Patients are always concerned about how to take care after any extraction or gum surgery. Listed below are some of the precautions one can take after any dental surgery for a smoother recovery.
Taking care of your stitches/sutures
• Sutures when placed in the surgical site might dissolve on their own or you will be called back after 2-4 weeks for suture removal. Your dentist will advise you on the kind of the suture placed. Do not try to pull it with your fingers or play with it with your tongue as you will risk loosening and interfere with the proper healing and cause the stitches to come off.
•Do not eat on the surgical side for at least 2 weeks.
Following dietary restrictions after surgery
You will be advised to be on a pureed soft diet for two weeks, unless told otherwise. Some of the foods you can eat will be as follows.
Warm, smooth soups
Crunchy and sharp food
Spicy and hot food
Fruits or vegetables with seeds
These foods will irritate the area and cause the bleeding to increase.
No smoking/alcohol or using straws
• One of the most important things is “NO SMOKING!”. Smoking interferes with healing by dislodging the blood clots.
•Sip your drinks instead of using straws.
•Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
Restrict any vigorous activities after surgery
• You will be advised not participate in physical activities for a few days depending on the procedure.
• Failing to comply may increase your risk of complications.
• Recover time varies for each patient.
Managing pain after surgery-Take your medications
• Expect some discomfort and pain after the procedure. Following your dentist’s instructions to take medications as prescribed usually helps in a smooth post op recovery. Antibiotics, pain killers and some steroids as required will be prescribed by your dentist.
• Some people do not like to take medications. It is important to bring down the inflammation during the first few days during the healing phase and so that you can heal uneventfully.
Applications of Ice packs
Swelling can be seen when the extractions are difficult and has had involved bone removal. Apply ice packs every few minutes for about a day and a half immediately after surgery. Do not apply any warm compresses right away as the swelling can spread.
Avoid rinsing your mouth immediately for first 24 hours.
It is important to prevent the blood clot that forms in the surgical site from dislodging. Blood clot formation is the first step in the healing process. If the clot is dislodged , it may lead to formation of dry sockets with excruciating pain and odor which also increases the risk of infection of the surgical site,especially after extraction.
It is therefore important to avoid rinsing mouth for the first 24 hours after surgery. You can start gentle warm salt water rinses 2-3/day after the first 24 hours for the next few days.
Home care after surgery
Avoid brushing the area for the first few days. Gentle rinsing starts after first 24 hours. You will be advised not to brush or floss the surgical area for about a month if any gum graft surgery has been done. Only gentle rinsing will be allowed. Once tooth brushing in the surgical site starts, we recommend that you only use extra soft tooth brush.
Come for the follow up care
• Usually our team members will follow up the very next day and if it is along weekend, then on the Saturday before the holidays begin.
• You will be called back a week or 2 after the procedure for the follow ups.
• Some follow ups require you to come back a month or 2 months after the procedure.
When should I call my doctor?
• If you have increased swelling or bruising, foul odor from the area, unable to open your jaw.
•If the bleeding does not stop
• If you have severe or increased pain not relieved by medication.
• If you have any side effects to medications, such as, rash, nausea, headache, vomiting, increased irritability, or constipation.
• If you have an oral temperature over 100 degrees.
•Make sure you are getting enough liquids. Dehydration can cause the body temperature to rise.
Who should I call if I have questions?
• 905-823-7855, Tuesday 11-7;Wednesday: 9-3 by appointment only; Thursday 9-5;Friday 7.30-3.30 and Saturday 9-3
• After hours and on weekends, please call Emergency clinic at 416-485-7121
Dr. Sharmila Shettigar