Today I’m taking it easy, recovering from oral surgery. After putting it off for way to long, I finally had my wisdom teeth and two molars removed yesterday. I was dreading it SO bad, worse than any other major procedure I’ve ever had done. So far though it’s not been as bad as I was anticipating. I have a few tips to share which will make recovery easier if you have oral surgery.
Tips for Easier Recovery From Oral Surgery
1. Stock up on Soft Foods.
Soup, jello, pudding, yogurt, and mashed potatoes are great to dine on after oral surgery.
Make sure you have some ice packs ready. This will help reduce the swelling in your face. Here are 5 ways to make your own icepacks. My surgeon sent me home with an ice pack but it only stayed cold for about 10 minutes.
Another way to reduce the swelling is to use cabbage leaves. Yes, I said cabbage leaves. Many women use cabbage leaves after pregnancy to help dry up their milk supply. One of the nursery nurses at the hospital where I work suggested using cabbage leaves to reduce the swelling in your face following surgery. She advised me to place cabbage leaves on my cheeks while I sit here and relax and watch TV. She said that it stinks but it works! I don’t have a lot of swelling, so I haven’t tried this method yet.
3. Tea bags to stop the bleeding.
My mouth bled for almost 7 hours after surgery. I was having to change the gauze in my mouth every 30 minutes to an hour. I finally got online to try and find a solution to curb the bleeding. Tea Bags! Yes, that’s right, tea bags will help stop the bleeding following oral surgery. Simply wet a tea bag (or two in my case), squeeze the water out, fold it up and place it in your mouth where the teeth were removed. Leave the tea bags in your mouth for approximately 20-30 minutes. After I did that, the bleeding stopped.
4. Take your medicine!
Don’t wait for the pain to start before you take your first dose of pain medicine. Your surgeon or dentist may give you prescription pain medication and an anti-inflammatory or they may instruct you to take over the counter medication. Whatever type of medication they recommend, take your first dose when you get home. Don’t wait for the numbness to leave, go ahead and get the pain medicine in your system before the sensation returns to your mouth. Remember, don’t operate a motor vehicle while on pain medication!
5. Keep yourself propped up.
Last night I found that it was easiest to sleep in the recliner. I am a side sleeper so propping myself up with lots of pillows in the bed is pretty uncomfortable. I discovered that when I would lay on my side in the bed my mouth would start throbbing. So sleeping in the recliner was easiest for me.
6. Rinsing and spitting.
Do not rinse or spit during the first day following your surgery. This can cause the blood clot to dislodge, resulting in dry sockets. My doctor gave me a prescription for a mouth rinse which will aide in the healing process. You can also gently rinse with warm salt one (1 teaspoon table salt in a 12 ounce glass of warm tap water) after each meal and at bedtime.
7. Take it easy.
Try to plan your surgery when you can take a few days off from work or when you can take the weekend to recover. While you are recovering it will help not to talk a lot! If you have a job that doesn’t require a lot of talking you may be able to go back to work sooner.
Let your family wait on you and take care of you for a few days!