After Removal of Multiple Teeth
A small amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. If bleeding occurs, place gauze directly over the bleeding area and apply biting pressure for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, replace the gauze or use a moist tea bag for an additional 30 minutes. Avoid hot liquids, exercise, and elevate your head when bleeding occurs.
If you had an immediate denture placed, do not remove it. Expect some oozing around the sides of the denture.
The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face is not uncommon. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 2-3 days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Ice packs should be applied to the sides of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be left on continuously while you are awake. After 36 hours, ice has no beneficial effect. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This is a normal reaction to surgery. Thirty-six hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face is beneficial in reducing the size of the swelling.
For moderate pain, take Ibuprofen, (Motrin or Advil) three-four 200 mg tablets may be taken every 6-8 hours. For severe pain, take the tablets prescribed as directed. The prescribed pain medication will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should worsen the first few days, (along with the swelling), and then subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.
If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the medication as directed. Continue to take it for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Antibiotics are given to help prevent infection. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or other unfavorable reaction. Call the office if you have any questions.
Drink plenty of fluids. Try to drink at least six glasses of liquids day.
Do not rinse your mouth the day of surgery. After the first day, use a warm salt water rinse every 4 hours and following meals to flush out particles of food and debris that may lodge in the operated area. (One teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water) After you have seen your dentist or denturist for your follow-up denture adjustment, take out your denture and rinse it 3 to 4 times a day. Do not wear your denture at night after your follow-up appointment with your dentist or denturist.
Restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods, which are more comfortable for you to eat. As the wounds heal, you will be able to advance your diet.
The removal of many teeth at one time is quite different than the extraction of one or two teeth. Because the bone must be shaped and smoothed prior to the insertion of a denture, the following conditions may occur, all of which are considered normal:
- The area of opertion will swell, reaching a maximum in 2-3 days. Swelling and discoloration around the eyes, cheeks and neck may occur. The application of a warm, moist towel will help eliminate the discoloration quicker. The towel should be applied continuously for as long as tolerable beginning 36 hours after surgery (remember ice packs are used for the first 36 hours only).
- A sore throat may develop. The muscles of the jaw and throat are near the extraction sites. Swelling around the jaw and throat muscles can cause pain. This is normal and should start decreasing after 2-3 days.
- If the corners of the mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with an ointment such as Vaseline. There may be a slight elevation of temperature for 24-48 hours.
- You will have some sore areas in the jaws where the teeth used to be. These areas will remodel (smooth over) as you continue to heal. Bony healing can take 6-8 weeks.
If immediate dentures have been inserted, sore spots may develop. In most cases, your dentist will see you within 24-48 hours after surgery and make the necessary adjustments to relieve those sore spots. Failure to do so may result in severe denture sores, which may prolong the healing process.