As with any type of surgery, oral surgery has a recovery period. We’ve put together some helpful advice on how to make this recovery period as short and problem free as possible.

After your surgery, we will give you information about how to look after your mouth as it heals. We’ll also give you an information sheet for your reference too.

Emergency problems are rare after oral surgery, however there are emergency contact details on this on the information sheet should you need them. Depending on the nature of your procedure, we may also give you a prescription for pain killers and/or antibiotics.

After the surgery

You may wish to take some pain-killing tablets before the anaesthetic injection wears off (after 1-2 hours). Follow any instructions regarding dosage very carefully. Avoid aspirin or aspirin-containing drugs as these may thin the blood and cause further bleeding.

Avoid spitting or rinsing your mouth for 2-3 hours. You should try not to disturb the area of the extraction for 24-48 hours to allow a firm blood-clot to form in the tooth socket. This will aid healing.

Eat only soft foods for the first day and try to keep these to the other side of your mouth. Avoid very hot drinks, smoking and alcohol for 24 hours.

Avoid cycling or excessive exercise for several hours. Ideally, rest by sitting down in a chair.

The day following the extraction, rinse your mouth gently with a warm salt-water solution, or an antiseptic mouthwash, and continue to do this after meals and before bed for 5 -7 days. Use one teaspoon of salt in a mug of warm water.

As healing progresses for the first few weeks you may feel the sharp edges of the bone socket beneath the gum and occasionally small fragments of bone may work their way out. This is normal and will be become less noticeable with time.

The area may continue to be tender to pressure for some weeks following the extraction. The hole will gradually close over and disappear over a period of several months.

Do not blow your nose for 10 days. If you sneeze, do not try and stifle it, just let the sneeze go, without putting pressure on your sinuses. This will allow the sinus to repair properly.

We recommend that you take the following medication:

  1. Paracetamol: 1g (2 x 500mg) taken 4 times daily
  2. Ibuprofen: 400 mg taken 3 times daily
  3. Dihydrocodeine 30mg taken 4 times daily as required

What to do if you start bleeding

If excessive bleeding occurs use a clean pad of gauze or a handkerchief to apply pressure to the area for 20-30 minutes. Do not rinse, gargle or spit excessively. Avoid lying down and avoid any exercise.

If the bleeding does not stop after 30 minutes, please contact the practice or if it is out of hours, NHS direct on 111.