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After a surgical procedure , a certain amount of swelling, discomfort and inability to open the mouth widely can be expected. These problems can be minimized and healing can be hastened if the following suggestions are adhered to.

NO RINSING, SPITTING, SMOKING OR USE OF A STRAW FOR THE FIRST 24 HOURS FOLLOWING SURGERY.

1.) Prescriptions - take all medications as directed. Your discharge drugs will usually include a pain reliever. Any medications must be taken at the correct time interval and in the proper amount to be fully effective.

2.) Diet - resume your normal diet as soon as it is comfortable for you to chew. In the meantime, clear carbonated drinks are suggested first, then soft foods (eggs, moist cereal, Jell-O, pasta). Your healing ability is dependent upon a high protein, nutritious diet. Feelings of nausea are also prevented by the proper diet.

3.) Hygiene - your mouth may be quite sore at this time, but oral hygiene is necessary to assist healing. After the first 24 hours, salt water rinses (1 teaspoon per 8 ounces) four times a day and after every meal along with a gentle tooth brushing is highly recommended. Care must be taken not to disturb the sutures or surgical site, but careful tooth brushing will help keep the mouth free of excess bacteria and food debris that may delay healing or cause infection.

4.) Swelling - is normal in the surgical removal of teeth. This surgery often requires an incision of the gum tissue and removal of bone. Swelling is the normal response of the body to injury and need not cause alarm. Ice initially will retard some swelling; however after the first day, it is of doubtful value. The swelling will generally subside after the first 4 or 5 days postoperatively.

5.) Bruising - sometimes after the surgical removal of teeth, bruised or "black and blue" areas are noted about the face, neck and around the eyes. This is unusual but should not cause alarm. Although unsightly, these areas will resolve spontaneously.

6.) Bleeding - the surgical sites may ooze slightly with movement of the jaws. This is not unusual and should subside within a day or two. If bleeding is more severe, place a fresh piece of gauze and bite on it. If not controlled by this method, you should contact Dr. Modugno for further assistance.

7.) Numbness of lips or tongue- as explained to you prior to surgery, this problem is rarely encountered. If your lips or tongue are numb or have a strange sensation, this will usually resolve on its own over a variable period of time. However, it can be permanent. It is best to be patient and usually the outcome is full restoration of feeling in the affected areas.

8.) Postoperative appointment -- should be made for 5 to 7 days after surgery, only if needed.

These instructions are provided for you to assist in a normal, speedy recovery; use them to full advantage. Should any unusual situations arise please call 973-389-1110.