When you receive simple dental treatments such as fillings or teeth whitening, you can usually return to your normal activities right after the procedure. When it comes to oral surgery, however, it’s important to follow specific steps to enhance your recovery. In fact, failing to practice proper aftercare can increase your risk of developing infections, dry sockets, and other painful complications. If you plan on having a tooth extraction or any other type of dental surgery in the near future, here are five tips you can follow to enjoy a stress-free recovery.
5 Tips on How to Recover from Oral Surgery
1. Clear Your Schedule
Depending on the intensity of your procedure, you may need to take at least one day away from normal activities. This rest will allow your body’s immune system to get to work and speed up the healing process. Relaxing can also help reduce stress, which in turn minimizes pain and discomfort.
2. Eat Mouth-Friendly Foods
Hard, chewy, sticky, and crunchy foods can all irritate the surgical area. For example, eating these items can cause blood clots to fall out and expose highly sensitive nerves — a situation also known as a dry socket. To prevent damage, it’s better to eat soft foods that don’t require much chewing, such as yogurt and mashed potatoes. If possible, chew with the more unaffected side of your mouth.
3. Decrease Swelling
Due to your body’s natural inflammatory response, you should expect your mouth to swell temporarily after the procedure. Since swelling can increase pain, you can address the problem by taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications or applying a cold compress to the affected area for 10 minutes at a time.
4. Follow Cleaning Instructions
When treatment areas are highly sensitive after oral surgery, your dentist will provide specific cleaning instructions. In the hours following the procedure, for instance, apply fresh gauze every 30 minutes to help control bleeding. If you can’t brush or floss, rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution to prevent infection.
5. Take Medications as Prescribed
If your dentist prescribed medications for your oral surgery recovery, be sure to follow the instructions exactly. Pain medications, for instance, may need to be taken within a certain time frame to prevent discomfort. A full course of antibiotics may also be required to minimize the risk of infection.
If your mouth isn’t feeling its best, Tri-State Dental Care can provide the oral surgery procedure you need. Based in Fort Wright, KY, this experienced family dentist is qualified to perform standard and emergency procedures with care and precision. Whether you’ve fractured a tooth or are dealing with a severe infection, this team will develop a treatment plan to relieve your symptoms and preserve your smile. For more information on their personalized dental care services, visit this practice online. To schedule an appointment, call the office at (859) 426-2790.