A small amount of bleeding is to be expected following the operation. If bleeding occurs, place a gauze pad directly over the bleeding socket and apply biting pressure for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened tea bag (not green tea) for thirty minutes. The tannic acid in the tea helps to form a clot by constricting blood vessels. If bleeding occurs, avoid hot liquids, exercise, and elevate the head. If bleeding persists, call our office immediately. Do not remove any immediate denture unless the bleeding is severe. Expect some oozing around the side of the denture.
Use cold gel packs or ice packs (externally) on the cheek near the surgical site. Apply ice for the first 12-24 hours only. Apply ice continuously while you are awake.
You should begin taking pain medication before, or as soon as you feel the local anesthetic starting to wearing off. For moderate pain, healthy adults may take both Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) and Acetaminophen (Tylenol or APAP). Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2 tablets may be taken every every 3 hours, not to exceed 3200 mg in a 24 hour period. Acetaminophen comes in 325 mg tablets: 1 tablet may be taken every every 3 hours, not to exceed 4000 mg in a 24 hour period. You may take the two medications at the same time.
For severe pain, the prescribed medications should be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medications if you are allergic to them, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it. Do not take more than a combined total of 4000 mg in a 24 hour period, of Acetaminophen, Tylenol, and/or APAP containing medication (often found in narcotics and many over the counter medications). Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office. If the pain does not begin to subside after 2 or 3 days, or increases thereafter, please call our office. If an antibiotic has been prescribed, make sure to finish your prescription unless you have an allergic reaction.
Drink plenty of fluids. If many teeth have been extracted, the fluids lost during surgery needs to be replaced. Drink at least six glasses of liquid the first day.
Do not rinse your mouth for the first post-operative day, or while there is bleeding. 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 one cup of warm water.) After you have seen your dentist for denture adjustment, take out the denture and rinse 3 to 4 times a day.
Restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods that are comfortable for you to eat. As the wounds heal, you will eventually be able to resume your normal diet.
The removal of many teeth at one time is quite different from the extraction of just 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 operated on will swell, reaching a maximum in 2-3 days. Swelling and bruising may occur. The application of a moist warm towel or gel pack will help eliminate the discoloration. The warm towel or gel pack should be applied continuously for as long as is tolerable, beginning 36 hours after surgery. (Remember: ice packs are used for the first 12-24 hours only).
- A sore throat may develop. The muscles of the throat are near the extraction sites. Swelling into the throat muscles can cause pain. This is normal and should subside in 4-5 days.
- If the corners of the mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with an ointment like Vaseline. There may be a slight elevation of temperature for 24-48 hours. If your temperature continues to rise, notify our office.
If immediate dentures have been inserted, sore spots may develop. In most cases, your restorative dentist will see you within 24-48 hours after surgery to make the necessary adjustments and relieve those sore spots. Failure to do so may result in severe denture sores, which may prolong the healing process.