New Albany (812) 944-4000
Corydon (812) 734-0125

New Albany (812) 944-4000  / Corydon, IN  (812) 734-0125

Post Op instructions

Post-op Instructions

Recovering From Surgery

Normally after any surgery, you may experience some temporary alterations in the mouth and cheek area during your recovery.


You may experience a slight oozing of blood the first day and night following surgery. Remember that one drop of blood mixed with your saliva may lead you to believe that your bleeding is much worse than it actually is. There may also be some discoloration in the area of surgery. This black and blue mark will normally turn yellow and fade within a few days. On the day of surgery, you may be advised to apply pressure on the bleeding area for a certain period of time by biting on a piece of gauze or a moistened tea bag. This application controls excessive bleeding by helping a blood clot to form in the surgery area. It is important not to disturb the clot so that it can heal normally.

Temperature Elevation

There may be a slight elevation of temperature for 24 to 48 hours. If a fever continues, notify us.

Discomfort is usually the greatest on the first night after surgery. Dr. Homrighausen may prescribe a medication for you. However, if your discomfort continues to be severe, please let him know.


It is common to experience a temporary swelling of your cheeks and an inability to open your mouth wide. Dr. Homrighausen may advise you to apply ice packs on the day of surgery to alleviate this swelling. Swelling may increase over the next one to two days. Apply heat (hot water bottle or heating pad) after 24 hours for discomfort. Warm salt water rinsing after 24 hours will help healing and swelling on the inside of the mouth.

Possible Unusual Situations

Because there are always risks involved whenever you have surgery, be sure to call us if you have persistent, bright-red bleeding, fever, or if you experience constant and increasing discomfort after 48 hours. You should be aware of the following possible unusual situations.

Paresthesia (numbness)

Impacted teeth may be close to or in actual contact with the nerves that supply sensation to the teeth, gums, chin, cheeks, lips, and tongue. Sometimes these nerves can become injured when the tooth is removed, causing a numbness, and tingling. In most cases, if this happens, the nerve repairs and regenerates in a short time. However in some cases, numbness can be permanent.

Localized Osteitis (dry socket)

Healing can be delayed if the blood clot covering the socket is dissolved or washed away. This exposes the bone and leads to constant, deep throbbing discomfort several days after surgery. If you experience these symptoms, call us immediately.

These can usually be treated by draining the infection, administering antibiotics, or by using both methods.

Sinus Problems
Because the upper wisdom teeth are close to the sinus cavity, on rare occasions the removal of the upper wisdom teeth can, occasionally open the sinus cavity. The sinus usually heals, but if a situation persists, further treatment may be needed.

Weakening of the Jaw
Although it rarely occurs, removal of an impacted tooth can weaken the jaw, making it more susceptible to fracture.

Important Tips!

  • Do eat soft foods such as blenderized meals or gelatin desserts the first day or two.
  • Do drink lots of fluids, avoid using a straw. It can create a suction that may loosen the blood clot protecting the socket.
  • Do apply ice packs intermittently to your face to reduce any swelling the day of surgery.
  • Do apply heat after 24 hours for discomfort.
  • Do plan to take off from work or school; your routine may be disrupted for a few days after surgery.
  • Do gently rinse with a solution of 1/2 teaspoon salt to 8 oz. warm water, 3-4 times a day, and continue for several days.
  • Don’t smoke for 48 hours after surgery. It can create a suction that could loosen the protective blood clot.
  • Don’t drink alcohol while you are taking any prescribed pain medication or antibiotics.

On the Day of Surgery:
Avoid cleaning the teeth next to the healing area. It is important to brush & floss your teeth thoroughly at least once a day. The tongue should also be brushed. This should eliminate the bad breath & unpleasant taste that is common after oral & maxillofacial surgery. Always use a soft bristled brush so that you do not injure the tissues in your mouth.

Remember, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is an extremely common procedure. We will do everything possible to make sure that your surgery and recovery proceed as smoothly as possible.


Call either the New Albany or Corydon office for assistance.