Care of the mouth after surgery has an important effect on healing.

SWELLING, DISCOMFORT & RESTRICTED JAW FUNCTION ARE EXPECTED, and so need not cause alarm. These may be minimized by the following instructions. Please read them carefully. They must be followed.


  • Change the gauze pack approximately every 30 minutes until the bleeding subsides.
  • If bleeding is excessive, place gauze or a moistened tea bag over the wound an bite firmly for 30 minutes with CONSTANT PRESSURE.
  • Assume a semi upright position.


  • Take first dose immediately upon arrival at home.
  • Don’t operate dangerous equipment or vehicles for a minimum of 18 hours post sedation/anaesthesia.
  • If you develop hives or a rash, discontinue all medication and immediately contact this office.


  • Apply an ice pack to the jaw immediately, until the following morning. If still swollen, apply warm wet towel.


  • A liquid diet is wise the day of surgery, and then a soft diet high in vitamins and protein for another 2 days. Increase fluid intake. Resume normal diet as soon as possible.


  • A small amount of carbonated drink, (i.e., cola or ginger ale) every hour for 5 or 6 hours will usually terminate nausea.
  • Follow this with mild tea or clear soup, etc.
  • If nausea continues contact this office.


  • No rinsing of day of surgery.
  • The following day rinse gently with warm salt water (½ tsp. per glass) after meals and before bedtime.
  • Continue until area heals.


  • If you have immediate dentures placed, don’t remove them until the following morning.
  • Rinse mouth that morning, replace dentures immediately and wear throughout the day.
  • Continue from this point on to sleep without dentures


  • Drink with a straw
  • Swish anything around inside the mouth
  • Spit out
  • Cough, sneeze or blow nose (unless your mouth is held open)
  • No alcohol for at least 24 hours.

Any of the above will create a negative pressure in the mouth. This will cause the blood clot forming in the socket to dislodge and break down, leaving you with a dry socket (bone and nerve endings exposed to air.) Symptoms of a dry socket may include throbbing pain radiating into ears, jaw, or neck. This pain will not subside with medication. Dry sockets must be dressed with a medication before proper healing will take place.


The removal of impacted wisdom teeth and other surgical procedures may be quite involved and difficult. The following conditions may occur, all of which are considered normal:

  • The area operated on will usually swell.
  • The swollen area may become quite large.
  • Stiffness of the muscles may cause difficulty in opening the mouth. However, practice opening and closing the jaw several times daily.
  • You may have a slight earache.
  • A sore throat may develop.
  • Numbness about the corners of the mouth on the side from which the tooth was removed may develop. This is called “parasthesia” and is most often a temporary condition which will usually correct itself. It may remain anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
  • Your other teeth may ache temporarily. This is call sympathetic pain and is a temporary condition.
  • If the corners of the mouth are stretched, they may dry and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with a cream or ointment such as Vaseline or cold cream.
  • There will be a cavity where the tooth was removed. Starting on the day following surgery, this area should be rinsed following meals with warm salt water. This space will gradually fill in with new tissue.
  • Black and blue discolouration may occur on the outside of the face near the area of surgery. This occurrence is not unusual and will resolve within several days.
  • There may be a slight elevation of temperature for 24 to 48 hours. If temperature continues, notify this office.
  • Sutures (stitches) may be used to close the surgical wound. They will be removed at a subsequent office visit.


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