Oral Surgery Biopsy


Surgery of any kind places stress on the body. Get adequate rest and avoid strenuous activity for a few days following your oral surgery procedure. If you received intravenous sedation or general anesthesia, it is important for someone to stay with you until you have recovered fully from the effects of these medications. Post-operative problems may be minimized by knowning and honoring the following instructions. Please read them carefully.


Bleeding should be minimal after oral surgery. However, a small amount of oozing would not be unusual. Avoid vigorous rinsing, spitting, smoking, and drinking through a straw for the first day after surgery because all of these activities will disturb the wound and reinitiate bleeding. Assume a semi-upright position, using two pillows in bed. If bleeding occurs, apply constant pressure with a gauze pad over the surgical site. If significant bleeding still continues, call the office for advice.


Swelling and bruising are normal reactions to oral surgery and vary from patient to patient and from one surgery to another. You may use ice chips in your mouth or an ice pack on your face next to the surgical site. Alternate 20 minutes with ice and 20 minutes without ice. After the first 24 hours, the ice will not have much effect on swelling, but may make the surgical site feel better. Swelling usually reaches its maximum point 48-72 hours after oral surgery.


Most surgical procedures in healthy patients have only a low risk of causing an infection. Some patients may be placed on antibiotic medication. It is important to follow the directions on the label and take the medication until it is completely gone. An antibiotic oral rinse may also be prescribed. If you develop hives or a rash, discontinue all medication and contact the office immediately. There may be a slight elevation in temperature for 24 to 48 hours after oral surgery. This is a normal body response to the oral surgery. If the temperature persists or is greatly elevated, please notify the office.


After any surgical procedure, some swelling and discomfort should be anticipated, though the degree of these side effects varies considerably from patient to patient, even after identical procedures. This discomfort normally reaches its peak between 48-72 hours after the procedure. If you have minor pain, try an over-the-counter drug, such as Tylenol, Advil, or Aleve. Avoid aspirin and aspirin-containing products because these interfere with blood clotting. If you have been given a prescription for a stronger pain medication, have it filled at a convenient pharmacy and take the medication as directed. The pain may make you drowsy, so you should never drive a car or perform any important tasks while medicated. The pain medication should never be taken on an empty stomach. If you develop hives or a rash, discontinue all medication and contact our office immediately.


Post-operative nausea is usually due to swallowing a small amount of blood during and/or after oral surgery. A small amount of a carbonated drink, such as 7-Up or Ginger Ale, every hour for 5 or 6 hours will usually relieve this feeling. Sometimes pain medications can cause nausea. If nausea continues, contact our office.


A bland liquid diet is recommended for the day of oral surgery. Following this, soft food high in vitamins and protein is advised. Avoid crunchy, spicy, or acidic foods, which may irritate the surgical site. The doctor will tell you when it is all right to resume a normal diet. No alcohol is to be consumed for the first four days after the procedure.


You should rinse your mouth gently with a warm salt water solution 5 or 6 times a day. You may begin this as soon as you get home, if there is no bleeding. Continue this treatment for the first week after oral surgery. You may brush your teeth after oral surgery, but avoid the treated area for a few days. The cleaner you keep your mouth, the faster and easier the surgical site will heal.


Smoking is a great irritation to surgical sites in the mouth and will significantly increase discomfort. Smoking delays healing and will increase the risk of infection of the surgical site. Smoking should be avoided or greatly reduced during the healing period. Your lips may be dry and cracked due to the stretching of the corners of your mouth during oral surgery. Your lips should be kept moist with Vaseline or other lip ointments.

Should you have any post-operative problems or questions, do not hesitate to call the office so that we can help you.