Trauma / Reconstruction
DAY OF SURGERY
After surgery, you may have gauze in your mouth. You will be given additional gauze, please use it in the same manner until the bleeding stops (1-2 hours post operative). Bleeding should never be severe, but expect some oozing for a couple of days.
Do not disturb the surgical area by probing with objects or your fingers. Avoid spitting or rinsing vigorously. Brush your teeth gently. AVOID SMOKING, as it is very detrimental to healing. If you are in fixation (mouth wired closed), do not try to open your mouth. If elastics are used please do not remove them. To prevent chapped or cracked lips habitually apply lip balm. Only in the event of true emergency situation can a wire cutter be used to cut fixation.
Often there is swelling associated with oral surgery. To minimize swelling, apply a cold pack firmly to your cheek. Apply 20 minutes on / 20 minutes off during the first 3 days after surgery. On day four, if needed, switch to a moist heat compress. Continue the warm pack until swelling is gone. (This process can take a few weeks).
Unfortunately, most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. An anti-inflammatory (Advil, Motrin or Ibuprofen) should be taken every six hours, starting the day before your surgery. Continue the anti-inflammatory for at least the next 4-5 days. Begin taking the prescription pain medication (or Extra Strength Tylenol) directly after the surgery. Alternate your pain medication (as needed) with an anti-inflammatory every three hours. (Example: Pain medication at 12:00 & 6:00; Anti-inflammatory at 3:00 & 9:00.) Do not take pain medication on an empty stomach or with alcohol.
Your diet will be confined to liquid foods. Drinking from a straw may be helpful. Avoid extremely hot foods until numbness resolves. It is important to have meals frequently and to stay hydrated! Please refer to the “What Can I Eat Now” booklet for further suggestions. If you take nourishment regularly, you will feel better, gain strength, have less discomfort, and heal faster.
INSTRUCTIONS AFTER THE FIRST DAY OF SURGERY
Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential. Use warm water or _ teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of warm water. Gently rinse 8-10 times a day, particularly after meals. Avoid using mouthwash or peroxide rinses.
Continue your normal oral hygiene after surgery. Although soreness and swelling may make it difficult to brush all areas, please make every effort to clean your teeth within your bounds of comfort. Using warm water on toothbrush bristles will make brushing more tolerable.
Some Commonly Asked Questions About Surgery
1. How do I talk?
Speak slowly, concentrating on each word. Take it one day at a time. Soon you will be easily understood!
2. How long will I be sore?
Pain is different for each person. Do not plan on returning to work or school for at least one week after you have come home from surgery. Progressively, as your energy level permits, you may do anything you can tolerate. Avoid activities that may injure your jaws.
3. What about my stitches?
Most of the stitches used are dissolvable. Eating, brushing, etc. does not harm them. They may loosen as early as the day of surgery, but no treatment is necessary if this occurs. All other sutures will be removed during a follow up visit.
4. How will I know if I develop an infection?
Symptoms of an infection are increased swelling, fever, chills, and/or drainage from the extraction site. Call our office if these occur.
Our goal is to make your recovery as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you. If you have any questions about your progress please call 719-473-2650.