Post-Operative Care

General Post-Operative Instructions


A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Slight bleeding, oozing,or redness in the saliva is not uncommon in the first two days following the procedure. If there is excessive bleeding, fold a piece of gauze thick enough to bite on and place it directly on the extraction site biting firmly for 30 minutes. Repeat if necessary. Do not spit for this will cause more bleeding. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened tea bag for 30 minutes. If bleeding does not subside, call for further instructions.


After surgery most patients experience swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until two to three days post-operatively. You can minimize swelling by applying ice over your face in the first 48 hours (15 minutes on then 15 minutes off for every awakened hour). After 48 hours, ice has no beneficial effect. At this time, start applying moist heat in order to reduce the size of the swelling (15 minutes on then 15 minutes off for every awakened hour). Stiffness of the jaw muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a few days following surgery. This is a normal post-operative event which will resolve in time.


It is important to begin pain medication soon after surgery. Do not wait for the local anaesthetic to wear off before taking your medication. Use pain medication as directed.

Make sure to eat before taking any medication to lessen your chances of nausea. If you were prescribed antibiotics take them as directed. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or other unfavourable reactions (diarrhea).

Nausea & Vomiting

In the event of nausea and/or vomiting do not take anything by mouth for at least one hour. Gravol, an over-the-counter medication, will usually alleviate nausea and vomiting.


On the day of surgery, begin with clear fluids (juice, broth, Jello) and progress slowly to more solid foods. Remember, it is important to hydrate and maintain adequate nutrition for optimal healing to occur. Drink lots of fluids. Dehydration delays healing and increases your risk of having nausea.

Oral Hygiene

It is important to maintain good oral hygiene. Start rinsing your mouth with salt and water 24 hours following surgery. You can rinse every 4 to 6 hours (1/2 tsp of salt in a glass of water).

It is important to brush and floss the adjacent teeth.

Other important instructions include:

  • No smoking
  • No alcohol
  • No spitting
  • No sucking through a straw
  • Avoid heavy exercise for 3 to 5 days following the surgical procedure
  • Keep head elevated when lying down (use two pillows)
  • Avoid hot or spicy foods (no popcorn or chips for 4 weeks)

It is our desire to make your recovery as comfortable as possible. Should you experience any immediate or late complications from your surgery please call the surgeon on call.