Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: Postoperative Instructions

Idaho Falls Oral Surgery

General Instructions:

For the first 24 hours following surgery you should be as inactive as possible.  Use this day to care for your mouth and follow these instructions carefully.

  1. Keep the gauze firmly in place for 1-2 hours.  Do not change the gauze unless it is dislodged.  Frequent changing will only increase the bleeding.
  2. Do not rinse the mouth or spit for 24 hours.  After the first day, gentle rinsing with warm salt water and careful tooth brushing is important.
  3. For the first 2 days, limit your diet to mild liquids and soft foods:
  • Avoid carbonated beverages and alcohol
  • Avoid straws
  • Avoid “hot” liquids
  • Proper nourishment is important for healing.  Do not miss any meals.  Drink plenty of fluids.
  1. Do not smoke for 48 hours.
  2. Take pain medication as prescribed.  Following instructions for all medication accurately.
  3. Apply ice to the surgical area (30 minutes per hour) for 24 hours.  Then apply warm moist packs to reduce swelling starting the third day.
  4. Return to the clinic as requested.  If you have complications, please call the clinic or the emergency number listed.


You May Experience:

  1. PAIN

In the events you have some pain and the medicine prescribed for you does not give you relief, please contact the Machen Family Dentistry or, after clinic hours, use the emergency number.

  1. SWELLING

This may be from a number of causes but it is usually a natural reaction of the body to surgery on the oral cavity. If the swelling is extensive, accompanied by pain or continues to increase after the second day, please report to Machen Family Dentistry.

  1. BLEEDING

Cleanse your mouth with a gentle rinse of fresh water, then place folded gauze, over the area (do not use absorbent cotton).  Close your jaws tightly upon the gauze for at least 1-2 hours.  Do not become excited, but remain quiet with gauze in place. If the bleeding continues following removal of the gauze, please contact Machen Family Dentistry or, after office hours, call Dr. Machen on her cellular number 208-313-9908.  Often there is a slight ozzing of blood which when mixed with saliva may appear to be excessive bleeding.  Remain calm and treat as described in this paragraph.

  1. STIFFNESS

This, like the swelling is a natural reaction of your body to surgery.  You can help overcome the stiffness by opening your mouth very wide several times a day and applying moist heat to your jaw muscles.

  1. NUMBNESS

You may notice a persisting numb sensation following surgery of the oral cavity.  It is usually temporary in nature, and normal feeling will return; however, it is important that this numb feeling be reported to Dr. Machen.


Dry Socket Instructions:

Patients who follow their dentist’s “post-extraction” instructions will greatly reduce their chances of developing a dry socket.

In the event you do developed a dry socket, the dentist will placed a medicated dressing into the socket as treatment.

This dressing will help to ease and moderate the pain.