Each year in the United States, almost five million dental implants are placed and 10 million teeth are extracted. These are the most common types of oral surgery, but there are others, such as gum grafting, bone grafts, or sinus lifts.
Whatever the type of oral surgery, it’s just that — surgery. And like any other surgical procedure, there’s recovery time afterward.
To help your recovery go as smoothly as possible after your oral surgery, the team of dental experts here at Willow Glen Dental Specialists assembled some great tips that should keep you comfortable and help you heal as quickly as possible.
Aside from following our aftercare instructions to the letter, here are four more tips to keep your recovery on track.
1. Take it easy
We typically perform oral surgery on an outpatient basis, using only local anesthesia or sedatives, which means you’re free to return home afterward. Still, we want you to take it easy for the rest of the day, and perhaps even the day after, depending on the extent of the surgery.
Use this time to catch up on some reading or TV and leave the yard work and exercise for later. By taking it easy, you can give your mouth a little space to heal.
2. Pay close attention to what you eat and drink
This may seem like an obvious tip, but we want to underscore a few points. First, the tissues inside your mouth are very sensitive, and even more so after surgery. So, aside from only eating soft foods for a few days, pay attention to things like temperature — your morning cup of tea or coffee should come lukewarm rather than piping hot.
Consistency also matters — smooth, plain yogurt is better than foods that have tiny pieces that can get stuck in and around the surgical site.
3. Avoid suction and swishing
Don’t use straws after your oral surgery, as the suction the straw creates inside your mouth can be strong enough to remove helpful blood clots and pull at sutures.
As well, you should avoid vigorously swishing liquids around your mouth. If you want to rinse your mouth, do so gently, with lukewarm water.
4. Deal with discomfort
If we’ve prescribed pain medications, you should use those according to the instructions. In many cases, prescription painkillers aren’t necessary, and we recommend over-the-counter medications to handle any discomfort you may have after your oral surgery.
For the first 24 hours, you can also apply cold compresses or ice packs to the outside of your mouth to help numb any soreness or aching. This cold therapy can also help with swelling.
If you take good care of yourself and follow instructions for the first few days after your oral surgery, your mouth should heal quickly and you’ll be back to your regular routine in no time.
If you have any other questions or concerns about upcoming oral surgery, feel free to contact our office in San Jose, California, by calling 408-478-9081, or you can book an appointment with us online.