Oral surgery is any procedure that involves cutting into or removing tissue from your mouth. It includes procedures like removing a tooth, gum surgery, and getting dental implants. Oral surgery also includes getting rid of diseased tissue from the mouth, correcting jaw problems, or repairing a cleft lip or palate.
Who does this procedure?
Your dentist may perform oral surgery or refer you to an oral surgeon, called an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. An oral surgeon is a dentist who has completed a university post-graduate specialty program in oral and maxillofacial surgery.
Oral and maxillofacial surgery is a specialty of dentistry that deals with the surgical treatment of disorders, diseases, injuries and defects of the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial regions and related structures.
Sometimes, after minor oral surgery, you may have pain, bleeding and swelling. Proper care after oral surgery will help your mouth heal quickly and cleanly. Here’s what usually happens after oral surgery and how you can deal with it.
You have pain
Once the anesthetic (freezing) wears off, feeling some pain is normal. You might have the most pain in the first 24 to 48 hours after your surgery. Some soreness or discomfort at the site of the surgery may last for 3 to 5 days. The amount of discomfort is different from one person to another and from one operation to another.
You have bleeding
You will probably bleed for the first hour or 2 after surgery. The area may continue to ooze for up to 24 hours. Blood and saliva mix together in your mouth and this can make it look like you are bleeding more than you really are. After 4 hours, if you cannot control the bleeding by pressing firmly on the area with a gauze pad, call your dentist or oral surgeon.
You have swelling
Your face may swell in the first 24 hours after oral surgery. The swelling may last for 5 to 7 days. Once the swelling starts to go down, your face may bruise. The bruising could last for up to 10 days after your surgery.
Your jaw is sore
After surgery, your jaw muscles may be sore and it may be hard to open your mouth for up to 7 to 10 days. Your jaw muscles may have become stiff and sore from holding your mouth open during surgery.
- If you have any of the following problems after oral surgery, call your dentist or oral surgeon right away:
- You are bleeding a lot and it has been 4 hours, or longer, since your surgery.
- You have the feeling that you are going to throw up.
- You are throwing up.
- You have a fever.
- You have pain that does not get any better, and it has been 1 full day or longer since your surgery.
- Your swelling is still getting worse, and it has been 2 days or longer since your surgery.