What to do after dental surgery or a tooth extraction...
Updated: Mar 16, 2021
POST SURGERY ADVICE - we thought we would post this as you never know when it could come in handy...
After surgery it is normal to be swollen, bruised and tender.
Bleeding should have stopped before you have left the surgery. If there is some oozing still roll up some of the gauze provided and place into the surgical site space. Then bite down firmly for 20-30 minutes. If bleeding does not stop after 2-3 cycles please contact the clinic as soon as possible on 01235 555987 or NHS 111.
Do take painkillers such as paracetamol or Ibuprofen before your anaesthetic wears off (if medically advisable – speak to your dentist, doctor or pharmacist if unsure) – do not exceed prescribed dosage. Sometimes if these medications are not helping, you may be often best speaking to your local pharmacist or general medical practitioner for specific medication advice.
Avoid any major heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for at least 24-48 hours.
Try to avoid blowing your nose heavily (especially after upper jaw surgery) as there is a risk that you could create a hole between you sinuses and your oral cavity. If this happens you will feel water communicating between. Please contact your dentist should this happen.
Avoid alcohol and smoking (these activities increase the risk of post-operative pain and infection). The loss of a blood clot in the surgical site can lead to an infection which can become very sore and develops 2-3 days after surgery. Should this happen please contact the clinic as you may have a dry socket.
After the procedure avoid heavy rinsing of your mouth – you may gently spit. After 24 hours you can use warm salty mouth rinses three times a day to prevent food from collecting in the area.
After the procedure you can continue to brush, floss you mouth as normal. We would just advise that you leave the surgical area alone for at least 24 hours.
The gum in the area will take at least 2 weeks to heal and for the swelling to start settling. The bone underneath generally takes 3-6 months.
Try to have a soft diet and eat away from the surgical site. Cut up hard foods into smaller portions and drink through a straw.
Try to rest and get some sleep where possible (sometimes sleeping a little more upright may be more helpful). Apply an ice pack or frozen peas bag to the area no longer than ten minutes as a time.
You may have some sutures placed. These may be dissolvable and take up to 14 days to fall out. If they should fall out earlier and you are having no issues than carry on as normal. In some situations, you may have black or blue stitches in your mouth, these non-resorbable and require your dentist to cut these out at a review appointment.
Sometimes you can develop small ulcers around the gum of the surgical site. These can be sore. We recommend products such as Iglu, Bonjela or Corsodyl gel or BlueM gel (that are available at most pharmacies). These can help by providing a temporary protective barrier over the area.
Sometimes you may feel a little sharp area over the surgical site or bits and pieces gum to the gum surface over time. This is generally normal but if in doubt do email your dentist for advice (sometimes a picture using your camera phone can help provide more information).
If you experience the following please contact the clinic:
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Temperature above 38 degrees.
- Excessive discharge.
- Facial swelling spreading to face below eye, under tongue or below jaw.
- If your bleeding does not stop.
- If painkillers and not helping with the pain.
If you are prescribed antibiotics please finish the course from start to finish. If you develop a rash or reaction with any of these please stop and consult your general medical practitioner as soon as possible.