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Recovering From Oral Surgery: What to Expect

May 02, 2023
If you have an oral surgery scheduled, you may not have thought much about the recovery yet. Let’s fix that problem: Here’s what you need to know!

Millions of Americans undergo oral surgery every year. Many need teeth removed or implanted, or they’re dealing with another oral health issue that requires a surgical procedure.

They often focus on the procedure itself, but don’t think much about what comes when the surgery is complete.

Here at Tropical Dental Care, we want your entire oral surgery experience to be top-notch from beginning to end. Here’s what you can expect as you recover from oral surgery.

What is oral surgery?

Oral surgery refers to any surgical procedure performed in or around your mouth or jaw. We do most surgeries in-house at Tropical Dental Care, eliminating the need for a specialist. Common surgical procedures include:

  • Teeth extraction — removing teeth through small incisions in the gums
  • Implants — installing titanium replacement tooth roots
  • Frenectomy — improving the movement of the thin tissue that connects your lips to your gums and your tongue to the floor of your mouth
  • Periodontal surgery — gum grafting to replace diseased tissue

What does recovery involve?

No matter which type of oral surgery you have, you’ll also have a period of recovery. It’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions carefully to speed up the healing process and prevent any complications. 

If you were under general anesthesia for the surgery, plan to have someone there to drive you home. You should also plan on taking it easy the rest of the day and avoiding any strenuous activity. 

Pain will be one of the biggest obstacles you face in recovery. Your two main weapons against pain are ice and pain medications. Follow your dentist’s instructions regarding ice — it will likely be a regimen of applying ice to the affected area on and off every 15 minutes. Pain medications can include acetaminophen and ibuprofen, with opioids reserved for more severe cases.

Slight bleeding after an oral surgery is normal, especially after an extraction. Bite down on gauze to ease the bleeding; biting down on a tea bag may help as well. Because you don’t want to disturb any blood clots that have formed, for two to three days after surgery you should avoid sucking through a straw, smoking, spitting, and drinking alcoholic or carbonated beverages. And, instead of brushing normally, your dentist may want you to brush gently with warm water (not toothpaste) and rinse with a saltwater solution.

You should also stay away from hot, tough, or sticky foods. Focus on soft, cool foods such as yogurt and applesauce.

Following these directions should help you recover from oral surgery quickly and effectively. If you’ve had oral surgery with Tropical Dental Care, you’re always welcome to call the office with any questions or concerns during your recovery period. If you’re considering oral surgery or know you need a procedure, we’re happy to consult with you and offer our guidance and services as well. Just call our office or use our online booking tool to request an appointment time!