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Oral surgery can be traumatizing and painful, but taking a few steps before and after surgery will greatly decrease your recovery time, and also ensure that you feel more comfortable. Above all, it is very important to consult with your surgeon about aftercare before the surgery takes place, as every medical professional has tips and tricks that may help you. You should also follow all directions that your surgeon gives you, especially in regards to eating and drinking during the day or two prior to the surgery.
One of the most important things you can do to help your body recover from surgery is to eat well. Some patients lose weight after oral surgery because of difficulty eating and nausea. Your body needs nutrition to heal itself, so you need to make sure that you are eating enough. Take vitamin supplements in the period leading up to the surgery, especially vitamin C, and continue to take them after the surgery. Also lay in a stock of nutritious soft or liquid food, such as liquid dietary supplements, and rich broths. You may not feel like eating much food immediately after your surgery, so stick with mild clear foods and smoothies.
Avoid foods that are likely to irritate the surgical site, including hard and crunchy foods like chips, hard candies, and crusty bread. You should also avoid acidic foods, like lemons, because they can cause a stinging pain, and you may want to avoid sweets as well, as your mouth can be extra sensitive to sugar. After eating, rinse your mouth with a salt rinse or prescribed mouthwash to keep the surgical site clean.
Pain usually accompanies oral surgery, although the surgeon will have given a you a long acting analgesic shot at the surgical site. Pain has been shown to interfere with the healing process, so take all prescribed pain medications on the recommended schedule. When you run out, switch to over-the-counter pain relievers taken as needed, and do not take any pain medications on an empty stomach. You may also find it helpful to apply ice packs to your cheeks to help reduce swelling.
In addition to pain medications, most medical professionals will prescribe antibiotics after surgery. It is very important to complete the full course of medication to ensure that your mouth stays healthy. In addition, you do not want to contribute to the proliferation of antibiotic resistant bacteria, which is becoming a global health problem.
By taking care of your body as you recover from oral surgery, you will find your pain and healing time greatly reduced. You may want to consider getting a massage or participating in yoga after your surgery to further relax and heal your body. If you have any doubts about bleeding or pain, do not hesitate to consult your surgeon. Most surgeons prefer to be informed about emergent issues, and they can determine whether or not the problem is serious.