How can I Recover More Quickly from Oral Surgery?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 May 2019
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Oral surgery can be traumatizing and painful, but taking a few steps before and after surgery will greatly decrease your recovery time, and also ensure that you feel more comfortable. Above all, it is very important to consult with your surgeon about aftercare before the surgery takes place, as every medical professional has tips and tricks that may help you. You should also follow all directions that your surgeon gives you, especially in regards to eating and drinking during the day or two prior to the surgery.

One of the most important things you can do to help your body recover from surgery is to eat well. Some patients lose weight after oral surgery because of difficulty eating and nausea. Your body needs nutrition to heal itself, so you need to make sure that you are eating enough. Take vitamin supplements in the period leading up to the surgery, especially vitamin C, and continue to take them after the surgery. Also lay in a stock of nutritious soft or liquid food, such as liquid dietary supplements, and rich broths. You may not feel like eating much food immediately after your surgery, so stick with mild clear foods and smoothies.


Avoid foods that are likely to irritate the surgical site, including hard and crunchy foods like chips, hard candies, and crusty bread. You should also avoid acidic foods, like lemons, because they can cause a stinging pain, and you may want to avoid sweets as well, as your mouth can be extra sensitive to sugar. After eating, rinse your mouth with a salt rinse or prescribed mouthwash to keep the surgical site clean.

Pain usually accompanies oral surgery, although the surgeon will have given a you a long acting analgesic shot at the surgical site. Pain has been shown to interfere with the healing process, so take all prescribed pain medications on the recommended schedule. When you run out, switch to over-the-counter pain relievers taken as needed, and do not take any pain medications on an empty stomach. You may also find it helpful to apply ice packs to your cheeks to help reduce swelling.

In addition to pain medications, most medical professionals will prescribe antibiotics after surgery. It is very important to complete the full course of medication to ensure that your mouth stays healthy. In addition, you do not want to contribute to the proliferation of antibiotic resistant bacteria, which is becoming a global health problem.

By taking care of your body as you recover from oral surgery, you will find your pain and healing time greatly reduced. You may want to consider getting a massage or participating in yoga after your surgery to further relax and heal your body. If you have any doubts about bleeding or pain, do not hesitate to consult your surgeon. Most surgeons prefer to be informed about emergent issues, and they can determine whether or not the problem is serious.


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Post 11

I had oral surgery five days ago and it feels like it's not even healing. It stings when water touches it and I can barely smile or eat because when I open my mouth too much, it hurts like hell.

Post 9

I just had oral surgery at Unity Dental in Clifton NJ. I had seven upper teeth removed. no pain at all! the needle didn't even hurt! That was three days ago, I have had no swelling or bleeding issues and my dentures should be ready by the end of the week. Amazing!

Post 8

My auntie had oral cancer surgery in May. now she feels her neck aching. is that normal?

Post 7

I just had all my teeth out (21) to be exact and that was two days ago. Use ice packs for the first 48 hours and then heat after that. Stick with broths for the first few days. Swelling usually gets worse two or three days after surgery. Make sure to get the fluids into you and rinse with warm salt water starting the day after surgery. There is some pain but I seem to be tolerating it.

Post 6

I had dental implants and teeth pulled 11 days ago and have developed a huge knot under my chin. I'm still in pain and off work! Any advice? I'm tired of soft and liquid foods! --kat

Post 5

my face is so fat now from oral surgery. my cheeks look like a stuffed balloon!

Post 4

I just had all my teeth and bone on the lower gums removed two days ago

The pain/is was excruciating. Tylenol 3 helps and putting ice packs is starting to hurt my mouth. Any ideas? pam in pain.

Post 3

i just had five teeth removed from oral surgery last wednesday. and now its saturday. i had my caretaker (boyfriend) call my boss for me and requested the next week off as well. for me hopefully 1 1/2 weeks. good luck, and remember only soft foods!

Post 2

should I ask for one week off to recover?

Post 1

My daughter is planning to have her wisdom teeth removed over Christmas break. How much time should she request off from her employer?

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