What you should know after surgery

For your convenience, here are some instructions and information to help you know what to expect, alleviate your pain, and make your recovery swift and effective.

General Questions

Sinus Precautions

Due to the close relationship of the roots of upper teeth to the sinus, many times when a tooth is extracted, it will leave an opening between the mouth and the sinus.  For this reason it is important to follow these sinus precautions:

  1. Take all prescriptions as directed.

  2. Avoid blowing your nose or sneezing for two weeks.  If you must sneeze, do so with your mouth open to avoid pressure in the nasal area.

  3. Do not drink through a straw for two weeks.

  4. Do not smoke for two weeks.

  5. Eat soft foods for several days – chewing on the opposite side of the mouth as much as possible.

  6. Do not rinse the mouth vigorously for two weeks.

It is not uncommon to have a slight amount of bleeding from the nose for several days.  If this should occur it should resolve without treatment.


A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following any surgical procedure in the mouth. Minor bleeding or blood in the saliva may occur for the first 24-48 hours. Bite on the gauze for 1 hour following surgery. If bleeding persists, place fresh gauze directly over the bleeding area and bite down firmly and continuously for another hour. Repeat as needed, making sure that the packing is pushed back far enough to be directly over the surgical site. In the rare case of uncontrollable bleeding, please contact the office immediately.


Some discomfort may be normal following surgery. If a prescription for medication was given, it should be taken as directed. If pain is not severe, Aspirin, Tylenol, or Ibuprofen, etc., may be taken every four hours as needed. Many pain medications can cause stomach upset and should therefore be taken with food. Pain medication should be taken before the numbness wears off and before there is any pain. Do not drive, operate hazardous machinery, or drink alcohol while taking any prescription pain medication.


Swelling is the body’s normal response to the surgery and the beginning of the healing process. It is usually in proportion to the surgery involved and will vary among different individuals. Normal swelling will increase over the first 48 hours and will resolve over 5-7 days. The swelling may be minimized by placing ice packs to the sides of the face, 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off, during the first 24 hours. (Keep head slightly elevated during the first 48 hours.) Moist heat should NOT be applied during the first 48 hours unless specifically directed to do so.


A soft diet is recommended for the first 24-48 hours. It is best to avoid hot drinks and carbonated beverages for the first 48 hours. DO NOT disturb the surgical site any more than necessary. After the first day or two, you may eat anything you are able to eat without causing pain or bleeding. Drink plenty of fluids. Refrain from using a straw.


DO NOT rinse unless specifically instructed to do so. DO NOT rinse vigorously and DO NOT rinse with salt. DO NOT rinse with hydrogen peroxide. DO NOT rinse with mouthwash. You may brush your teeth the day after surgery, being careful in the area where surgery was performed.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (360) 923-5412.


DO NOT SMOKE for 7 days following surgery. Smoking will greatly increase post-operative pain and significantly delay healing.

If we can be of service or if there is ever anything further we can do for you, please do not hesitate to ask. We appreciate the opportunity to have you as a patient.

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