You may take the prescribed pain medication before the anesthetic has worn off to help prevent pain. Taking pain medication with milk or soft bread helps reduce the risk of nausea. Pain medication may also be supplemented with anti-inflammatory medication (Advil®/ibuprofen). Ibuprofen and prescription pain medication work differently, and they may be taken together. If you find you are taking large amounts of pain medicine at frequent intervals, please call our office.
Bleeding or oozing for the first 24 hours is normal; it is normal for the bleeding to stop and then start again several hours later. Bleeding may be controlled by placing fresh gauze over the areas and closing down with direct pressure for 30 minutes without talking. If bleeding persists, you may substitute a wet tea bag which helps blood to clot. If bleeding remains uncontrolled, please call our office.
Ice packs should be used as much as possible the first 24 hours. Swelling may increase for 2–3 days before decreasing. Sleeping with your head in an elevated position (recliner or at least 2 pillows) will also help minimize swelling.
Cold, soft foods are encouraged the first day, and liquids are recommended until the numbness wears off. If you take nourishment regularly, you will feel better, gain strength, have less discomfort, and heal faster. Avoid extremely hot foods which can cause further bleeding. Use of a straw can also cause further bleeding. It is best to avoid sharp foods such as peanuts, popcorn, and chips.
Nausea can occur after any type of surgery. Anesthesia and pain medications are common causes. Try to keep drinking fluids and advancing your diet, and try not to swallow any blood. Using ibuprofen on a regular schedule will help minimize the need for prescription pain medications.
Brushing and Rinsing
You should brush your teeth like normal — just be careful in the surgical sites. Use a new, extra soft toothbrush. You should only rinse very gently on the first day.
A dry socket occurs when the blood clot gets dislodged prematurely from the tooth socket. Often, you may feel fine for 1 or 2 days, and then have increasing pain 3–5 days after surgery. Pain may also radiate to your ear. This most commonly occurs with lower impacted wisdom teeth. Please call the office if this occurs; it may be treated with a dressing, which will alleviate your pain.
If you feel something with hard or sharp edges in the surgical areas, you may be feeling the edges of the extraction socket. Occasionally, small slivers of bone may even work themselves out weeks later. If they cause concern or discomfort, please contact the office as they may be easily removed.