Postoperative Instructions
Care of the mouth after surgery has an important effect on healing.  
These may be minimized by the following instructions.  Please read and follow them carefully.

  • Bleeding:  Bite on gauze placed over the surgical site and change every 30 minutes until bleeding has stopped.  If bleeding is still present after all the gauze has been used, place a moistened BLACK tea bag over the site and apply pressure for 30 minutes.  Repeat as necessary.  Avoid rinsing, spitting, or drinking through a straw for the first day, as this will promote bleeding.

  • Pain & Infection Control:  If you have been prescribed medications, take as directed on the package.  If you develop symptoms such as rash, hives, itching, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, discontinue the medications and contact this office.  WARNING:  Do not drive, operate mechanical equipment, or consume alcoholic beverages after taking pain medications.  

  • Swelling:  Apply an ice pack immediately upon your return home.  Use for 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off.  Do this for the first 48-72 hours after surgery.  Most swelling will peak in two to three days.

  • Diet:  A liquid diet is recommended the day of surgery, followed by a soft diet until your ability to open your mouth allows you to eat normally.  Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.

  • Nausea:  A small amount of carbonated or clear liquids consumed every 30 minutes may help to terminate nausea.  If nausea persists, call our office.

  • Oral Hygiene:  They day following surgery, your mouth may be rinsed gently with warm salt water solution (1 teaspoon of salt in a large glass of water).  Do this after each meal and at bedtime.  You may brush your teeth, but the surgery site should be avoided.  Smoking and use of chewing tobacco interferes with proper healing and should be avoided for at least one to two days after surgery.

  • Sedation & General Anesthesia:  Patients who have been sedated or have had general anesthesia will have slower reflexes for a period of 24 hours.  You may notice that you become "faint" or dizzy upon arising from a sitting position.  It's very important that you rest and restrict your activity and that you not be left alone during this time.  You also may not drive a car or operate machinery.

  • "Dry Socket:"  Sometimes the socket, where the tooth was taken out, heals improperly with the loss of the blood clot or with poor clot formation.  Pain persists beyond three days, or pain that starts two to ten days after surgery may indicate that a "dry socket" has occurred.  Please notify our office if this happens, as this condition can be relieved by treatment.

  • Additional Instructions:  There may be some additional instructions given to you by our staff for your specific procedure.  Please follow these instructions as directed.

If you have any questions, please call our office at (530) 241-6374.  Our answering service will connect your call after regular office hours.