What Are The Do’s & Don’ts After A Minor Oral Surgery?

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What is Minor Oral Surgery?

Minor oral surgery is defined as smaller operations which include the removal of impacted teeth, third molar teeth (wisdom teeth), & fractured teeth, as well as alveoloplasty (procedure that smoothen & reshape jawbone in edentulous areas) and other procedures. The most common oral surgical procedures being carried out include the surgical removal of impacted teeth & third molar teeth (wisdom teeth). Minor oral surgery is usually carried out under local anaesthesia (through the injection of local anaesthetic agent). Occasionally, general anaesthesia or conscious sedation could be preferred as well based on the clinical condition of the patients. Under proper anaesthesia, the whole surgical procedures of minor oral surgery will be painless.

Impacted Wisdom Tooth – Photo By Coronation Dental Specialty Group (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
What Are The Do’s & Don’ts After A Minor Oral Surgery?

Minor oral surgeries such as the surgical removal of impacted teeth or wisdom teeth are considered as serious surgical procedures. Thus, it is very important for the patients to follow all the post-operative instructions. If the post-operative care is being taken well, the risk of complications (such as prolonged pain, swelling & infection) could be minimized drastically. The Do’s & Don’ts after a minor oral surgery are discussed below:

  1. Do get enough rest for the first 24 hours.
  2. Drink lots of water after the surgery.
  3. Avoid strenuous physical activity for the first 7 days in order to avoid the dislodgement of the blood clot from the extraction socket.
  4. Don’t drink alcoholic, caffeinated, carbonated or hot beverages in the first day.
  5. Don’t use straw to drink for the first 7 days. This is because sucking action could cause the dislodgement of the blood clot from the tooth socket.
  6. Eat only soft foods, such as yogurt, for the first 24 hours.
  7. Start eating harder foods only when you are able to tolerate them.
  8. Avoid hard, chewy, hot or spicy foods that might get stuck in the tooth socket or irritate the wound.
  9. Manage the post-operative pain with medication that is given by your dentists.
  10. Avoid excessive spitting as this might dislodge the blood clot from the socket.
  11. Swelling and bruising of your cheek areas usually improves in 2-3 days. Use an ice pack to reduce the swelling and bruising as directed by dentists.
  12. For the first day after the minor oral surgery, do not brush your teeth, rinse your mouth, spit or use any mouthwash.
  13. After the first day of surgery, you could now resume tooth brushing, but being particularly gentle near the surgical wound to avoid any sutures being disrupted.
  14. If you have the habit of smoking, don’t do so for at least 24 hours after surgery. This is because the use of tobacco after minor oral surgery could disrupt/delay the process of wound healing and thus increase the risk of complications.
  15. If non-resorbable sutures are used to close your wound,  your stitches need to be removed after 7 days by the dentist.

When To Contact Your Dentist/Oral Surgeon?

Do contact your dentist/oral surgeon if you are having any of the following signs or symptoms after the oral surgical procedure:

  • Fever.
  • Severe swelling that worsens after 48-72 hours.
  • Severe pain that could not be relieved by prescribed painkillers.
  • A bad taste or bad breath (halitosis) in your mouth.
  • Pus in the surgical wound or oozing from the surgical wound.
  • Blood in nasal discharge.
  • Persistent numbness or loss of feeling.

These signs and symptoms could indicate an microbial infection, nerve damage, dry socket or other complications. See your dentist so that the complications could be managed immediately by the dentists.

Article written by,

Dr. Wong Kee Cheong (Tommy)
Dental Surgeon

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