BLEEDING: To slow, or prevent bleeding, bite with light pressure on the gauze pack that has been placed over the surgical area for one full hour after surgery. IF you see a stream of blood flowing from the surgical site, bite on gauze (or dampened tea bag) for 20-30 minute intervals until bleeding has stopped. You will notice some red or pink saliva for the next few days, but do NOT bite on gauze unless site is actively bleeding. If bleeding continues after 3-4 hours of applied pressure, please call the office. Rinsing, smoking, exercise, heavy lifting can cause bleeding to start, and/or possibly dislodge the clot that may not reform resulting in a “dry socket”.
SWELLING: To prevent and/or minimize swelling, apply ice packs at 10 minute intervals to the surgical site area. After 24 hours, apply warm compresses to the area to relieve swelling. Swelling is a natural part of the healing process and can be expected for 3 days to several weeks depending on the nature, and extent of the surgery. There is no way to predict who will, or will not swell.
DISCOMFORT: Following most surgical procedures there may, or may not be pain, depending on your threshold for pain. The most frequent complaint is muscle pain. This tends to happen when the muscles are minimally used after a procedure. Be sure to move your jaw (talk normally, wiggle jaw side to side, and open fully) often to prevent muscles from becoming tender. You will be provided with medication for discomfort that is appropriate for you. In most cases, a non-narcotic pain regimen will be given consisting of acetaminophen (Tylenol), and a NSAID ie: ibuprofen (Advil). These two medications taken alternately in 3 hour intervals will be as effective as a narcotic without any of the side effects associated with narcotics. If a narcotic is prescribed follow the directions carefully alternating with the NSAID prescribed. If you have any questions about these medications interacting with other medications you are presently taking, please call our office first, then your physician, and/or pharmacist.
BONE FRAGMENTS: Infected teeth are surrounded by infected bone. The body typically will reabsorb the infected bone, but every so often a very small fragment will begin to work its way through the tissue. This can happen at any time after any extraction from a few days to several years later.