Thank you for selecting our services for your oral health care needs. Some discomfort should be expected following oral surgery. To ensure the most comfortable and speedy recovery, we have put together some information to guide you through the next few days.
Some bleeding or drainage from the nose should be expected for several days and is a normal healing process. Do not blow your nose, wipe gently to clean. You may swab the inside edge of each nostril with Vaseline/antibiotic ointment to keep area moist. Dr. Gallagher will be happy to see you in our office daily if needed for remove excess drainage.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. The majority of swelling occurs on the second and third days after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag, plastic bag, or towel filled with ice on the cheek in the area of surgery. Ice may be applied to the area for up to 24 hours after surgery in intervals of 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off. It is best to resume normal activities the day following surgery to help reduce the amount of swelling. Walking is great exercise and you are encouraged to walk several times a day. After the first 24 hours neither ice nor moist heat is needed for the surgical site. ** Remember that swelling is a natural healing process. It is your body's way of protecting the surgical area.
In some instances, bruising can occur near the surgical site or around the neck or jaw. This is a normal, healthy response and there is nothing to be concerned about. Bruising is your body's natural way of recycling red blood cells.
Local anesthesia is administered during surgery. Numbness in your mouth, lips and face will last for several weeks and/or months. The muscles used to swallow and breathe will be working normally; however, it may seem difficult to swallow because your skin surfaces may be numb.
Drink plenty of fluids. A NO CHEW soft food diet is to be eaten for 3 months post operatively or until instructed by Dr. Gallagher. Some soft food ideas are: ice cream, yogurt, pudding, protein milkshakes, overcooked pastas/vegetables, soups, macaroni and cheese, eggs, pancakes, mashed potatoes, ground meats, baked fish, chopped BBQ, etc. Be sure to eat before taking any of the prescribed medications to prevent an upset stomach. No drinking through straws for the first 3 weeks after surgery or until the sutured areas inside mouth have healed completely. Any chewing WILL cause damage to surgical sites and will prevent the bones from healing!
The sutures used in the surgical site should dissolve. They generally dissolve on their own in 3-4 weeks. If you have areas of discomfort around the sutures please inform Dr. Gallagher.
Light to moderate exercise the day following surgery will help reduce swelling and help you feel well. Get up, move around, take a shower, and participate in normal activities as much as possible. The quicker you get back into your regular routine the better you will feel.
Sleep with your head slightly elevated the first night following surgery. Use an extra pillow. Then continue with your regular sleeping habits. You will not damage any area by sleeping on it.
You were prescribed antibiotics, anti-swelling medicine and a pain medication (take pain medication as needed). Continue taking antibiotics and anti-swelling medications as directed and until they are all gone to help promote healing. Again, always make sure have eaten prior to taking your medication. It is also important to use the mouthwash twice a day (after you brush your teeth).
You may be instructed to wear orthodontic rubber bands for a period of time following surgery to train your muscles into your new bite position. These will be worn 24/7 and removed only to eat or while brushing your teeth then replaced with new rubber bands. Each patient is different and will be instructed by Dr. Gallagher if and when bands will be needed and for what period of time.
Temperature elevation can occur following oral surgery. If your temperature rises above 100OF, take a fever reducer such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) every 4-6 hours, the mouth being warm after oral surgery is normal and to be expected.
You will experience a congested/stuffy nose this first week following upper jaw surgery. This is part of the swelling/healing process and is normal. Dr. Gallagher will instruct you to use nasal spray twice daily. Once in the morning and once at night, spray the left side in the morning (2 sprays) and the right side at night (2 sprays). You may spray saline solution to rinse your nose as often as you desire.
Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. The day after surgery, the prescribed mouth rinse should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds then spit it out. Warm salt rinses (teaspoon of salt in a cup or warm water) should be used at least 4-5 times a day, as well, especially after meals. Brush your teeth! Just be gentle with brushing the surgical areas. Do not rinse with water after using the mouthwash!