Six things to avoid after oral surgery

Speed up your postop recovery time by avoiding these problem areas.

1. Do not apply heat directly to your face

Some patients make the mistake of applying both heat and ice to aid healing and alleviate discomfort following oral surgery. After your procedure, you should be using ice only, applied in intervals of 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off for the first 48-72 hours. Your surgeon may recommend applying heat to your face in certain situations, but only use heat if you have been specifically instructed to do so.

2. Don’t overexert yourself

It’s important to give your body the time and rest it needs to heal. While you might not think cleaning the house or doing exercise relate to your mouth, your body needs downtime to focus energy on healing. It’s a good idea to tidy your house and get caught up on chores before the day of your appointment, so you can have two to three days to relax and take care of yourself.

3. Don’t use alcohol or tobacco

Consuming alcohol or tobacco can interfere with your healing process, extending the time it takes for your body and mouth to get back to normal.

4. Avoid straws

Drinking from a cup isn’t easy when your jaw is stiff and uncomfortable but it is important to not drink from a straw during the healing process for many procedures as the negative pressure in your mouth can dislodge a blood clot and cause dry socket or other problems.

5. Do not blow your nose if your surgery involved the sinuses

For oral surgeries involving the sinuses or near the sinus, it’s important to avoid blowing your nose during your recovery time. In the event that you have to sneeze, be sure to open your mouth to alleviate the pressure going through your nose.

6. Don’t be shy

If you have any questions regarding your oral surgery recovery, don’t hesitate to call your oral surgeon’s office. That’s what they’re there for. It’s much better to get your question answered than to do the wrong thing and delay your recovery time.