Post-Operative Instructions

Following your oral surgery, it is essential to follow these instructions to ensure a smooth and successful recovery.

Immediately After Surgery

  • The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for an hour. After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and discarded.
  • Mouth rinsing, spitting, sucking through a straw or touching the wound area following surgery should be avoided. This will initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged.
  • If instructed to do so, take ibuprofen as directed as soon as you remove the gauze from your mouth.
  • Take the prescription pain medications as instructed if you begin to feel discomfort. This may coincide with the local anesthetic (numbness) wearing off.
  • Restrict your activities and rest on the day of surgery. Resume normal activity when you feel comfortable or as instructed.
  • Keep ice packs over the sides of your face where surgery was performed. Refer to the section on Swelling for details.


Some bleeding is normal after oral surgery. Continue to bite down on the gauze provided until the bleeding stops.

If bleeding persists, replace the gauze and bite down for another 30-45 minutes. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened “black tea” tea bag for 30 minutes.

The tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. To minimize further bleeding, sit upright, and avoid exercise and excessive movement.

If bleeding does not subside, call our office at Scripps Medical Building, Carmel Valley office Phone Number 858-793-3393 for further instructions.


Swelling is a normal response to oral surgery and may last up to 48 hours. Apply an ice pack to the sides of the face where surgery was performed for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for the first 24 hours.

After 24 hours, switch to a warm compress to reduce swelling.


Bruising may occur after oral surgery and typically fades within a few days to a week.


Pain is common after oral surgery. For moderate pain, if instructed at your appointment take two ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) 200 mg tablets every four hours with a small amount of food or milk.

If your pain persists or worsens it may require attention and you should call our office.


You may experience discomfort, such as soreness or stiffness, after oral surgery. This is normal and should subside within a few days.

If instructed so by your doctor, for mild discomfort use aspirin, regular strength Tylenol or any similar medication; two tablets every four to six hours as needed for discomfort relief. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) 200mg can be taken two tablets every four to six hours with food.


If prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed to prevent infection.


Stick to soft, cool, and easy-to-chew foods for the first few days after surgery.

Avoid hot and spicy foods, alcohol, and carbonated beverages. Do not use straws when drinking from a glass.

Oral Hygiene

Brush your teeth gently but avoid the surgical area for the first few days.

Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater after meals and before bed to keep the area clean.

Physical Activity

Avoid strenuous physical activity for the first few days after surgery.

Do not participate in contact sports or heavy lifting until your doctor gives the go-ahead.

Drinking and Smoking

Do not drink through a straw for the first few days after surgery.

Avoid smoking for at least 24 hours after surgery, as smoking can delay healing and increase the risk of complications.

If you have any questions or concerns after your oral surgery, contact your doctor immediately.