Post-Operative Instructions

We have prepared the following post-operative instructions for you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to bring them to our attention.


Bleeding will be under control by the time you leave our office. Some oozing or blood-tinged saliva may persist for up to 24 hours. Should excessive bleeding occur, it may be controlled with pressure. Apply a folded gauze pad over the area and bite firmly for 45 minutes. This may need to be repeated.


Pain is best controlled by the medications recommended by the doctor. They are most effective when taken before the local anesthesia diminishes and normal sensation returns to the area. Do not take pain pills on an empty stomach. Narcotic pain medication such as codeine, oxycodone, or hydrocodone may cause nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness, itching or constipation. If these side effects occur, discontinue the medication. You may take an alternative over the counter pain medication as necessary or call our office for assistance.


To help with swelling Ice packs should be applied externally to the area as advised by our office. Do not continue ice packs after the first day of surgery as this may cause increased swelling. Warm moist heat applied externally may be advised by our office starting after the second day after surgery.


Nausea medicine should be used as needed if prescribed by our office.


Soft foods and liquids will be required for 24-48 hours following surgery. Avoid hot, spicy foods. Do not drink through a straw or smoke (if you do) for at least 48 hours. If you had surgery on only one side of the mouth, favor the other side while chewing for the first few days.

Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene should not be neglected. Brush your teeth as usual and avoid the surgical site. Rinse with warm salt water after each meal beginning gently the day after surgery. Do not brush the surgical area for 4 – 5 days. All bone graft patients DO NOT perform mouth rinses for one week.


Activity should be restricted to a minimum for the first 2-3 days. Strenuous work or exercise may promote bleeding. If you have had a general anesthetic or sedation, we must require that you be accompanied home by a responsible adult. Under no circumstances are you to drive a car for at least 24 hours.


After surgery it is normal for the body temperature to be slightly elevated for 24 hours.

Side Effects

Side effects such as an ear ache, temporary ache of adjacent teeth, restricted mouth opening, stretching or cracking at the corners of the mouth or discoloration of the skin may occur postoperatively. These are temporary conditions that will improve as healing progresses.