Dental Emergency: Do's And Don'ts After The Oral Surgery

A dental emergency may occur at any time. People try to avoid them, but sometimes this isn't possible. The first thing to do in this situation is to contact the dentist. They often can help or refer their patient to another dentist who can. 

Dental Emergency: Do's And Don'ts After The Oral Surgery
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In some cases, oral surgery will be needed to resolve the problem. When this happens, the patient needs to know what steps to take following the procedure. Anyone who has had a dental emergency that required surgery should remember the following things. 

Allow the Body to Rest

As with any surgery, the body needs to rest following oral surgery. Lie down when needed, but keep the head propped up. This ensures adequate blood flow to the area and minimizes swelling of the mouth and face. In addition, having the head propped up helps to keep excessive bleeding to a minimum.

The head should be at a minimum of a 45-degree angle to open the blood vessels and keep the volume of blood around the wound at a reasonable level. Lying flat increases the swelling that could lead to throbbing at the surgery site. 

Don't Exercise 

A person should not exercise in the 24 hours following oral surgery. Any excessive physical activity could increase bleeding at the wound site. In addition, the dentist may recommend minimal physical activity for seven days following the procedure. This activity could increase the pain the patient experiences, so it is best to take it easy. This doesn't mean all physical activity should be avoided, however.

A person can engage in light physical activity after three days. If any pain develops, wait a day or two before trying again. In addition, if the dentist prescribes pain medication, take care when exercising. These medications can make a person drowsy. Speak with the dentist to learn when it is okay to exercise again, as they know what was done and can make the best recommendation. 

Avoid Drinking with a Straw

Following oral surgery, avoid drinking from a straw for at least 24 hours. The sucking motion used to draw liquid into the straw along with the force at which the liquid enters the mouth could lead to the clot over the wound dislodging. This brings about a painful condition known as dry socket. The clot is present to protect the sensitive bone and nerves. Once this clot is dislodged, an infection may develop. This increases the pain the person experiences. 

Take Medications as Directed

In many cases, the dentist will prescribe antibiotics along with a painkiller following oral surgery. Always take these medications as directed. Many people discontinue the antibiotic because they feel better, only to have an infection take hold.

Other people feel they don't need the painkiller or put off taking it as scheduled. It's best to stay ahead of the pain by taking the medication as directed. In fact, dentists recommend setting an alarm and taking a scheduled dose in the middle of the night to ensure the pain doesn't become overwhelming. 

Talk with the dentist to receive full instructions on how to care for the wound site and what is needed for a full recovery. They often recommend ice packs to keep swelling down and will let the patient know how often to rinse the mouth. In addition, they provide information on when it is safe to brush the wound site.

Ask questions to ensure everything is understood. Doing so helps ease the recovery process and speed the healing of the mouth. 

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