Proper care of the mouth following most procedures can reduce complications, decrease infection, and speed healing of the surgical area.
1. Control of bleeding...Maintain firm pressure by biting on the gauze that has been placed over the surgical area. Keep steady, firm pressure for about 1 to 2 hours. Change the gauze with a new one and continue putting pressure until the bleeding subsides. Continued bleeding can be decreased by biting on a tea bag which has been moistened in cold water. It is normal for the bleeding to last up to 24 hours.
2. Protection of the blood clot...Do not smoke, drink through a straw, spit or rinse vigorously for the first 72 hours after surgery. After the first 24 hours, passively (no swishing), rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon table salt in 8oz. of warm water) every 2-3 hours. The use of commercial mouthwash during the healing period is not recommended.
3. Discomfort...Following dental surgery it is normal to experience some discomfort. Take the medication that has been prescribed as directed.
4. The toothbrush may be carefully used in the area of the mouth not involved by the surgical procedures. Remember, a clean mouth heals faster!
5. Eating ...Adequate food and fluid intake following surgery and or general extractions is most important. If you find that eating your regular diet is too difficult, you may need to puree some foods in a blender. Cold foods are recommended within the first 24hrs. (ice cream, yogurt, milk shakes, cold soups, etc.). Avoid foods that contain small particles which can become trapped in the extraction wound.
6. Do not pick at the surgical area. Avoid alcoholic drinks until healing is well established. Avoid all excessive activity for at least 24 hours after surgery.
7. Sutures may be placed in the extraction sites. Be certain to return for their removal on the appointment day you have scheduled.
8. If there is swelling, keep your head elevated with 3-4 pillows when lying down or sleeping. Gently apply ice packs to the area for periods of 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. This procedure should continue for the first 24 hours only. After the initial 24 hours, heat may be applied to the swollen area, 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. This will reduce the swelling faster.
9. Take the prescribed medication as directed. If there is an allergic reaction, for example, generalized rash, itching, etc. call Dr. Rosato immediately!
10. Infections...Signs of infection include marked redness, increased or persistent swelling, continued pain, fever and in some cases, difficulty swallowing and breathing, If you have any of these symptoms, please call the office.
DO NOT hesitate to call Dr. Richard Rosato at any time if any questions arise (603) 225-0008