The following conditions may occur, all of which are considered normal:
Extraction sites usually heal quickly and without complications if simple precautions are taken. Reduce your activities for 24 hours after surgery. This helps reduce bleeding and permits the formation of a clot at the site of surgery which is necessary for uncomplicated healing.
Swelling is to be expected. Place an ice bag on the affected area immediately upon your return home, 15 minutes on and 5 minutes off. Do this for the remainder of the day. Swelling usually reaches its maximum within the first 48 hours and then slowly decreases. The application of warm moist compresses after 48 hours will promote rapid reduction of the swelling.
PRECAUTION: The use of moist heat prior to the third day may result in bleeding and excessive swelling.
Maintain the gauze pads over the extraction sites for two to three hours with firm biting pressure. When the gauze pads are removed, the extraction sites will continue to ooze slightly for several days, coloring the saliva pink to light red depending on the number and difficulty of the extractions. This oozing of blood is normal and can be expected with all third molar extractions. However, if heavy bright red bleeding resumes after removal of the initial gauze pads, the following procedures should be used.
To help the healing process, try not to miss a meal after surgery. A cool to warm liquid diet is ideal for the day of surgery. Be sure to drink plenty of liquids (water, milk, coffee, tea or juice). On the second and third postoperative day your diet should consist of soft foods which will not irritate the surgical sites or cause bleeding. On the third day solid foods can be added to the menu.
Suggested foods include:
One ounce of carbonated water for every hour for four to five hours will usually ease nausea. When hunger returns, mild tea or clear soup are better tolerated than heavy or coarse foods.
Have the enclosed prescriptions filled promptly and take as directed. Nonnarcotic medications (Motrin, Advil, Ibuprofen, Tylenol) should be taken as soon as possible and repeated as prescribed for the first several days. Narcotic pain medication can be taken in addition if pain relief is not adequate. However, when narcotic pain medications (Percocet, Vicodin, Tylenol #3) are taken you should not operate automobiles or other power equipment.
Antibiotics, when prescribed, should be taken as indicated until gone. If a rash or swelling develops discontinue the antibiotic immediately and call the office to inform your doctor.
The extraction sites should not be disturbed allowing adequate time for clotting to occur. The mouth should not be rinsed on the day of surgery. The day following surgery, and for one week after the mouth should be rinsed gently with warm salt water after each meal and at bedtime (one teaspoon of salt in a large glass of warm water). The teeth should be brushed as usual, but the surgery site should be avoided. It is helpful to soften the bristles of the brush prior to use by placing the brush in a cup of hot tap water for several minutes. It is important to maintain oral hygiene so that the wound will heal properly and not become infected. Smokers are advised not to smoke for at least 72 hours after surgery. Drawing on a cigarette may disturb the blood clot and thus interfere with the healing process.