A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following the surgical procedure. Blood-tinged saliva may occur for approximately 36 hours. The initial bleeding is controlled by changing gauze packs every 30 minutes until the bleeding dissipates. Press the gauze onto the extraction site with a constant biting pressure. If bleeding continues, hold a dampened tea bag over the site with a biting pressure for 30 minutes. Change the gauze two or three times. If bleeding persists, phone our office immediately.
The greyish or yellowish appearance of the surgical site or a slight odor does not necessarily indicate the presence of infection. Make the effort to keep your tongue, fingers, toothpicks, or any other matter away from the surgical site.
After the first 24 hours it is important to keep the surgical area free from food debris. It is important to use a warm salt water rinse, using ½ teaspoon of salt to an 8 ounce glass of warm water. Start rinses 24 hours after surgery. Continue these rinses 4 to 6 times per day, especially after meals and before bedtime. DO NOT use any commercial mouthwashes. It is advisable to resume daily oral hygiene by brushing your teeth gently. It is important to continue the salt water rinses until your suture removal, or check-up appointment, which is usually scheduled approximately two weeks after surgery. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT REGIMEN OF YOUR POST-OPERATIVE CARE.
To help minimize the initial post-operative swelling, apply an ice pack to the outside of the face in the surgical area. Apply the ice pack for 20 minutes and then remove for 20 minutes. Continue this for the first 24 hours. AFTER 24 HOURS, apply a damp warm compress or heating pad to the outside of the face in the surgical area. It is important to note that the swelling and pain will peak on the third post-operative day.
It is important to maintain a good diet post-operatively. FIRST DAY: Avoid use of straws, carbonated beverages and acidic liquid or food. You may have cold liquid to soft foods such as ice cream, jello, yogurt, puddings, or cottage cheese. SECOND DAY: You may introduce warm soft foods such as pastas, soups, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, or oatmeal to your diet. THIRD DAY: You may resume your normal diet, as tolerated, avoiding such foods as potato chips, pretzels, popcorn, peanuts or any other sharp-edged, crunchy foods that may cause injury to the surgical site.
During the healing process, small sharp bone fragments may surface to the gum in the surgical area. In most cases these will work themselves out. However, if they are causing irritation or pain, please call the office so the doctor can advise and/or treat you.