In most cases, the recovery period lasts only a few days. Take painkillers as prescribed by your dentist or oral surgeon.
The following tips will help speed your recovery.
~ Bite gently on the gauze pad periodically, and change pads as they become soaked with blood. Call your dentist or oral surgeon if you still have bleeding 24 hours after your surgery. While your mouth is numb, be careful not to bite the inside of your cheek or lip, or your tongue.
~ Do not lie flat. This may prolong bleeding. Prop up your head with pillows.
~ Try using an ice pack on the outside of your cheek for the first 24 hours. You can use moist heat-such as a washcloth soaked in warm water and wrung out-for the following 2 or 3 days.
~ Relax after surgery. Physical activity may increase bleeding. Eat soft foods, such as gelatin, pudding, or a thin soup. Gradually add solid foods to your diet as healing progresses.
~ Do not use a straw for the first few days. Sucking on a straw can loosen the blood clot and delay healing.
~ After the first day, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times a day to reduce swelling and relieve pain.
~ Do not smoke for at least 24 hours after your surgery. The sucking motion can loosen the clot and delay healing. In addition, smoking decreases the blood supply and can bring germs and contaminants to the surgery area. Avoid rubbing the area with your tongue or touching it with your fingers.
~ Continue to brush your teeth and tongue carefully. Your dentist will remove the stitches after a few days, if needed.