Following the extraction of multiple teeth, it is normal to experience some bleeding for 12-24 hours after surgery. There will be a gauze pad placed over the incision sites intraorally. Keep this gauze pad in place for half an hour after surgery, or until it becomes fully saturated, whichever happens first. Once the gauze is removed, it can be replaced with a new piece. Make sure to bite with firm pressure while the gauze is in place. While this oozing will slow and eventually stop, most patients will need to replace the gauze multiple times before this happens. Once oozing has stopped, you may remove the gauze indefinitely.
If you do experience bleeding, keep your head elevated and avoid exercise and hot liquids. If bleeding persists, reach out to our office for further instruction.
Denture wearers can expect some oozing from around the sides of their dentures. Temporarily removing the dentures can allow eating and proper cleaning of the wound sites. However, leaving the dentures in place as much as possible post-surgery can provide pressure and a “band-aid” like effect to control bleeding and pain.
You can expect some swelling around the mouth, cheeks, and even underneath the eyes or chin. This is the body’s normal response to surgery. Usually, swelling does not become evident until the day after surgery and will reach its peak on day two or three. You can control swelling with the use of ice packs. Place them against the outside of the face where surgery was performed, and keep them there consistently while you are awake. Note that, after 36-48 hours, ice will no longer provide as much benefit. At this point, moist heat (e.g., a warm compress) with gentle cheek massage 3-4 times per day will help the swelling to subside over the next week.
Also, be aware that your jaw may become stiff following surgery, especially during the second and third days of your recovery. This is a normal response to surgery and is nothing to worry about. Once the swelling begins to decline, you may begin daily mouth opening exercises to regain full mouth opening. It is not uncommon to require 3-4 weeks of exercising before you begin to feel back to normal.
It is recommended to begin any prescribed pain medications prior to your numbing medicine wearing off.
If you experience mild to moderate pain, you may take 1-2 tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol every 6 hours. Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) may also be taken to help control not only pain, but also swelling and inflammation. Ibuprofen generally comes in 200mg tablets and may be taken in a 600mg dosage every 6 hours, or an 800mg dosage every 8 hours.
For more severe pain, take narcotic pain medications if prescribed by your surgeon and use them as directed. Note that narcotic pain medications can cause you to feel groggy, and they may also slow your reflexes. When taking narcotic pain medicines, avoid driving, operating machinery, and drinking alcohol. Narcotics prescribed by your doctor may also contain Tylenol, and it is important to not take any additional Tylenol if you are regularly taking this medication. In contrast, Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) does not contain any Tylenol and is safe to take alongside any narcotic.
Antibiotics can help prevent infection, so make sure you take them as directed if your surgeon prescribes them. Do not continue using antibiotics in the event of a rash or other adverse reaction. Contact the office if you have any questions.
Diet & Hygiene
Once you are able to tolerate liquids, you can advance to eating soft foods that are easy to clean out of the mouth. We recommend chewing away from the surgical site when possible.
Seek nourishment regularly, and drink lots of fluids to ensure that you avoid dehydration. Over the first couple of days, your food intake may be lower, so compensate by drinking more liquids, and protein/nutrition shakes to obtain plenty of calories and protein. Aim for a minimum of five to six glasses of liquid daily.
Keeping Your Mouth Clean
The cleaner you keep your mouth and surgical sites, the better and faster they will heal.
On the day of your surgery, you may gently brush any teeth at night and keep your entire mouth as clean as possible. Begin rinsing with salt water 3-4 times daily, especially after eating. Your surgeon may also prescribe a prescription-strength mouthwash that can be used in place of or in addition to salt water rinses.
Having many teeth extracted at one time is quite different from having just one or two teeth removed. During the extraction of multiple teeth, the bone must be shaped and smoothed prior to the insertion of a denture. In this case, the following conditions may occur and are considered normal:
- You may experience swelling and discoloration, sometimes around the eye or under the chin. Swelling usually begins the day after surgery and reaches its peak within two or three days, then dissipates gradually. You can minimize swelling by applying a warm compress to the affected area.
- It is normal to experience a sore throat, simply due to the throat muscles swelling. This should resolve on its own over the course of two or three days.
- Also, note that your lips may become dry or cracked. Application of Vaseline or other ointments can help a great deal.
If immediate dentures have been placed, you may notice the development of some sore spots. In most cases, your regular dentist will see you within several days after surgery and make the necessary adjustments to relieve sore spots. Failure to make this appointment may result in severe denture sores, which can, in turn, extend your healing process.