Tips to Recover Faster after Dental Surgery
Various types of oral surgery can be rough on the mouth and gums. After you have a wisdom tooth extraction, for instance, or tooth implants or abscess tooth treatment, you can expect that there will be some bruising and swelling taking place. Instead of having to grin and bear it, you can greatly reduce the bruising and swelling that usually occurs after oral surgery by following some simple steps.
About BruisingNormally, you can expect bruises to start appearing within a couple of days following surgery. This is a normal occurrence, and it does not indicate that you have an infection. It will be black, blue, green and yellow in appearance. Bruising may also be evident down the front or on the sides of your neck. It can be expected to appear more severe in elderly patients and in people who are on blood thinners.
About SwellingSwelling after surgery can be expected to appear on your face and will likely remain for several days. As a result of the swelling, your jaws are apt to become stiff, especially on the side where the surgery took place. If the swelling becomes worse after four days, an infection may be suspected and the dentist should be notified right away.
You may also have a sore throat after the dental surgery. If it occurs, it should not surprise you. The muscles in your throat may also become a little swollen and it could make swallowing food somewhat painful, but it will disappear after a couple of days.
About Blood ThinnersIf you are on blood thinners, it is important to let the dentist know beforehand. The dentist will likely provide specific instructions about either reducing these medications a few days prior to surgery or possibly stopping them altogether until shortly after the surgery. Being on these medications is likely to increase the amount of bleeding and bruising you will have after dental surgery. In some cases, the dentist may need to talk to the doctor about the procedure beforehand and get recommended changes for the medications.
Bromelain – This natural supplement is an excellent bruise remedy and it is derived from pineapples. It will not only help to reduce bruising and swelling, but it can also help to speed up the healing process. Pain that is often experienced after surgery will also be reduced by bromelain. For best results, you want to start taking one 500 mg tablet two days in advance of the surgery every eight hours.
Arnica Montana – This natural supplement is taken from a wildflower that typically grows in Siberia and central Europe, as well as in some places in the northwestern United States. Arnica has been proven to be able to reduce bruising and swelling, and also to enable patients to recover from pain sooner after surgery or trauma. The product SinEcch Arnica Montana from alpinepharm.com comes with 12 capsules and instructions. They are to be taken before and after the surgery or best results.
Ice PacksSwelling from a routine extraction will often be minimal, but if the surgery is more involved, it will not likely reach the maximum amount until the second or third day. In order to reduce the swelling further, use an ice pack (or a bag of frozen peas) that has been wrapped in a towel. Never place bare ice on the skin. Hold it on the swelling for twenty minutes, and then keep it off for the next twenty minutes, then repeat as needed.
In most cases, you will not need to alternate between on and off with the ice packs for more than about six hours. On occasion, you may need to use ice packs some the next day.
Stop SmokingThe use of any kind of tobacco is going to slow down the healing process. Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in the gums, which not only slows healing but also reduces the effectiveness of the immune system to fight bacteria. It is recommended that patients completely refrain from smoking for about three days after the oral surgery.
Avoid Solid FoodIn order to promote healing, you should avoid solid food. Substitute it with soft or liquid foods and avoid chewing on the side of the jaw where the surgery took place. Some foods may cause irritation, such as spicy foods, and some sodas, hot or cold drinks.
Keep Your Teeth CleanIn most cases, you should continue to brush your teeth and floss – unless you are told not to by the oral surgeon. Brush carefully around the surgical site to avoid loosening the clot, or possibly causing serious infection.
If you need dental oral surgery and want to minimize and control bruising and swelling, you can get professional help from Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board Certified Periodontist. He has offices in the Carrollton, TX and Grapevine, TX areas. For a consultation or dental treatment for better dental health, you can contact his office today at (817) 756-8578.