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Advice having had oral surgery

Date issued: August 2023

Review date: August 2025 

Ref: A-424/maxfax/SC/Advice having had oral surgery v3

PDF:   Post op advice letter final August 2023 v3.pdf[pdf] 130KB

After your operation it is expected that you may have some swelling of your face, discomfort and difficulty in opening your mouth. The facial swelling will be at its most 24/48 hours after the operation and should subside during the following few days.

Post-operative care


To minimise the possibility of bleeding occurring in the first 24 hours from the time of your operation:


Avoid very hot and cold food and drinks (tea/coffee may be taken if allowed to cool a little).

Do not

Rinse mouth, smoke, drink alcohol.

If bleeding still occurs in spite of following the above advice:

  1. Make a pack from clean material, e.g. handkerchief or swab (not cotton wool or tissue) and dampen with clean water.

  2. Place the pack over the area which is bleeding and bite firmly for 10 minutes.

  3. Repeat until bleeding stops. If this is not successful after 3 or 4 attempts contact the hospital. (Details overleaf)


Discomfort may increase 48 - 72 hours post-surgery. This is normal and should settle within a few days. You may be prescribed some painkillers to take as prescribed. If you are not given painkillers, simple tablets such as Paracetamol (NOT ASPIRIN) can be taken.

Oral Hygiene  


Although the area of the operation will be sore, return to gentle brushing 24 hours after the operation.

After 24 hours

  1. Fill a glass with water as hot as you can tolerate.

  2. Add a teaspoon of salt.

  3. Take a mouthful of the solution and hold it over the operation area for 20 seconds. Spit out and repeat for each area at least twice per session.

           If mouth wash is prescribed, follow instructions on the bottle.


Eat a soft diet for 24/48 hours and drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot drinks.

Gradually return to a normal diet as healing continues.


If antibiotics have been prescribed – please complete the course – even if you are feeling completely better halfway through the course. Completing your antibiotic course is important to prevent bacteria becoming resistant to the drug.

Please note:

If you are on the contraceptive pill, the pill’s effectiveness could be compromised by certain antibiotics/vomiting/lack of absorption. Therefore take additional contraception precautions whilst taking the antibiotics and for 7 days after completing the course. If these 7 days run beyond the end of a packet of contraceptive pills the next packet should be started immediately without a break.

Some patients experience numbness or ‘pins and needles’ sensation in the lower lip or tongue. If this applies to you, please mention it to the Oral Surgeon you see – normal sensation usually returns within a few weeks.

You may be able to feel small pieces of bone around the sockets. These usually work loose and are shed, but if they cause pain or swelling you should contact the Hospital.

We hope your recovery from treatment is problem free.

Problems: if problems occur within two weeks - you should contact either:

  1. The Maxillofacial Department on 01752 432983 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday

  2. Lynher Ward on 01752 792274

After this period please contact your dentist if you have problems

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