Dental Departures
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What can I expect after surgery?

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In most cases, the recovery period lasts only a few days. The following will help speed recovery: <ul><li>Take painkillers as prescribed by your dentist or oral surgeon. Apply an ice or cold pack to the outside of your mouth to help relieve pain and swelling. </li> <li>After 24 hours, rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water several times a day to reduce swelling and relieve pain. Make your own salt water by mixing 1 tsp (5 g) of salt in a medium­sized glass [8 fl oz (240 mL)] of warm water. </li> <li>Change gauze pads before they become soaked with blood. </li> <li>Relax after surgery. Physical activity may increase bleeding. </li> <li>Avoid smoking. </li> <li>Eat soft foods, such as gelatin, pudding, or a thin soup. Gradually add solid foods to your diet as healing progresses. </li> <li>Do not lie flat. This may prolong bleeding. Prop up your head with pillows. </li> <li>Avoid rubbing the area with your tongue. </li> <li>Do not use sucking motions, such as when using a straw to drink. </li> <li>Continue to carefully brush your teeth and tongue. After the tooth is removed, you may need stitches. Some stitches dissolve over time, and some have to be removed after a few days. Your dentist will tell you whether your stitches need to be removed.</li></ul>

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