HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

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Bleeding:

Bite firmly on the gauze that has been provided. Change to a fresh gauze every 30-60 minutes until there is no more bleeding visible. A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Slight bleeding, oozing, or red in the saliva is not uncommon. **If bleeding persists and is heavy, a dampened tea bag used instead of gauze over the area may help stop the bleeding.**  The tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. Repeat as necessary. A small amount of oozing is normal during the first 24 to 48 hours.

Medication:

Take all medications as directed on the label of your prescription bottle. The first dose of pain medication should be taken immediately after the patient arrives home and has had some fluids.  Resume all medication(s) you normally take following surgery. The Law prohibits us from phoning in Narcotic pain medication. You will need to be seen in our office before any additional pain medication can be issued.

Foods:

Smoothies, milkshakes, yogurt, pudding, Jell-O, and applesauce usually work well. Stay well hydrated with fluids like Gatorade, Power aide, juice, and water. You may advance to normal food as you feel able. Avoid crunchy foods like potato chips, nuts,  and popcorn until the surgery site has healed.  Do not use straws when drinking fluids thicker than water, the sucking motion can dislodge the blood clot and increase your risk for dry socket.

Sutures:

Sutures are used on some surgical sites to aid in healing. Not all surgical areas require sutures. If dissolvable sutures are used they sometimes become loose. This is no cause for alarm. Just remove it. The sutures will dissolve on their own in 4-5 days.  If the type of suture used has to be taken out (non-dissolvable,) we will make an appointment for you to have them removed in 7-10 days.

Oral Hygiene:

Good healing starts with good oral hygiene. It's important NOT TOUCH THE WOUND. Brush your teeth regularly using caution at the surgery site(s). Do not rinse anything in your mouth until until the day following surgery. The day after surgery, use warm salt water rinses 2-3 times a day. Use an 8 oz glass of warm water with 1 teaspoon of salt. There will sometimes be an empty space where the tooth was removed. This will gradually fill in with new tissue over the next month. In the meantime, keep the area(s) clean by rinsing, especially after meals.

Swelling:

Swelling, if any, will usually show up the day following surgery and will reach its maximum 24-48 hours post-operatively. However, the swelling can be minimized by the use of ice packs for the first 24 hours. The ice packs should be left on continuously while you are awake (an ace bandage or scarf is helpful to keep the ice packs in place). In some cases, bruising on the facial side of the area can occur. This is a normal post-operative occurrence.  The application of moist heat to the side of the face that is swollen and/or bruised is beneficial in reducing the amount of the swelling and/or bruising. The pain and swelling should subside more and more each day following surgery. If your post-operative pain or swelling worsens or unusual symptoms occur, call our office.

Nausea:

In the event of nausea and/or vomiting following surgery, do not take anything by mouth for 30 minutes including any medications. Slowly sip on ginger ale, 7-up, sprite, or water over a 15 minute period. After the nausea calms, make sure you eat something, preferably bland, 30 minutes before taking your medication. Call the office if you have any questions.

 Activities:

If you have received IV sedation, you must not drive a car, operate machinery or dangerous tools.  Remain in a comfortable position in bed, on a couch, or seated in a chair for at least 24 hours.  Dizziness or nausea may result in sudden changes in position. Rest and sleep with your head elevated. After 2-3 days, you may resume normal activity as you feel able.

Smoking/Alcohol:

Do not smoke or use tobacco products for 2 weeks following surgery.  This may result in infection, dry socket, increased pain, and/or prolonged healing. Do not drink alcohol while on pain medication.

Dry Socket:

A dry socket is when the blood clot gets dislodged prematurely from the tooth socket. Symptoms of pain at the surgical site and even pain to the ear may occur 2-3 days following surgery. Call the office if this occurs.

 

To avoid developing dry socket, follow these guidelines:

Do not smoke.
Do not use a straw.
Do not forcefully spit.
Do not rinse vigorously for the first 4 days after surgery.
Reduce physical activity for 2-3 days.

Dentures:

Leave the dentures in for the first 24 hours if you plan to wear them for aesthetics. It is okay to remove the dentures to quickly clean. Do not remove dentures for an extended period of time as swelling may prevent you from replacing them.  If you find the denture(s) are causing too much pain, it is better to take them out and let the tissue heal then to suffer.  You should see your denture provider during the first week after surgery to check for sore spots and have adjustments. This is a normal part of adjusting to dentures.

Bone Grafting:

If you have had bone grafting, you may notice sand-like particles from time to time in your mouth.  This is normal.  If you feel anything larger than that please call our office.

 Sinus precautions after oral surgery procedures 

If your surgery was in or near an adjacent air sinus, these supplemental instructions are given to achieve a favorable outcome.  In addition to the general home care instructions mentioned above, it is important to follow these instructions.  Failure to comply may result in a sinus opening or infection that would require further treatment and may result in the failure to meet the goals of the surgery.

SNEEZING: If you must sneeze, do so with your mouth open , and do not pinch your nose closed.

SUCKING INWARD: Do Not Suck through a straw for the next 10 days. Do not smoke cigarettes, pipes, or cigars for the next ten days.

BLOWING OUTWARD: Avoid blowing your nose for the following 10 days, even gently. Use a tissue if needed.  After ten days you may blow gently through both sides at the same time.  Do not pinch your nose and forcefully blow outward. Do not blow any wind instruments, or blow up balloons.

LIFTING or PUSHING: Do not lift or push heavy objects more than 20 lbs.

BENDING OVER: Avoid lowering your head position lower than the level of your heart at a standing position.  Sleep with your head slightly elevated.

 Notify our office if you :

*Experience persistent bleeding from your nose on the side of surgery.

*Have neck stiffness that was not there before surgery.

*Have a severe, persistent headache after surgery.

*Experience increased sensitivity to bright light.

 Please call our office if you have any questions.  (541)726-4690

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