Post-Operation Instructions

  1. Restrictions – by not following these instructions, bleeding and other complications may occur.
    1. No spitting, rinsing, sucking through a straw for 24 hours.
    2. No hot foods/liquids for 24 hours. Cold and warm are acceptable.
    3. No smoking for 1 week.
  2. Wound Care
    1. 30 minutes after leaving the office remove the gauze from the mouth and check areas to see if there is “active bleeding”. If active bleeding is present, repack wet gauze and bite firmly for 30 minutes. Repeat as needed until active bleeding is under control.
    2. Surgical site may bleed for the first 24 hours. Bite on gauze only as needed. Blood in saliva is normal.
    3. When lying down keep head elevated at 45 degrees to help control bleeding.
    4. Ice chips inside the mouth will help with swelling and discomfort.
    5. If you are having a hard time controlling bleeding, wet a tea bag with water and place on extraction site and bite firmly for 1 hour.
    6. If after all this there is still active bleeding call the office.
      * Active bleeding is bright red blood oozing from the surgical areas.
  3. Discomfort
    1. Some discomfort is normal after surgery. It can be controlled but not eliminated by following the instructions below.
    2. If the lips crack at the corners, keep them moist with vasoline or any type of antiseptic cream or ointment.
  4. Diet
    1. Eat regular meals as soon as bleeding is under control. Soft foods are best and may be the most comfortable.
  5. Oral Hygiene
    1. Do not rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours after surgery.
    2. Brush your teeth normally.
  6. Swelling
    1. Swelling after surgery is a normal body reaction. It reaches its maximum about 48-72 hours after surgery and may last about a week. Swelling is usually worse in the morning.
    2. Applying ice packs over the area of surgery for the first 24 hours to help control swelling. It may also help to keep you comfortable.
    3. Sleeping with your head elevated at 45 degrees will help minimize the swelling.
  7. Bruising
    1. You may experience some mild bruising in the area of your surgery. This is a normal response in some patients
    2. and should not be a cause for alarm. It will disappear in 7 to 14 days.
  8. Stiffness
    1. After surgery you may experience jaw muscle stiffness and limited opening of your mouth. This is normal and may take up to 6 weeks to improve.
  9. Numbness
    1. Numbness at the corners of the mouth or of the lip may develop on the side of the surgical area. This may be a temporary condition, and may remain from a few days to a few weeks. If your lip or chin is very numb a week after surgery call our office.
  10. Temperature
    1. There may be a slight elevation in temperature for 24 to 48 hours after the surgery. This is normal.
  11. Rest
    1. Avoid strenuous activity for 12 hours after your surgery.

Call the office if:

  1. You experience excessive discomfort that you cannot control with your pain medication.
  2. You have bleeding that you cannot control by biting on gauze.
  3. You have increasing swelling after the third day following your surgery.
  4. You have a fever lasting longer than 48 hours.

Post-Operative Medication Instructions

You may have some discomfort following your oral surgery. It can be controlled but not completely eliminated by following these instructions:

  1. If you are able to take Ibuprofen/Tylenol, take 4 lbuprofen* tablets (totalling 800 mg) every 8 hours for the first 48 hours. If neccessary, you may also take two extra strength Tylenol* tablets (totalling 1000 mg) every 6 hours. DO NOT use more than 4000 mg of Tylenol in one day or more than 1000 mg every 6 hours. It is important to keep a baseline level of pain medicine in your system and not wait for the pain to start before taking pain medication.
  2. If you are experiencing a lot of discomfort even though you are taking the lbuprofen, you may take the prescription pain medication in conjunction with 800 mg Ibuprofen. If you are taking the extra strength Tylenol and discomfort is not under control, STOP taking the Tylenol and only take the pre-scription medication. When the discomfort level decreases you may stop the prescription medication and resume the Ibuprofen and Tylenol.
  3. If any of the medications disagrees with you stop taking the medication immediately and call the office.

*Ibuprofen = Advil, Nuprin, Motrin, Medipren, Generic lbuprofen, etc.
*Tylenol – Acetaminophen


  1. You should not operate a motor vehicle for 8 hours after the medication was administered regardless of how “back to normal” you feel.
  2. Do not plan on returning to work or working with any machinery or equipment for eight hours after the medication was administered.
  3. Do not operate a motor vehicle or dangerous equipment if you are taking post-operative narcotic medication.

Printable version of Post-Operation Instructions