Ready Your Home for After-Care Prior to Oral Surgery

Alfred Khallouf
May 20, 2016 · 2 min read

Oral surgery becomes necessary when impacted wisdom teeth instigate pain, swelling, and an infection of gum tissue near the wisdom teeth. Preparation for the outpatient procedure and learning to effectively recuperate could lead to a speedy recovery. The procedure requires general or local anesthesia, but that doesn’t mean the entire event will be painless.

Readying your home for after-care prior to your oral surgery appointment is essential. Likely, you’ll need to spend some time in bed with extra pillows while relaxing in a reclining position. Keep books, magazines, and television close to your recovery space, and at the same time, avoid eating certain foods and avoid smoking, as the sucking motion could instigate damage or bleeding to the surgery site.

For many, swelling will occur around the surgery site. An ice pack held against that area for 15 minutes at a time should help to decrease the swelling. Also, 24 hours after surgery, you should feel free to start rinsing your mouth four times each day and rinsing with salt water following meals. Additionally, your dentist should prescribe antibiotics or other medications that might help to heal you.

On the night prior to your appointment, be sure to finalize your travel arrangements because you may not be able to drive yourself home due to the side effects of anesthesia. Additionally, you’ll need to fast eight to twelve hours prior to the surgery, which is normally for most outpatient oral surgeries. The exception to this rule is if you’re diabetic, in which case you should have breakfast. All prescribed medicines should be taken the evening and morning prior to surgery.

Soft foods, such as yogurts and soups, are permissible after the oral surgery, particularly because these items are rich in Vitamin C or A. Hard and crunchy foods, such as pretzels sticks, should be avoided for the upcoming six to eight weeks. Eat foods that are room temperature immediately following your surgery, and avoid foods and drinks that are hot while under the influence of anesthesia. Also, don’t consume alcohol or drink out of a straw for the first 24 hours following your surgery. For approximately 48 hours, swelling and discomfort will persistent, and during that time, strenuous exercise or heavy lifting is not advised. The longer-term healing phase is different based on the type of surgery. Wisdom tooth extractions and other common surgeries take one-to-two weeks to completely heal, but jaw surgery can take one month or more to completely heal.

Whether you’ve you need a wisdom tooth removed, a root canal, or jaw surgery, schedule an appointment with an oral surgeon. Oral surgery can be painful and anxiety-provoking. However, if you prepare in advance and carefully follow instructions for your after-care. Your oral surgeon should share exactly what to expect and how to recover from surgery. Follow those directions as best you can, and take enough time to recover to avoid complications.

Originally published at on May 20, 2016.

Alfred Khallouf

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Dr. Alfred Khallouf is a Comprehensive #Dentist and oral surgeon who completed his dental residency in the Air Force. #dentistry