After bone grafting or sinus lift

After bone grafting or sinus lift procedures, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Bite on a gauze pad for 30 to 45 minutes immediately after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times to staunch the flow of blood.

Several stitches will be in place to hold the gum tissue and graft materials in place. It is important to not disturb the gum tissue or stitches. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities may dislodge or dissolve the stitches and hinder the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 72 hours, as this increases blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the surgical site.

You may at times feel some “sandy” particles in your mouth, kind of like finding bits of sand in your mouth when you visit beaches. These are bone graft materials that you feel, and it could be a normal occurrence as some bone graft materials will always leak out of the surgical site.  

Swelling

The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes, and sides of the face is not uncommon. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 2 to 3 days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Two baggies filled with ice, or ice packs, should be applied to the sides of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be left on 20 minutes on then 20 minutes off for as many cycles as desired while you are awake. After 36 hours, ice has no beneficial effect. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This is a normal reaction to surgery. Thirty-six hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face is beneficial in reducing the size of the swelling.

Pain

Let your doctors know all medication allergies!

You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you can, even before the numbness wears off. For moderate pain, one or two tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 3 to 4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2 to 3 tablets may be taken four times daily, not to exceed 3200mg daily for an adult. Consult our practice for individuals under 18. You can sometimes take both Tylenol and ibuprofen at the same time for an additive pain relief.

For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you have been instructed by your doctor not to take it. Do not drive an automobile or work around heavy or dangerous machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.

Diet

After general anesthetic or IV sedation only liquids should initially be consumed. Drink from a glass and do not use straws. The sucking motion can cause more bleeding by dislodging the blood clot. You may eat anything soft by chewing away from the surgical sites. A high calorie, high protein intake is very important. Our staff can provide suggested diet instructions. Nourishment should be taken regularly. You should prevent dehydration by taking fluids regularly. Your food intake will be limited for the first few days. You should compensate for this by increasing your fluid intake. At least 5 to 6 glasses of liquid should be taken daily. Try not to miss any meals. You will feel better, have more strength, less discomfort and heal faster if you continue to eat.

CAUTION: If you suddenly sit up or stand from a lying position you may become dizzy. If you are lying down following surgery, make sure you sit up for one minute before standing.

Keep The Mouth Clean

No rinsing of any kind should be performed until the day following surgery. The day after surgery you should begin rinsing at least 5-6 times a day, especially after eating, with a teaspoon of salt mixed into one cup of warm water.

Discoloration

In some cases, discoloration of the skin follows swelling. The development of black, blue, green, or yellow discoloration is due to blood spreading beneath the tissues. This is a normal post-operative occurrence, which may occur 2 to 3 days post-operatively. Moist heat applied to the area may speed up the removal of the discoloration.

It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

After a few days you should feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2 to 3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at Cascadia Oral Surgery, Kirkland WA Phone Number 425-358-2726.