After undergoing surgery, your principal concern should be your healing. If you do not take precautionary measures, you run the risk of infecting or causing trauma to the surgical area. Your dentist or surgeon will provide you with post-operative instructions. Make sure to follow them to the letter.
There are certain guidelines that you should bear in mind to hasten recovery, and ensure optimal healing.
– Bleeding after Surgery
After a tooth is extracted, expect some slight bleeding to occur for even as long as 24 hours after the extraction. Your dentist will use gauze to absorb the blood. Bite down firmly on the gauze for an hour to stem the bleeding. If you feel that the gauze is stuck to the tissue, you can take a small sip of water. This will help moisten the gauze and separate it from the tissue.
If the bleeding continues even after a full day, get in touch with your dentist. He may recommend that you use a moist bag of black tea to bite on. Studies show that tannic acid in tea helps the blood to clot and reduces bleeding.
After surgery, expect some swelling in the area. This is normal. Make sure that your head remains elevated. Immediately after surgery, you may use an ice pack on your cheek for relief. Expect the swelling to disappear after 7 or 10 days.
The muscles of the face may also feel stiff after surgery. This is also normal. The stiffness usually disappears after 10 days or so.
If surgery involves the lower wisdom teeth, you may notice slight bruising. If the inflammation persists long after the prescribed period, you may want to consult your dentist.
Your doctor will recommend that you rest for a couple of days after the surgery. It is advisable to stay away from strenuous physical activity for about three days post-surgery. Generally, you can go back to your daily routine within 48 hours after the surgical procedure.
– Oral Hygiene
Do not rinse your mouth vigorously for about 24 hours after the surgery. You can rinse your mouth lightly with water. Do not use commercial mouthwash just yet. When you rinse, do not spit out the water. Allow it to flow out on its own.
You can use a saline solution for rinsing after about 24 hours. To make the solution, use the proportion of 1 tablespoon salt to 1 cup warm water. Simply dissolve the salt in the water. The salt water solution promotes healing. It also helps keep the area germ-free. Just rinse. Do not swallow. Rinse as you see fit during the day.
You can also brush your teeth gently. If food particles get lodged in the hole or tooth socket, do not use force to remove it. Just rinse lightly until the particle is dislodged.
Refrain from smoking for 24 hours after the surgical procedure. Smoking tends to delay healing. It may also cause dry socket â an infection which tends to be painful. Do not chew tobacco or use smokeless tobacco. Bits of tobacco may lodge in the tooth socket, and cause great discomfort and pain.