If you recently had oral surgery, you may be wondering how to speed up the healing process. Oral surgery can cause mild pain and discomfort, swelling, and bleeding. While you can't skip over the healing process, there are ways to make sure it goes smoothly so you avoid complications. Here are some things to do in order to heal faster and more efficiently after you have had oral surgery.
What to Do
In order to heal faster after you have had oral surgery, there are some things that you should concentrate on. First of all, make sure you get plenty of rest. The body heals better when you are resting and do not overdo it. To reduce bleeding and swelling, you should prop up your head instead of lying flat on the pillow. In addition, follow these steps to improve the healing process:
- If the swelling is uncomfortable, place a soft ice pack on your face in short increments.
- Follow a liquid diet until the post-surgical bleeding stops, then gradually switch to soft foods. Smoothies, yogurt, pudding, gelatin, soup and mashed potatoes are all good foods to start with.
- Take all pain relievers and antibiotics as directed. Do not skip a dose of antibiotics just because you are starting to feel better. You need to take the entire bottle as directed to avoid an infection.
- Brush gently twice a day and floss very carefully. While it may feel uncomfortable, you still need to keep up with your oral care regimen. Follow your dentist's instructions for oral care. You may be asked to not start flossing or rinsing with mouthwash for a day or two, depending on the type of oral surgery you had.
- Eat a healthy diet to aid in the healing process. Get plenty of vitamins and minerals through your food by eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
What Not to Do
There are also some things you should not do after oral surgery, as these things can slow the healing process and increase your risk for infection and other complications. Follow instructions from your dentist for how long to rest after surgery, and do not try to overdo it or overexert yourself. Do not do the following things after you have oral surgery:
- Do not smoke cigarettes. The sucking motion of smoking can cause your blood clot to come out, which may cause an extremely painful condition called dry socket. Tobacco is also known to slow the healing process, so avoid it after you have surgery.
- Do not eat or drink anything that is too hot. You may not feel pain from extreme temperatures due to being numbed shortly after surgery, so it is best to avoid hot temperatures until the anesthesia wears off.
- Avoid hard and crunchy foods with the tooth that got surgery, including chewing gum, peanuts, popcorn, ice, and taffy candy.
If you follow these tips, you will heal from oral surgery as quickly as possible.