After Apicoectomy & Soft Tissue Surgery

-Bleeding: The gauze that was placed over the surgical site should remain in position for 30 minutes.  Replace with a fresh gauze every 30 minutes until the bleeding appears to have stopped.  Remember to remove the gauze anytime you are eating, drinking, or sleeping.  A certain amount of bleeding is expected and the saliva may be blood tinged for 24-48 hours.

-Pain: If you have been given a prescription for relief of pain, use it as directed.  The medications may be taken after consuming adequate amounts of food in order to avoid stomach upset.  Avoid alcoholic beverages and driving.

-Swelling: This is common following surgery.  Apply an ice bag to the outside of the face over the surgical area at 20 minute intervals (ie: 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, repeat) ONLY for the first 36 hours following surgery.  Keep your head elevated on 2 or 3 pillows when resting to help reduce swelling.  Swelling reaches its maximum in about 24-36 hours post surgery and may last several days thereafter.  Discoloration of the skin of the face and neck may occur in some individuals following surgery.  Do not be alarmed.  Apicoectomies and root surgeries on upper teeth may cause the lower eyelid to swell.  If this happens do not be alarmed. 

-Mouth Rinsing: Starting tomorrow, rinse mouth gently with ½ teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces warm water after each meal and at bedtime for one week.

-Hygiene: Continued meticulous hygiene is important. Normal care should be maintained, but the surgical area should be excluded from care involving brushing, flossing, or dental irrigation appliances.

-Diet: Good nutrition post surgery is essential.  Soft and bland foods are advisable for the first 24 hours.  Do not use a straw when drinking as it disturbs the healing process.

-Activities: Avoid heavy lifting, strenuous exercise or bending below the waist for at least one week following surgery. 

-Fever: A low grade fever may occur following surgery and should be no cause for alarm

-Smoking: Avoid smoking for the first week following surgery and highly encouraged to stop thereafter.  Smoking causes severe irritation to the fresh surgical area and impairs the normal healing process.