Post-operative Instructions

Immediately Following Surgery

  • The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for a half hour. After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and discarded.
  • Vigorous mouth rinsing or touching the wound area following surgery should be avoided. This may initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged.
  • Take the prescribed pain medications as soon as possible. 
  • Restrict your activities the day of surgery and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable.
  • Place ice packs to the sides of your face where surgery was performed. Refer to the section on swelling for explanation.


You should begin taking pain medication as soon as soon as possible. For mild to moderate pain, 1 Tylenol (extra strength) every 6-8 hours is recommended.  Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-3 tablets may be taken every 6-8 hours as needed for pain. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Do not take the two medications at the same time.

Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic to them, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.

Oral Hygiene

Mouth cleanliness is essential to good healing. Clean your mouth thoroughly after each meal beginning the day after surgery. Brush your teeth as best you can.

REMEMBER: A clean wound heals better and faster.


Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Be aware that your normal nourishment intake is reduced. Exercise may weaken you. If you get light headed, stop exercising.


If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the tablets or liquid as directed. Antibiotics will be given to help prevent infection. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or other unfavorable reaction after consultation with our office. Call the office if you have any questions.

Birth Control Medication

The use of Penicillin or Tetracycline may decrease the effectiveness of oral contraceptives and the use of alternative birth control methods is recommended for the entire duration of taking the birth control pills, not just the antibiotic.

Nausea and Vomiting

In the event of nausea and/or vomiting following surgery, do not take anything by mouth for at least an hour including the prescribed medicine. You should then sip on coke, tea or ginger ale. You should sip slowly over a fifteen-minute period. When the nausea subsides you can begin taking solid foods and the prescribed medicine. If the nausea persists, please contact our office.

Oro-Antral (Mouth Sinus) Communication

You have a potential sinus communication/opening between the surgical site and the sinus cavity. If this does not heal properly and remains open, then a chronic sinus problem may result. The following precautions need to be followed to minimize complications associated with your sinus as well as allow proper healing post-operatively. If you have any questions, please call our office.

  • Do not blow through your nose. This will tend to blow air through the sinus communication/opening in your sinus.
  • If you have to sneeze, open your mouth. When your mouth is closed, the pressure generated by your sneeze will force air through the sinus communication/opening causing it to heal incompletely or reopen.
  • Take the medications that have been prescribed by the doctor. This will help the sinus to heal.

Please remember that the above directions are to help the sinus to heal and to limit the possibility of the need for further surgery to close the sinus opening.

It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call the office