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 anæsthetic injection wait until normal sensation has
returned before eating or drinking.

It is probably advisable to take pain relieving tablets before the
anæsthetic wears off.  If you had a
general anæsthetic or intravenous sedation 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.

Antiseptic mouthwashes (such as
Corsodyl) or 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.
Last Updated 30th March 2021
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 otherwise.

If you need Help or Advice:

During normal working hours, contact the Oral Surgeon / Dentist.

For urgent help out of hours, you may need to attend your local A&E.