If you have had to undergo oral surgery, such as a tooth extraction, you may be unsure how to manage recovery. Taking good care of your mouth is essential during the days after dental surgery.
With the right care and precautions, healing from oral surgery can be quick and simple. It is important to know what to do after oral surgery – and what not to do – for optimum results after an operation. This article outlines several key tips for managing your recovery post-surgery so that you heal safely and successfully.
Recovering from Oral Surgery
Caring for your mouth post-oral surgery is essential in order to ensure a successful recovery and prevent infection. The most important step you can take is to adhere closely to the post-surgery instructions provided by your dentist. This may include limiting strenuous or normal activities and avoiding tobacco, alcoholic beverages, and straws, as they can all irritate delicate tissue. You should always protect the surgical area with gauze as needed and apply ice packs to the face during the first 24 hours after dental surgery. Also, stay hydrated since a dry mouth can cause irritation and delay the healing process.
Types of Oral Surgery
A tooth extraction is a procedure done by a dentist to remove the entire tooth, including its underlying root structure. It’s typically done when your tooth has too much damage or decay to be repaired with a filling or other forms of dental restorative care. During the extraction, your tooth and its root will be removed in one piece or several pieces, depending on what’s necessary.
Dental implants are artificial structures that are surgically placed into the jawbone to replace a missing tooth or several teeth. They are designed to function like natural teeth, as they feature a titanium screw-like post that acts like a tooth root and is topped by an abutment piece and a custom-made prosthetic crown.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
Wisdom teeth removal is the medical process of surgically removing a person’s third and final set of molars. Wisdom teeth usually come in between the ages of 17 to 25 and often cause overcrowding and other dental issues, so they need to be removed in order to maintain good oral hygiene. During the procedure, an oral surgeon will sedate you and make a small incision in your gum tissue, then carefully remove the tooth or teeth.
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure used to repair damaged or missing bones due to trauma, disease, or birth defects. It can also be used for more cosmetic purposes, like replacing missing teeth. Bone grafts involve taking pieces of healthy bone from another area of the body and placing them where they are needed. The healthy bone may then stimulate surrounding tissue to regrow the desired amount of bone.
The Importance of Following Instructions from Your Oral Surgeon
Following your oral surgeon’s post-surgery instructions is essential for a successful oral surgery. By taking the appropriate steps for proper after dental surgery care, you can minimize the risks of complications and achieve the desired results of your procedure.
If you do not follow their instructions, you risk:
- Infection: Not following the instructions can lead to an infection in the surgical area, which can be painful and cause further damage.
- Delayed Healing: Not taking proper care of your mouth after oral surgery can delay the healing process and make it more difficult for your body to recover.
- Unsatisfactory Results: If you don’t follow your dentist’s instructions, you may not get the desired results from your surgery.
Tips for Proper Healing and Recovery from Oral Surgery
What to eat after oral surgery?
Eating soft foods is important after oral surgery to ensure proper healing and recovery. Soft foods, like mashed potatoes and yogurt, are easier to chew and swallow, which can help reduce the risk of infection and promote faster healing. Avoid hard, crunchy foods like chips or popcorn or any really hot food or spicy food that can irritate the surgical area.
Maintain good oral hygiene
It is important to keep your mouth clean after oral surgery in order to reduce the risk of infection. Gently brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and use an antiseptic mouthwash to help keep the area clean. Avoid using a waterpik or flossing for at least two weeks after dental surgery. You may also use warm salt water to help soothe the surgical site and prevent infection.
Take pain medication as instructed by your doctor
Your oral surgeon may prescribe pain medications to help manage any discomfort you may experience after dental surgery. Be sure to take the medication as prescribed and follow all instructions carefully. You may also be instructed to take over-the-counter pain medications, and you should follow the dosing instructions very carefully as well. You can also use an ice pack to help with swelling and reduce pain.
Avoid smoking to prevent dry sockets
Smoking can slow down the healing process and increase the risk of infection, so it is important to avoid smoking for at least two weeks after oral surgery. It can also lead to very painful dry sockets, which are caused when the blood clot that forms after oral surgery is dislodged.
Follow up with your oral surgeon
It is important to follow up with your oral surgeon after surgery to ensure that everything is healing properly. Your oral surgeon will be able to check for any signs of infection or other complications and can provide additional instructions for proper care.
Contact Our Office for After Dental Surgery Care
If you have any questions or concerns about your after dental surgery care, please contact our office. Our team of experienced oral surgeons is here to help you through the entire process and ensure that your recovery is as smooth and successful as possible. We can provide additional information and instructions on how to properly care for your mouth after dental surgery, as well as answer any questions you may have.