Care Following Oral Surgery
No spitting, smoking, rinsing the mouth or sipping
through a straw for the first 24 hours after surgery!
Immediately After Surgery
BLEEDING A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected. Try to avoid disturbing the surgery
site. You may even be advised not to blow your nose.
PRESSURE Keep steady pressure over the surgical site by biting on a gauze sponge provided to
you for the first hour. You may also use a moistened tea bag in place of the gauze sponges.
SWELLING To control swelling apply ice packs or a frozen bag of peas on the cheek or jaw area
for periods of 20 minutes on and 10 minutes off. Continue this for the first 24 hrs.
PAIN It is normal to have some discomfort following oral surgery. If you have been prescribed
medication please follow the written instructions. You may use over the counter Ibuprofen.
Ibuprofen comes in 200 mg tablets; take 3 tablets every 6 hours or 4 tablets every 8 hours. If you
can not use Ibuprofen please use Tylenol. Do not take aspirin. All pain medications are best taken
ACTIVITY It is a good idea to limit or reduce your activity as much as possible for the first day
Care During the First 24 Hours
EATING It is important to have adequate food and fluid intake following surgery. A soft, cold
diet is usually best for the first 24 hours. Usually smooth and creamy foods work the best,
especially cold milkshakes and nutritional drinks. Gradually add solid foods to your diet as you
are able to tolerate them. Avoid crunchy foods, seeds and nuts until the area is healed.
RINSING Do not rinse or use mouthwash for the first 24 hours. After 24 hours start salt water
rinses (1/2 teaspoon salt in 8 oz. of warm water). Salt water rinses may be done 4-5 times a day. If
you are given Chlorhexidine rinse please follow the instructions on the bottle and start after 24
hours. Avoid any mouthwashes that have an alcohol content. You may brush your teeth in the
areas not involved in your oral surgery. Resume your regular tooth brushing after 2 days, but be
gentle in the surgical area. It is important to keep your mouth clean during the healing process.
DENTURES If you have been given a partial denture, flipper or full denture please follow the
doctor’s verbal instructions given to you regarding wear, removal and cleaning.
SUTURES You may have sutures that need to be removed. If so, you will be scheduled for a
follow up appointment. Please be sure to keep this appointment so that we can check how your
surgery site is healing.
If you have any concerns please feel free to call our Center Valley, PA office at any time.