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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.)

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.


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.

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.


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.


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.


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.