You find yourself comfortably settled in the padded recliner chair at your dentist’s office. But a moment ago, the news of upcoming facial and oral surgery cast a shadow. Whether it’s wisdom teeth extraction, dental implants, or jaw correction, the prospect can feel unsettling.

Beyond the procedure itself, questions about recovery linger. How can you ensure a smooth healing process?

Undergoing oral and maxillofacial surgery can lead to improved oral health, facial appearance, and overall well-being. But it’s the days and weeks that follow that shape your experience. Read on for a guide that offers golden tips to help you speed up post-surgery recovery.

Get Enough Rest

After your surgical procedure, it’s crucial to give your body time to rest and heal. Think of rest as your body’s best friend during this time, providing it with the peace it needs to repair itself.

Create a comfy, cozy space where you can relax, and try to minimize any stressful activities or thoughts. Your body does its best healing work when you’re asleep, so aim for plenty of quality sleep.

Don’t rush back into your daily routine; listen to your body and allow it the downtime it deserves. This isn’t laziness; it’s an essential step on your path to recovery.

Stop the Bleeding

It’s normal to experience some bleeding after surgery, but managing it properly is important. If your oral surgeon has given you gauze pads, use them as instructed.

Biting down gently on these pads helps create pressure that can stop the bleeding.

If you need to change the gauze, do so carefully and follow any specific instructions from your surgeon. Keeping the bleeding under control not only helps with healing but also keeps you feeling more comfortable and less anxious about the recovery process.

Take Pain Medication

Your comfort is key to a smooth recovery, and managing pain is a big part of that. Your doctor will likely prescribe pain medication after surgery, so follow their instructions closely. These meds are designed to keep discomfort at bay, making it easier for you to rest and heal.

Remember, taking your medication as directed isn’t just about feeling better; it’s about creating an environment where your body can focus on healing without the distraction of pain.

Use a Cold Compress

Swelling is a natural part of the healing process, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through it. Applying a cold compress to the outside of your cheek can help reduce swelling and provide relief.

Do this for about 20 minutes at a time, with breaks in between, especially during the first 48 hours after your surgical procedure. It’s a simple yet effective way to soothe your discomfort and speed up your recovery.

Embrace Soft Foods

Your mouth might be sore, and chewing can be a challenge right after oral surgery. This is the time to stick to soft foods like soups, smoothies, yogurt, and mashed potatoes.

These foods are not only gentle on your surgical site but also ensure that you’re getting the nutrition your body needs to heal. Plus, there’s something comforting about a warm soup or a cool smoothie that just makes everything feel a little better.

Don’t Disturb the Wound

Curiosity might tempt you to poke around the surgical site with your tongue or fingers, but it’s important to resist this urge. Disturbing the wound can interfere with the healing process, leading to increased discomfort or even infection.

Let the area heal undisturbed, and if you have concerns or questions about what’s happening in your mouth, reach out to your surgeon instead of investigating on your own.

Make Hydration a Priority

Water intake aids in the circulation of blood. This is essential for delivering nutrients to the surgical site and facilitating the removal of waste products from the body. These actions are vital for promoting efficient and effective healing after oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Moreover, proper hydration keeps the mucous membranes in your mouth moist. This not only helps with comfort but also reduces the risk of infections. A well-hydrated body can better fight off potential pathogens and support the immune system’s function.

Both are crucial post-surgery when the body is more susceptible to infections.

Go for Follow-Up Appointments

These appointments are your roadmap to recovery. They allow your oral and maxillofacial surgeon to monitor your healing, make any necessary adjustments to your care plan, and address any concerns you might have.

Think of each follow-up as a chance to learn how to maintain oral hygiene without disrupting the journey to full recovery. Plus, it’s always reassuring to hear that you’re on the right track straight from your healthcare provider.

Keep an Eye Out for Complications

Being vigilant about your recovery after surgery is more than just following instructions. It’s about knowing when something isn’t quite right.

Your body has its own ways of signaling for help, and being aware of these signs can make all the difference in ensuring a smooth recovery. Some common red flags to watch for include:

  • Unusual swelling that gets worse over time
  • Severe pain that doesn’t improve with medication
  • Signs of infection like fever or pus at the surgical site
  • Excessive bleeding that doesn’t seem to stop

Staying in tune with your body and being proactive about any concerns is key. If you notice anything that feels off, don’t hesitate to reach out to your surgeon or healthcare provider. It’s always better to err on the side of caution and get checked out.

Find a Team You Can Trust With Your Facial and Oral Surgery

Knowing what to do and avoid is crucial for ensuring a smooth and fast healing process after facial and oral surgery. The good news is that you don’t need to figure everything out on your own.

At Jenkins, Morrow & Gayheart, we understand that surgery can be nerve-racking for people of all ages. This is why our friendly and professional team is dedicated to providing personalized and compassionate care. Our goal is to help every patient navigate the treatment process with grace and ease.

Reach out to us if you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment.