Helping After Oral Surgery

There are many reasons why a person might require oral surgery.  Removing impacted teeth, such as wisdom teeth, is a common reason for oral surgery.  Impacted teeth is known to cause pain, infection, damage to other teeth or even destruction to the jaw.  The process of inserting dental implants is also a fairly common dental procedure that involves surgery.  Jaw problems, facial injuries and infections also sometimes require surgery.

If one of your friends or loved ones is having oral surgery, they may need your assistance during the recovery process.  The recovery process isn't typically a long one, but it can still be painful. 

  • Your loved one will likely be under some type of anesthesia and should not be allowed to drive home.  One very helpful thing you can do is go to the surgery with them, listen to any specific instructions from the surgeon and be available to drive them home afterwards.  They may feel nauseous after the procedure so having something on hand in case they get sick on the drive home is a good idea.
  • Help them keep up with their pain relievers and other drugs.  The recovery process can be painful and it is important to stay on top of the pain.
  • Allow them to sleep after the procedure.  Turn on movies or television shows that aren't complex and don't require a lot of thinking, make them a cozy space and let them sleep it off.  They need to rest for at least a day.  Most people can return to normal activities the following day but should avoid heavy activities and exercise for several days.
  • Help them make good nutritional choices and provide them with plenty of soft foods.  Protein is important to the healing process, so chicken soup or protein shakes are a good choice.  Make sure they don't use a straw, however, as that could cause suction that will hurt their wounds.  Cold foods, like ice cream and popsicles, can also be used to help the pain.  Other soft foods to serve them are instant mashed potatoes, baby food and applesauce.
  • Your loved one will need to stay hydrated.  They should drink a lot of water and avoid caffeine, carbonation and hot drinks for at least a day. 
  • Keep them on ice.  The area that was worked on will likely be sore and ice will help.  Flexible ice packs that can conform to the face are the easiest to use. 

If you have any questions about oral surgery, consider contacting a specialist, such as Oral And Maxillofacial Surgical Associates, to discuss your concerns.