5 Recovery Tips for After Oral Surgery

Many people find similarities between oral surgery and operations performed on other parts of the body. For example, you may receive an anesthetic that will numb the treatment area or completely put you to sleep. Your oral surgeon will also advise you on your recovery to help you heal quickly and successfully without complications. Here are five tips we give our patients at Hill Country Oral Surgery in Austin to expedite their recovery and make them as comfortable as possible.

Manage Bleeding and Swelling

Anytime you have surgery, there will be at least some bleeding during and maybe after the procedure. With oral surgery, bleeding is common. The amount of blood may seem alarming, but that’s because it easily mixes with your saliva, increasing the fluid volume. This mixture makes it seem like you’re bleeding more than you are.

We’re likely to use gauze to manage your bleeding after oral surgery. Though we’ll send you home from our clinic with plenty of gauze, it’s best to have a stockpile at home too, just in case. We advise changing the gauze every half-hour to ensure it doesn’t become saturated.

To manage inflammation, apply cold compresses, and keep your head elevated. Sleep propped up with your favorite pillow under your head. Also, the sooner you apply cold compresses after surgery, the better it manages inflammation and swelling.

What to Eat and Drink and What to Avoid

You should eat foods that require little to no chewing the hours and days after oral surgery. These include liquid meals like smoothies, protein drinks, and milkshakes. From these liquid foods, work your way up to soft foods like eggs, mashed potatoes, and cottage cheese. Cooked pasta and refried beans work as well, but avoid bread. Although it’s soft, it requires chewing.

After a week or so, you should be able to return to your regular diet. But try not to eat spicy and acidic foods for another couple of weeks. We also recommend that you not drink alcoholic beverages after surgery.

Avoid Pressure

Avoid activities that create a vacuum-like sucking, like smoking or drinking through a straw, until your gums heal. This pressure can affect the blood coagulating properly at the treatment site. Smoking presents a double whammy as it not only delivers pressure, but also diminishes the natural healing process within your body.

Get Plenty of Sleep and Rest

When you sleep, your body uses the time to replenish, refresh, and repair itself. We ask you limit your activity for at least the first day after oral surgery. You may feel good enough to jump back into things, but give it a day before you return back to your daily routine. Rest and relaxation are the best medicines for surgical recovery, so sleep tight and heal well.

Keep Your Mouth Clean

Good oral hygiene is always essential, but even more so after surgery. We will advise you not to brush or floss in the area for several days, as it may affect the wound healing correctly. You may use a piece of gauze with toothpaste to clean the teeth in the treatment area.

The Austin practice of Hill Country Oral Surgeons is available to patients who are concerned about the state of their wisdom teeth or need oral surgery for other issues. To learn more about oral surgery recovery and the treatment we provide, contact us or call 512-327-7233.