Dentist in Columbia, MD
Your lips, teeth, cheek and/or tongue may be numb for several hours after the procedure. To avoid injury, you should avoid any chewing and hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off. It is very easy to bite or burn your tongue, cheek or lip while you are numb.
Biting on gauze and applying gentle pressure until the bleeding subsides is the best way to control the bleeding. Change the gauze as it becomes saturated with new gauze. If bleeding persists after 2-3 hours, keep your head elevated and sit upright. You may try “home remedies” such as a moistened tea bag on the site for 30 minutes to help control bleeding. Overnight, it is normal for some blood to “ooze” from the area of the surgery. If you notice excessive bleeding, call the office or go to the nearest emergency room.
Bruising & Swelling
You may experience some bruising in the area of the surgery. In some people, this is a normal response and should resolve within 7-14 days after surgery. Swelling is best controlled by the immediate application of ice packs for the first 24 hours following surgery. Ice packs should be applied to the outside of the face in intervals of 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.
Jaw muscle stiffness with some limited opening of your mouth may occur after removal of teeth. This is a normal response and may take several weeks to improve. Using warm moistened towels on your face 24 hours after surgery may help improve the stiffness.
There may be a slight elevation of temperature for the first 24-48 hours after surgery. If a fever is present, it is extremely important to drink plenty of fluids. Please call the office if there is a concern.
Eating & Drinking
Drinking plenty of fluids is essential. Do not suck through a straw as this will promote bleeding. Eating soft nutritious food is encouraged as soon as the bleeding has stopped and for the first few days after surgery.
Brushing & Rinsing
For the first 24 hours, do not brush your teeth or rinse your mouth as this may disrupt healing. After 24 hours, gentle brushing with a soft toothbrush is encouraged but avoid the extraction site. Avoid brushing sutures, if placed. You may use a warm salt-water rinse (1/2 tsp salt mixed with 8 0z. of warm water 3-4 times per day after the first 24 hours to help soothe the discomfort. Do not spit for 48 hours after surgery.
Do not smoke for at least 48 hours after surgery. Smoking adversely affects oral hygiene and contributes to “dry socket.” Spitting and rinsing too early after surgery may also contribute to this painful condition.
Refrain from strenuous activity until 48 hours after surgery, as this will promote bleeding and interfere with the healing process.
You may be prescribed medications. Take them as directed to help control the discomfort. To avoid nausea, do not take pain medications on an empty stomach. Please note: some antibiotics may interfere with the effectiveness of birth control pills. Please check with your pharmacist.
Please do not hesitate to contact our dental office if you have concerns.