You're dreading the fact that you need to go through with the oral surgery, but millions of people every year undergo dental surgery; problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, and crowding of the teeth are the three most common reasons dental surgery is performed. The procedure itself may be uncomfortable, but most dental surgical procedures include anesthetics that temporarily sedate you, so no major pain is felt. The recovery time after a dental procedure is the most crucial and painful segment of undergoing dental surgery. You can speed the recovery time from dental surgery by following proper cleansing procedures, eating the correct foods, and avoiding contact with specific parts of the mouth.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Measuring cup
- Coffee mug
- Table salt
- Tooth brush
- Dental floss
- Mashed potatoes
Measure 236ml of water into a coffee mug. Microwave the water on high for approximately 30 seconds.
Dispense 1/2 tsp salt into hot water. Stir with a spoon to blend salt and water.
Gargle saltwater once in the morning, after every meal, and once before bed. Gargling saltwater minimises the pain associated with tooth decay and inflammation of the gum.
Avoid placing the tongue or fingers on the tooth and the side of the mouth where surgery was performed. Continuous touching of the oral area produces excess inflammation and irritation to the gum line and the tooth that can slow recovery time.
Be sure to proceed with normal dental care 24 hours after surgery. This includes brushing the teeth with a soft bristle tooth brush and flossing.
When brushing the teeth, a soft bristle toothbrush is recommended after dental surgery. A soft bristle tooth brush should not irritate the gum line and cause additional soreness of the mouth. Avoid the tooth and side of the mouth that has been operated on. Depending on the surgery, a crown, filling, or implant can be dislodged by excess pressure and movement.
When flossing the teeth, avoid flossing the tooth that has been operated on. If food becomes trapped around the tooth, one can floss by placing dental floss on one side of the tooth, and just lightly pulling the floss through to the other side of the tooth.
Eating soft foods such as oatmeal, mashed potatoes, yoghurt, and pudding for three days are recommended for those who undergo dental surgery. These foods require little to no chewing and will not agitate the tooth and mouth.
Tips and warnings
- Drink any fruit juice with the exception of orange juice; the acid in orange juice can severely irritate the gum and tooth operated on.
- Do not use a back and forth motion when flossing the operated tooth; this may cause bleeding and dislodgment of dental crown, filling, or implant. If any bleeding occurs for longer than 20 minutes, consult your local orthodontist immediately. This may indicate an infection or the formation of blood clots. If swelling persists after three days consult your local orthodontist immediately; this may indicate serious medical problems. Swelling is common after dental surgery, but should subside after two days. Allow hot contents from the microwave a minimum of 3 minutes to cool before removing and consuming. Failure to do so may result in burning of the mouth and fingers.
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