Surgical Post-Op Instructions

Following Oral Surgery Procedures

Leave gauze in place for 30 min, and then remove. Replace with additional gauze, as needed for bleeding. DO NOT disturb wound in doing so, you may cause irritation or bleeding. Brush your teeth as usual, being careful of the operative area. To avoid stiffness, open your mouth wide stretching the skin and muscles around the mouth is encouraged.

BLEEDING: Keep head elevated at all times. A small amount of bleeding is normal. If excessive, close mouth firmly over sterile gauze placed directly over the surgical sight, and keep the mouth closed for 20 minutes. If this does not stop the hemorrhage, please phone the office. Excessive spitting may prolong bleeding.

PAIN: Take prescribed medication for pain as directed. Pain can generally be controlled by the prescription medication. IF you are NOT allergic, Ibuprofen (ex. Motrin or Advil 200mg to 400mg) may also be taken with the prescription medication if necessary. Do not drive or operate machinery while taking pain medication. Stop taking pain medication as soon as possible to prevent side effects (nausea, dizziness, etc.).

ICE PACK: To minimize swelling after surgery, apply an ice pack to over the affected area as soon as possible. Keep ice packs in place 20-30 minutes. Remove ice packs for 20 to 30 minutes, and then repeat as instructed. Ice should continually be applied for the first 24 hours, and as necessary there after.

SWELLING: It is not unusual for swelling to last 3 to 4 days (gradually subsiding) following oral surgery.

MOUTH RINSES: Do not use mouth rinse the day of surgery. A salt-water solution may be used 4 times daily starting the day after surgery. Continue mouth rinses for 1 week.

FOOD: Drink at least 6 large glasses of water every day for several days. We recommend starting with soft foods when you feel hungry and advancing as tolerated. We encourage jaw opening exercises and chewing to speed recovery and help decrease swelling.

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

NAUSEA: Swallowing blood causes most cases of nausea; however, in some cases, it may be due to certain drugs or pain medication. Eat sparingly and take small sips of any carbonated drinks. If nausea persists, discontinue medication and phone the office.

DROWSINESS: The anesthetic is not the cause of prolonged drowsiness or weakness. This is usually due to the pain medication. Discontinue strong pain medications as soon as possible and use Ibuprofen (ex. Motrin, Advil) or Acetaminophen (ex. Tylenol) IF you are NOT allergic.


  • DO take a pain pill at the first sign of discomfort.
  • DO put ice on your face immediately.
  • DO sleep with your head elevated.
  • DO exercise your jaw.
  • DO drink liquids.
  • DO NOT smoke until 72 hours after surgery.
  • DO NOT use a straw.
  • DO NOT spit.
  • DO NOT take any medication on an empty stomach.
  • DO NOT sleep or eat with gauze in your mouth.

***THE DAY AFTER SURGERY, start with warm salt-water rinses. They may be used every 2 hours throughout the day (at least 4 times a day) ***

Our interest in your case does not cease with the completion of your surgery. If any difficulty or questions arise, please contact our office immediately!