General Advice Following
Operations In The Mouth
After any minor operation in the mouth a certain amount of
discomfort and swelling is inevitable but healing is usually
straightforward providing a few simple measures are taken
and the mouth is kept as clean as possible.

After effects of the anaesthetic: if you had a local
injection wait until normal sensation has
returned before eating or drinking.  It is probably advisable
to take pain relieving tablets before the
anaesthetic wears
off.  If you had a
general anaesthetic or intravenous
you may feel light headed, tired or nauseated for
a while.  Take only light refreshment and plenty of fluid and
rest until fully recovered.  Do not drive a car, use machinery
or take alcohol for at least 24 hours.

(If you are prescribed
antibiotics and also take the ‘Pill’ you
should note that it is not considered a safe method of
contraception during the
antibiotic course and for the rest
of the current menstrual cycle.)

Pain relief: Take pain relieving tablets as necessary.  Do
not exceed the recommended dose.  The discomfort may
be greater a day or two after the operation after which it
should steadily decrease.

Swelling: Facial swelling varies but it usually peaks on the
second or third postoperative day.  This is normal and may
take several days to resolve.  Any sudden increase in pain
and swelling after an initial improvement should be reported.

Bleeding: A small amount of oozing from fresh operation
sites is normal but should soon stop.  Avoid vigorous mouth
rinsing for the first 24 hours to leave the wound
undisturbed.  If more obvious bleeding occurs stay calm
and follow these simple instructions:

  • Using the sterile gauze provided, roll one of the gauzes
    into a sausage shape and place directly over the
    bleeding site.
  • Bite or press on the pack for at least 15 - 20 minutes,
    timed by the clock.
  • Rest quietly and repeat if necessary.

Keeping your mouth clean: Stiffness of the jaw may
restrict mouth opening for awhile but you should continue to
use a toothbrush gently.  Hot salt water mouth baths will
help to keep your mouth clean and aid healing.  Dissolve a
teaspoon of salt in a tumbler of water as hot as can
comfortably be held in the mouth.  Hold a mouthful next to
the operation site until the heat has gone and then spit it
out.  Do not rinse vigorously.  Use a full tumbler every hour
or so for the first day or two and then three times a day
after meals until the swelling and stiffness has settled.

Diet: You will probably only wish to take soft food for a few
days although there are no particular dietary restrictions.
Use a mouth bath after meals.  Any sutures (stitches) will
usually dissolve within 10 days unless you are advised

If you need Help or Advice:

During normal working hours, contact the Oral Surgeon /

For urgent help out of hours, you may need to attend your
local A&E.
Last Updated 5th January 2011