Tips to help you recover after dental surgery

October 1, 2014

Read on to find out how to recover quickly from the bleeding, pain and swelling of dental surgery.
Dental surgery can vary greatly, involving everything from having teeth removed to receiving dental implants. Your dentist or oral surgeon should provide you with recovery instructions modified to your particular procedure. But here are a few tips that can assist in the recovery process from almost any minor oral surgery.

Tips to help you recover after dental surgery

What to do if you are experiencing pain

Having some signs of discomfort and pain after dental surgery is normal. Typically this soreness will subside within a day or two, but it can last a bit longer.

If your dentist or oral surgeon has prescribed you pain medication, be sure to follow their instructions exactly. Remember, they are the experts. If taking an over-the-counter pain medication, avoid aspirin, as it acts as a blood thinner.

Rest can also be key to a faster recovery. If possible, you may want to schedule some time off from work and avoid strenuous activities.

What to do if you have bleeding

Even with minor surgeries, bleeding is common. Typically it will last up to a couple of hours after leaving your dentist’s office.

To stop bleeding, apply firm pressure using gauze or cotton balls. Switch out the gauze or cotton balls every hour. When lying down, keep your head propped up. This can improve clotting. If bleeding has not stopped after four hours, it is recommended you call your dentist.

To speed up the healing process, avoid hot liquids, alcohol, hard foods and tobacco. These can lengthen the time it takes for your wound to heal. Your dentist may also recommend additional foods and drinks to avoid.

What to do for swelling

Swelling can occur not only within your mouth but in your cheeks and face. You may even have signs of bruising. These symptoms should subside quickly, but can last up to 10 days.

To improve swelling immediately after surgery, use an ice pack or cold compress. Apply firm pressure to the affected area. You can do this in 10 minute intervals throughout the day.

After the first day, you can switch to warm compresses. Apply a heating pad or hot water bottle. The heat can improve blood flow to the area. Make sure any items used are not hot enough to cause burns or discomfort.

Before your surgery, pick up cold compresses, heating pads and other supplies from your local pharmacy. Being proactive is a major step towards a smooth recovery.

Questions or concerns

If you have any questions after the healing process, or if you are concerned with pain, bleeding or swelling, contact your dentist or oral surgeon. With years of training and experience, they should be able to answer any questions you may have.

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