Instructions For the Day of Surgery


Bite down gently but firmly on the gauze packs that have been placed over the surgical areas. The gauze may be changed as needed (typically every 20 to 30 minutes).


Do not disturb the surgical area today. Do NOT rinse vigorously or probe the area. You may brush your teeth gently. Please do not smoke.


Intermittent bleeding or oozing overnight is normal. This may be controlled by placing fresh gauze over the area and biting on the gauze for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. If bleeding persists or becomes heavy you may substitute a tea bag for 20 to 30 minutes. If bleeding remains uncontrolled, please call our office immediately.


Swelling is often associated with oral surgery. It can be minimized by using a cold pack, ice bag or bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel and applied firmly to the cheek. This should be applied 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off during the first 24 hours after surgery.


Unfortunately most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. You will usually have a prescription for pain medication. If you take the first pill before the anesthetic has worn off, this will usually manage any discomfort better. Some patients find that the narcotic pain medications cause nausea, but if you precede each pain pill with a small amount of food, chances of nausea will be reduced. If you find you need to take large amounts of pain pills at frequent intervals, please call our office.


Eat any nourishing food that can be taken with comfort. Avoid extremely hot foods. Do not use a straw for the first few days after surgery. It is sometimes advisable, but not absolutely required, to confine the first day’s intake to liquid or pureed foods (soups, puddings, yogurt, shakes, etc.). Over the next several days you may gradually progress to solid foods as tolerated.


If you feel something hard or sharp edges in the surgical areas, if is likely you are feeling the bony walls of the extracted tooth. Occasionally small slivers of bone may work themselves out during the first week or so. If this is a cause of concern or discomfort, please call our office.

Instructions For the Days Following Surgery


Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential. Use ¼ teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8 ounce glass of warm water and gently rinse, taking 5 minutes to use the entire glassful. Repeat as often as you like but at least two or three times daily.


Begin your normal oral hygiene routine as soon as possible after surgery. Soreness and swelling may not permit vigorous brushing, but least make every effort to clean your teeth within the bounds of comfort.


You may apply warm compresses to the skin over the areas of swelling for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off to help soothe the tender areas. This will also decrease swelling and stiffness.


Normal bleeding after surgery should be as follows:

  • The first 2 days after surgery are generally the most uncomfortable and has the most associated swelling.
  • On the third day you should be more comfortable and, although swelling may still exist, can usually begin a more substantial diet.
  • The remainder of the post-operative course should be gradual, steady improvement.
  • If you don’t feel you see continued improvement, please call our office.