Having your teeth pulled or dealing with any kind of oral surgery can be an unpleasant experience. Most people will experience degrees of pain, swelling and discomfort for a few hours to several days after the surgery is complete. If you're facing an oral surgery procedure, it's important to be aware of what you should and should not do in order to speed up the healing process and prevent further damage or even infection.
What To Do
There are plenty of things patients can do to be more proactive in their recovery and healing process. Apply an ice compress to your jaw area for about fifteen minutes at a time to reduce swelling. You should do this for the first 48 hours after surgery, and frozen peas can also work in lieu of ice. It's important to stay well rested and avoid over-exerting yourself so that the body can heal. If you've been prescribed medication, make sure you follow the instructions exactly as listed so you can ensure that healing will be faster and more pleasant. If you still notice bleeding 24 hours or more after surgery, use moist tea bags as a compression on your gums to help reduce the bleeding. Stick with cold, liquid foods like ice cream and smoothies for at least a day or two.
What Not To Do
Once you're home after oral surgery, it's important to avoid eating crunchy foods such as nuts that can irritate the area. Never smoke cigarettes or drink from a straw after surgery since this can cause the blood clot that forms to become dislodged, resulting in painful dry sockets. Do not brush or rinse your mouth out for at least 24 hours after surgery so the area has time to heal properly. Brushing and rinsing can cause extreme irritation and keep the blood clot from forming properly. Avoid talking too much after surgery so your jaw and mouth have time to rest. Take a multivitamin so you can get extra nutrients until you are able to eat solid foods again, and avoid drinking sugary beverages like soda or fruit juices.
Things To Remember
Oral surgery is a serious procedure, and there are a few things to keep in mind when it's complete. You will experience some swelling and pain but this is completely normal. The swelling should go down after a day or two but if it does not, it may be time to call your surgeon or dentist for a follow-up. You might find it difficult to swallow or talk for a while, but this should subside a few days after the surgery. Remember that everyone heals at a different pace, so be patient and follow these tips so you can ensure that your oral surgery recovery is smooth and as pain-free as possible.