Post-operative Instructions following tooth extraction
- You may eat and drink as soon as you feel comfortable. A soft diet is recommended. Drinks and foods which are excessively hot should be avoided during the first day as they may stimulate bleeding.
- Place ice packs to the side of your face every 10-15 minutes over the next 6 hours to help reduce the swelling.
- Take your medication as prescribed. It will be helpful to take your pain medication before the numbness from the local anaesthetic wears off. If antibiotics have been prescribed, please remember that they may interfere with the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill.
- Avoid vigorous mouth rinsing on the day of surgery as this may stimulate bleeding. You should rinse your mouth carefully 4 times a day for at least one week starting from the day after your surgery. You may use mouthwash (eg: Difflam-C or Savacol mouthrinse) or you may use a mixture of salt and water (half a teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water).
- Continue to clean your teeth 3 times a day from the day after your surgery. A soft, child-sizes toothbrush may be helpful. It is important to keep your mouth very clean to prevent infection.
- Avoid smoking for one week, if possible, as smoking will delay would healing.
- It is normal for swelling to increase during the first 2 to 3 days and this should slowly subside over one week. You may also experience some bruising.
- The stitches in your mouth are resorbable. They will fall out on their own usually after 1-2 weeks and can take up to 4 weeks. Do not be concerned if one or two stitches dislodge earlier.
- Use the monojet syringe issued to you one week after surgery. Draw up water into the syringe and wash surgery site gently. This will dislodge any food particles that may have collected in the socket.
- A small ‘hole’ or opening in the gum may be present for a short period of time. Do not be concerned. This will close after a few weeks.
What to do if problems occur:
Bleeding: It is normal to expect some oozing from the wound over the first 24 to 48 hours. If excessive bleeding occurs, gently rinse your mouth with cold water to remove any blood clots, then apply folded gauze directly to the would and bite down firmly for at least 20 minutes.
Nausea, vomiting and constipation: Occasionally, side effects such as nausea, stomach upset and constipation can occur from the medication you are taking, cease all medication and remain on a clear liquid diet until the nausea passes. Panadeine Forte often causes nausea and vomiting, and therefore if this occurs, try a milder pain medication, such as Nurofen. Panadeine Forte can often cause constipation. It is important to drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication.
Excessive pain: You should expect a few days of a constant, dull, aching pain which should gradually improve after 3 or 4 days. If you experience sudden, severe pain after the third day, which appears to be increasing and not subsiding, you should contact Dr Lim or Dr Rix for a further assessment.