down your reflexes. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.
Mouth cleanliness is essential to good healing. Clean your mouth thoroughly after each meal beginning the day after surgery. Brush your teeth as best you can. Rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) 6 times a day. Continue this procedure until healing is complete. DO NOT rinse with peroxide, even if diluted.
REMEMBER: A clean wound heals better and faster.
Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are exercising, throbbing, or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Be aware that your normal nourishment intake is reduced. Exercise may weaken you. If you get light-headed, stop exercising.
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