Some discomfort is to be expected after surgery. Dr. Dale Gallagher and our team want you to have a comfortable and speedy recovery, so we have put together some information to guide you through the next through days.

Bleeding

Some bleeding may occur around the incision site. This is a normal part of the healing process. Our oral surgeon in Austin, Texas, will be happy to see you in our office for any concerns if necessary.

Swelling

After surgery, swelling is normal. The majority of swelling occurs on the second and third days after surgery.

Remember: Swelling is a natural part of the healing process. It’s your body’s way of protecting the surgical area.

Bruising

In some cases, bruising may occur near the surgical site or around the ear(s), neck or jaw. This is normal, so there is nothing to worry about. Bruising is your body’s way of recycling red blood cells.

Numbness

Dr. Dale Gallagher administers local anesthesia during surgery. Numbness around your ear(s) and cheek area may last for several weeks or months. The numbness will gradually dissipate over the weeks/months after surgery.

Diet

Drink plenty of fluids. A NO CHEW, soft food diet is to be followed for 3 months post-operatively or until instructed by Dr. Dale Gallagher. Some soft food ideas include: ice cream, yogurt, pudding, protein milkshakes, overcooked pastas/vegetables, soups, macaroni and cheese, eggs, pancakes, mashed potatoes, ground meats, baked fish, and chopped BBQ. Make sure you eat before taking any of the prescribed medications to prevent an upset stomach. Any chewing WILL damage your joint(s)!

Sutures

The sutures in the surgical site(s) will be removed by Dr. Dale Gallagher 2 weeks after surgery. Your mouth will not be wired shut.

Incision Care

The only necessary care is to wash your hair and face daily and apply ointment to the incision site(s) regularly for the first 2 weeks. Avoid excessive sun exposure to the surgical site to prevent scarring.

Exercise

Light to moderate exercise the day after surgery will help reduce swelling and help you feel better. Get up, take a shower, move around, and participate in your normal activities as much as possible. The quicker you get back to your normal routine, the better you will feel.

Sleeping

You can sleep as normal. You will not damage any area by sleeping on it.

Prescriptions

Dr. Dale Gallagher prescribed you with antibiotics, anti-swelling medicine, and pain medication (take the pain medication as needed). Take your antibiotics and anti-swelling medicines as directed until they are gone to promote healing. Make sure you eat before taking your medication.

Jaw Exercises

Stretch and exercise your jaw 3 to 4 times each hour, starting the day of surgery and throughout the healing period until a full range of motion has been reached. Your goal will be to open at least 40mm. Opening and stretching your jaw muscles (up/down or left/right) will NOT damage your joints or surgical site. The only way to damage your joint(s) at this point (with the exception of trauma/accident/injury to the jaw) would be to chew during the first 3 months following surgery.

Temperature

Body temperature elevation may occur following oral surgery. If your temperature rises above 100°F, take a fever reducer, like Tylenol, every 4 to 6 hours.

Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene is essential to proper healing, so brush your teeth!

Reminders

  • No smoking (This will slow the healing process drastically).
  • No alcohol until all medicines are finished.
  • NO CHEWING!
  • Stretch and open your jaw.

Feel free to call at 512-258-1636 with any questions.