After the Removal of Multiple Teeth
Home Instructions After the Removal of Multiple Teeth
The removal of many teeth at one time is quite different from the extraction of just one or two teeth. Because the bone must be shaped and smoothed prior to the insertion of a denture, the following conditions may occur, all of which are considered normal:
- The area operated on will swell, reaching a maximum in two days. Swelling and discoloration around the eyes may occur. The application of a moist warm towel will help eliminate the discoloration. The towel should be applied continuously for as long as is tolerable, beginning 48 hours after surgery. (Remember: ice packs are used for the first 48 hours only).
- A sore throat may develop. The muscles of the throat are near the extraction sites. Swelling into the throat muscles can cause pain. This is normal and should subside in 2-3 days.
- If the corners of the mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with an ointment like Vaseline. There may be a slight elevation of temperature for 24-48 hours. If your temperature continues to rise, notify our office.
Bite down firmly on the gauze packs that have been placed over the surgical areas, making sure they remain in place. Do not change them for the first hour unless the bleeding is not controlled. If active bleeding persists, place enough new gauze to obtain pressure over the surgical site for another 60 minutes. The gauze may then be changed every 45 to 60 minutes until bleeding has stopped or slowed.
Swelling should be expected and can be minimized by using a cold pack, ice bag or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel and applied firmly to the cheek adjacent to the surgical area. This should be applied twenty minutes on and forty minutes off during the first 48 hours after surgery. After using a cold pack for the first 48 hours, you should apply warm compresses to the skin over the area of swelling (hot water bottles, heating pad or hot moist towels) for 20 minutes on and 40 minutes off to help soothe tender areas. This will also help decrease swelling and stiffness.
You should take your first dose of pain medication before the anesthetic has worn off. Some patients find that stronger pain medicine causes nausea, but if you precede each pain pill with a small amount of food, chances for nausea will be reduced. The effects of pain medications vary widely among individuals. Remember that the most severe pain is usually within six hours after the local anesthetic wears off; after that your need for medicine should lessen. If you are taking large amount of pain medicine at frequent intervals, please call our office.
Eat any nourishing food that can be taken with comfort. Avoid extremely hot foods while the numbness is present. Do not use a straw for the first few days after surgery. It is sometimes advisable, but not absolutely required, to confine the first day’s intake to liquids or pureed foods (pudding, yogurt, milk shakes, etc.) It is best to avoid foods like nuts, sunflower seeds, popcorn etc., which may get lodged in the socket areas. Over the next several days you may gradually progress to solid foods. It is important not to skip meals! If you take nourishment regularly you will feel better, gain strength, have less discomfort and heal faster. If you are a diabetic, maintain your normal eating habits or follow instructions given by your doctor.
Keep the mouth clean
Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential. Please use the prescribed mouth rinse for seven days, then use the warm salt rinse only. 1/4 teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8 ounce glass of warm water and gently rinse with portions of the solution, taking five minutes to use the entire glassful. Repeat as often as you like, but at least two to three times a daily.
Begin your normal oral hygiene routine as soon as possible after surgery. Soreness and swelling may not permit vigorous brushing, but please make every effort to clean your teeth within the bounds of comfort.
If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the tablets or liquid as directed. Antibiotics will be given to help prevent infection. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or any other unfavorable reaction and contact our office immediately. Call the office if you have any questions.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea is not uncommon after surgery; it can be reduced by preceding each pain pill with a small amount of soft foods, and taking the pill with a large volume of water. If nausea remains uncontrolled, please call our office.
If immediate dentures have been inserted, sore spots may develop. In most cases, your dentist will see you within 24-48 hours after surgery to make the necessary adjustments and relieve those sore spots. Failure to do so may result in severe denture sores, which may prolong the healing process.