3 Tips for Recovering From Oral Surgery

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3 Tips for Recovering From Oral Surgery

Oral surgery can treat several dental diseases, defects, and injuries, but it requires letting your teeth and gums heal. To help you recover faster, take a look at our top tips!

Oral surgery is a broad term used to refer to any type of surgical procedure you have on your gums, teeth, jaws, or other parts of your mouth — including dental implants or full mouth reconstruction

At Laguna Vista Dental in Elk Grove, California, our experienced dentists know that successful oral surgery doesn’t stop when you leave the dental chair. For the best results, it’s essential to follow all post-op instructions carefully and call your provider with any questions. 

You can help your mouth heal faster so you experience less pain and reduce your risk of infection by following our top three tips for recovering from oral surgery.

1. Watch what you eat (and drink!)

After oral surgery, closely follow any instructions regarding foods and beverages. Our team gives you specific recommendations based on the type of oral surgery you underwent. 

In general, only consume soft foods or liquids for the first day or so after your procedure. Avoid hard or chewy foods until your gums and mouth are fully healed, and stick to room-temperature beverages, like water or herbal teas. 

Stay away from very hot foods, spicy foods, and anything high in acid, like citrus fruits. And steer clear of hot drinks, carbonated beverages, and alcohol until you get the green light from our team.

Some of the safe food choices we recommend to people following their oral surgery include:

  • Yogurt
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Smoothies
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Eggs
  • Pudding
  • Smooth soups

You can also puree some of your favorite steamed or boiled veggies or blend chunky soups to make them smooth. 

2. Keep blood clots clean and protected

As with any type of surgery, oral surgery involves cutting through soft tissue, which can cause bleeding. After your procedure, our team has you bite down on gauze to help stop the bleeding so that a blood clot can form. 

The clot helps the wounds in your mouth heal, and it’s essential to keep it protected for at least three days following your procedure. Here are some ways you can keep blood clots clean and safe:

  • Avoid rinsing your mouth for 24 hours following oral surgery
  • During recovery, use care when spitting
  • Do not use straws or smoke until cleared by our team
  • Brush your teeth gently, avoiding the clot entirely

It’s important to keep your mouth clean, but be gentle around the surgical area. If you accidentally break the clot or notice new bleeding, call our team right away.

3. Treat yourself with care

After your oral surgery, it’s essential to treat your mouth and body with extra care. Just as with other types of surgery, oral surgery requires rest, hydration, and healthy foods so you can heal fully. 

Be sure to set aside 24-48 hours following your procedure to rest. Keep your head elevated while you lie down or lounge on the sofa to avoid swelling and extra discomfort, and take any pain medication as prescribed or over-the-counter medicines recommended by our team. 

To limit swelling and ease discomfort, apply cold compresses on the outside of the affected area for 15 minutes at a time, several times a day in the days following your surgery.

To learn more about recovering from oral surgery, schedule an appointment online or over the phone at Laguna Vista Dental in Elk Grove, California.