Oral surgeries are performed for reasons ranging from simple tooth extraction to corrective jaw surgery as recommended by an orthodontist in Fort Lauderdale.
While the success of the treatment depends on several factors, what you do after the procedure will determine the speed of recovery. Here are seven home care tips you need to know to ensure a speedy and more comfortable recovery.
Don’t force yourself to get back on your feet.
After the procedure, you must make sure that you spend the rest of the day getting plenty of rest. You will most likely be given a sedative that will make you feel drowsy. Because of this, you should not force yourself to do anything, especially driving a car or anything that requires a clear head.
You must also steer clear of strenuous activities. Never bend or lift anything as this might dislodge the blood clot already forming and lead to bleeding.
When going to sleep, use additional pillows to prop your head up. This will alleviate the swelling and bleeding in the incision area.
Keep cold packs ready.
You might experience swelling after oral surgery. This is absolutely normal.
Of course, just because it’s to be expected doesn’t mean you have to suffer through it. Luckily, you can minimize swelling with the help of cold packs. If that’s not available, even a bag of frozen peas should work.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Apply the cold pack to the cheek closest to the surgical area.
- Maintain this position for about 15 to 30 minutes and remove for about 15 minutes during the first 24 hours.
If the surgery was performed on both sides, you can switch from one side to the other using a single ice pack in a 20-minute interval.
Remember that this should not be done after the first 24 hours following the procedure has passed. The swelling should be almost gone after two to three days.
If the swelling is still present or if it gets worse and comes with fever or pus, there may be an infection. In this case, seek immediate medical attention from the oral surgeon who performed the operation or any general practitioner.
Block the blood with gauze and adjust as needed.
One day after oral surgery in Fort Lauderdale, you might experience some bleeding. A mild oozing is normal within the first 24 hours after the procedure.
Here’s what you can do about it:
Bite onto folded gauze gently to block the blood on the surgical site. You may also put gauze packs over the wound even if it’s not from a tooth extraction.
In case bleeding persists, you may substitute the gauze pack with a gauze-wrapped tea bag that was previously soaked in hot water and squeezed dry (damp, not wet). Do this for about 20 to 30 minutes to allow the beneficial chemical in the tea to constrict blood vessels and stop the bleeding.
If that doesn’t work, tell your dentist about it.
Manage the pain.
Almost all oral surgeries are accompanied by a certain degree of discomfort or pain, so dentists prescribe medication to help you manage it. You can buy these over the counter, too.
Follow the dosage as recommended, but you might also want to consider taking the first dose before the numbness starts to wear off. If you seem to be taking too much because the pain is unbearable or doesn’t seem to subside even after you follow the prescription, call your dentist immediately.
Follow the doctor’s instructions.
After the surgery, there are things you must avoid doing or need to do differently. These include:
After oral surgery, you may be instructed to avoid brushing or gargling with mouthwash shortly after the procedure. This is because parts of your mouth may be too sensitive for your usual oral hygiene practices. If the surgery site isn’t that big, your dentist may allow gentle brushing for the rest of your choppers.
Once you get the go signal, start with a saline gargle first (1/2 teaspoon of salt with eight ounces of warm water).
You may be prescribed antibiotics after oral surgery. Make sure that you follow the course based on your dentist’s or oral surgeon’s instructions. He may also prescribe pain relievers.
Soft foods like yogurt, applesauce, and oatmeal are excellent for your post-surgery diet. In the meantime, avoid eating foods that are too cold, too hot, too tough, too spicy, or too chewy.
Take care of the clot.
The blood clot serves as the protective layer over the surgical site as it heals, so make sure you protect it.
Avoid drinking with a straw, and don’t drink any carbonated or alcoholic beverages. Smoking is discouraged, too.
Stick to this regimen for a minimum of three days after the oral surgery. Also, avoid spitting too much. If you can’t, you might experience something called a “dry socket.”
This painful condition is caused by the premature loss or removal of the blood clot. People at risk of this condition are:
- People who underwent wisdom tooth removal
- People who had a painful tooth extraction or infected teeth
Signs of dry sockets usually appear on day three or day four after the procedure. This includes bad breath and severe pain (throbbing) that don’t seem to go away even with pain medication.
If you experience dry socket symptoms, return to your surgeon or dentist who will most likely put medicated dressing onto the socket. Once this is done, pain relief is often immediate, though some people may require a couple of visits.
If you’re nauseous, eat only when you’re hungry.
Nausea may also occur after surgery or anesthesia, but it is most likely to improve after four to six hours. If you’re feeling nauseous because of anesthesia, make sure you only eat when you’re hungry.
In case of vomiting after wisdom tooth removal, avoid taking anything by mouth within one hour. This includes prescribed medications.
Sip clear drinks, ginger ale, or tea slowly within a span of 15 minutes. You may also try reducing your pain medication dosage.
If it still doesn’t get better, talk to your doctor about it.
Hasten Your Recovery from Oral Surgery
Recovering from an oral surgery would be much quicker if you follow your dentist or surgeon’s instructions and recommendations. These home care tips would also help you go through the experience quickly and comfortably.