Oral surgery may be used to treat a range of injuries, defects and diseases affecting your teeth, gums and jawbone. Recovery from oral surgery can take several days, but there are steps you can take to help speed up the process. Here are eight tips for a faster recovery.
1. Protect the Surgical Area
Limit talking, eating and drinking for the first few hours after surgery. You should also avoid spitting, so you don’t disturb your wound.
Plan on taking it easy after surgery. Most patients can resume normal activities within 24 hours, but avoid strenuous activities for at least a week.
3. Stick to a Soft Diet
Eat soft after surgery. Diets can usually be advanced within a week but avoid hard, hot or chewy foods that might irritate the wound.
4. Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of liquids, but don’t drink through a straw, as the suction could disturb your wound. Avoid drinking carbonated, caffeinated or hot beverages in the first 24 hours after surgery.
5. Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco
Avoid alcohol and tobacco for at least one week following surgery, as both can delay healing and increase your risk for complications. The surgery might be a perfect time to quit and improve your health. If you need help to stop smoking, talk to your doctor.
6. Use a Cold Compress
Apply a cold compress to your face as directed by your oral surgeon for the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery. This will help to minimize swelling, bruising and discomfort.
7. Take Pain Medication
Take pain medications as directed by your oral surgeon. Your surgeon may recommend over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, or may prescribe stronger pain medications.
8. Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Carefully brush your teeth using a soft-bristled manual toothbrush, but be gentle around the surgical site. You may be advised to avoid rinsing your mouth for the first 24 hours after surgery. After that, rinse with warm salt water every few hours and after meals for one week.
Recovery from oral surgery can take time and is different for everyone. By following these tips and your oral surgeon’s postoperative instructions, you can improve your chances of making a fast and full recovery.
If you have any questions or concerns about recovering from oral surgery, contact Dr. Elias and Dr. Paonessa at 914-873-0045.