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Post-Op Instructions Following Oral Surgery

Remove gauze after approximately 30 minutes. Replace with additional gauze as needed for bleeding. Do NOT disturb the area that was operated on, as this may cause irritation or bleeding. Brushing your teeth is recommended, but be careful to avoid the operative area. Stretching your mouth or other mouth exercises are encouraged to avoid stiffness.


Keep your head elevated at all times.  Some bleeding is normal after surgical procedures.  If excessive, apply firm pressure to your gauze, placing it directly over the surgical sight, and keep your mouth closed for 20 min.  If your bleeding doesn’t stop, please call our office.  Excessive spitting may prolong bleeding.


Take any prescribed pain medication as directed.  If you’re not allergic to ibuprofen, it may also be taken with your prescription, if necessary. Do not drive or operate machinery while taking your medication. Stop taking it as soon as possible to prevent side effects like nausea or dizziness.

Ice Pack

Applying an ice pack to your face after your procedure will help you minimize swelling. Keep the ice pack in place for 20-30 minutes, and then remove it for 20-30 minutes. Repeat as instructed. Ice should be applied for the first 24 hours after your procedure.


It’s not unusual for swelling to last three to four days following your oral surgery.

Mouth Rinses

Do not use any mouth rinses the day of your surgery.  A salt-water solution may be used four times daily starting the day after surgery.  Continue mouth rinses for one week.


Drink at least six large glasses of fluid every day for several days.  We recommend starting with a soft food diet and advancing from there.  We also encourage jaw exercises and chewing to speed recovery and reduce swelling.


Patients who normally bruise easily may develop some discoloration of the skin following surgical procedures.  This is not a significant complication.  Gently massaging the cheeks and swollen areas will speed recovery.


Most cases of nausea are caused by swallowing blood; however, drugs or pain medications can also cause nausea.  Eat sparingly and take small sips of any carbonated drinks.  If nausea persists, discontinue medication and notify our office.


The anesthetic is not what causes prolonged drowsiness or weakness; this is usually the pain medication taken afterwards.  Discontinue strong pain medications as soon as possible and use ibuprofen (ex. Motrin, Advil) or acetaminophen (ex. Tylenol) if you’re not allergic to them.

We care about your health and wellbeing, even well after your procedure. If any difficulty or questions arise, please contact our office immediately.

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