Oral Surgery Aftercare: Minimizing your discomfort

Patients facing an oral surgery procedure often express concerns about pain after the surgery. Although many types of oral surgery are routine, they still present the potential for discomfort just as any surgery would.

The best oral surgeons work with their patients in advance of the procedure to plan for aftercare to minimize discomfort.

Many patients rely on painkillers as a first line of defense after oral surgery. For most patients, over-the-counter medications will suffice, but some may need the oral surgeon to provide prescription-strength medicines instead.

Your oral surgeon may also prescribe an antibiotic to prevent the risk of infection. If so, take the entire course of this medicine as directed. A gentle rinse with warm salt water also helps to clear bacteria from the area, but hold off until the day after your surgery before beginning this practice. Don’t spit forcefully, either. Let the water spill gently from your mouth.

If you experience swelling, holding an ice pack at the surgical site for short periods during the 24 hours after surgery will help to reduce this symptom.

You can take certain steps to prevent complications, which would also increase your post-surgical discomfort. Avoid smoking in the days immediately after the surgery (and it’s the perfect time to consider giving up the habit for good!)

Patients also often express concerns about when they can return to their normal routines. Rest assured that you can begin eating soft foods and drinking as soon as it feels comfortable to do so, although you should avoid using drinking straws for a few days so that you don’t disrupt the healing process. You can also resume your home oral hygiene routine the day after your procedure, but be gentle with your brushing technique around the surgical site.

In addition to being prepared to take steps to minimize discomfort after your surgery, you should also be aware of signs of a problem. For example, minor bleeding in the 24 hours after the surgery is common, but if the bleeding is severe or lasts longer than 24 hours; contact your oral surgeon for further evaluation.

Oral surgery doesn’t have to be a painful process. Prior to your surgery, work with our team of oral surgeons at Dallas Oral Surgery Associates to develop an aftercare plan to proactively limit the discomfort your experience.