Minor oral surgery: aftercare | St. Antonius Ziekenhuis (2024)

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After undergoing minor oral surgery some aftercare is required. Following these instructions will help minimise post-operative pain and swelling, prevent infection as well as aid healing.

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  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Restricted opening of the mouth
  • Diet
  • Further care
  • Smoking and alcohol
  • Wisdom tooth removed?
  • Additional details
  • When to contact us
  • Expertise en ervaring


The local anesthetic should wear off between 2 to 4 hours. After that you may experience some pain. Pain relievers can help relieve the pain. You will receive a prescription. It is best if you start using a pain reliever before the local anesthetic wears off completely.


Your wound may bleed a little in the first hour after surgery. The bleeding will stop by itself. It is best not to spit out the blood as this activates the wound to bleed more. If there is too much blood in your mouth, you may use a clean gauze to clean up some of the blood because swallowing too much blood may make you nauseous.

Your mouth may also contain some blood the day after your surgery. If the wound begins to bleed more heavily, you may do the following: use a clean gauze or handkerchief (no cottonballs) to clean and dry out your mouth. Do not, for any reason, rinse your mouth out! Take a new, moist gauze and fold it into a small pad and place it onto the wound. Bite on this gauze with a light, steady pressure for 1 hour. It is important to apply constant pressure to the wound. If the wound is still bleeding after this, please contact us.


You may experience some swelling after surgery, this is normal. The swelling will be at its worst 3 days after surgery and will slowly go away. To help reduce the swelling you can use an ice pack wrapped in a towel or handkerchief. Hold it where you’ve been treated for 15 minutes, then take it off for 15 minutes. Keep switching every 15 minutes and continue for about 2 hours. Bruising is also normal and if this happens your cheek will be swollen and discolored a little longer than normal.

Restricted opening of the mouth

You may have difficulty opening your mouth after surgery. This usually happens when surgery takes place in the back of the mouth. It should return to normal after a couple of days. You can help by trying to open your mouth wider every now and then.


It is best to eat soft foods for the first 2 days. Do not skip any meals, use the same proportions for your meals, and keep your food/drinks lukewarm.

Further care

To allow the wound to heal properly, do not rinse your mouth out or brush your teeth on the day of your surgery. You may start normal oral hygiene the next day. We advise you to use the prescribed mouthwash for a period of 5-10 days or you may rinse with a saltwater solution.

Smoking and alcohol

It is best not to smoke or drink any alcoholic drinks for a period of a week after your surgery. They both slow down the healing of the wound.

Wisdom tooth removed?

Keep the wound clean

After the removal of your wisdom tooth there will be a hole where the roots used to be. It’s important to keep this hole clean so the wound can heal. Below are the instructions on how to keep the wound clean by using an irrigation syringe with a curved tip.

When should the wound be rinsed?

You need to rinse the wound when:
•food gets in the wound
•you get a nasty taste in your mouth

This nasty taste can occur a couple of days after your surgery. Do not start rinsing the wound directly after your surgery, wait 3 days before beginning.

How to rinse the wound

You can use an irrigation syringe with a curved tip to rinse the wound. Use a glass of lukewarm water to fill the syringe. Put the tip of the syringe in the hole where your wisdom tooth was and carefully rinse the wound.

Minor oral surgery: aftercare | St. Antonius Ziekenhuis (1)

How often should you rinse the wound

You should rinse the wound after every meal and before you go to bed. Everytime you rinse the wound you should rinse it twice.

Additional details

The oral surgent will check the boxes belowthat apply to you:

0The wound is closed with stitches that do not dissolve or the wound contains a tampon with medicine. An appointment to remove the stitches or tampon will be made.
0Root channel treatment: a temporary filling is used. Please make an appointment with your dentist to place a permanent filling.

Open sinus: blood may come out of your nose and mouth for the first two days. This is normal and will stop by itself. These kind wounds are sensitive to pressure. Please follow the instructions below:

  • try not to smoke;
  • do not blow your nose;
  • if you must sneeze, sneeze with your mouth open;
  • do nog play any wind instruments.

These advices are valid for a period of 10 days.

  • If the bleeding does not stop.
  • If your body temperature exceeds 39°C/102°F.
  • If after 4 to 5 days the pain or swelling does not go away but stays the same or worsens.
  • If you are worried or have any other questions.

Expertise en ervaring

Bij onze kaakchirurgen en tandartsen kunt u terecht voor alle onderzoeken en behandelingen van klachten, aandoeningen en afwijkingen in en om de mond, het gezicht en de hals. Het specialisme Kaakchirurgie & Mondziekten biedt een breed pakket aan hoogwaardige zorg.

Wij werken nauw samen met de tandarts, huisarts en/of specialist die u heeft doorverwezen naar het St. Antonius Ziekenhuis. Daarnaast werken we nauw samen met de tandartsen van het Centrum voor Bijzondere Tandheelkunde (CBT) en de Tandarts Spoed Praktijk. Op de afdeling is een mondhygiëniste werkzaam.

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Minor oral surgery: aftercare | St. Antonius Ziekenhuis (2024)


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