Lake Norman Oral & Facial Surgery • Dr. Raymond J. Haigney II • 9727 Northcross Center Ct. Huntersville, NC 28078 (704) 987-3132

9727 Northcross Center Ct. Huntersville, NC 28078 (704) 987-3132

Recovery After Oral Surgery

Recovery should be your top priority following oral surgery in huntersville north carolina. In order to prevent the risk of infection or complications, always follow the post-surgery guidelines provided by your surgeon or dentist. Following these guidelines will help ensure you have a fast and optimal recovery after surgery.

Bleeding After a Tooth Extraction

Bleeding is completely normal following a tooth extraction. Light bleeding may occur for up to 24 hours after surgery. Be sure to use the provided gauze and apply firm, steady pressure to the area for an hour. Be gentle and careful when removing the gauze. It may be helpful to drink a bit of water to moisten the gauze if it feels stuck or is difficult to remove. This will help prevent subsequent bleeding.

If the surgical area continues to bleed for an extended period of time or is not reduced using these methods, contact your dentist or surgeon.


Swelling is another normal and expected response to oral surgery. You can use pillows to keep your head elevated and minimize the swelling. You may also periodically use an ice pack on the outside of your face for the first 24 hours after oral surgery. The swelling is usually completely gone within 7 to 10 days. Stiffness in the face is also common and can occur for up to 10 days after oral surgery. Slight bruising may also occur. This is especially common when the surgery involved your lower wisdom teeth.

If you have concerns about swelling, or the swelling is not improved within 7 to 10 days, contact your doctor.

Pain After Oral Surgery and Medications

Pain after oral surgery can vary significantly depending on the procedure performed. Your dentist or surgeon will prescribe medication, as needed for pain management. Be careful to follow instructions and prescribed dosage. In addition, always consult with your dentist or surgeon prior to taking any over-the-counter medications in addition to any prescriptions. If you are prescribed an antibiotic, it is important to complete the medication prescribed in order to prevent infection.

Rest and Recovery

Rest is critical following oral surgery and it is recommended for at least two days following the procedure. Physical activity is not recommended for at least two to three days after your surgery. Most patients are able to resume normal activities about 48 hours after surgery.

Oral Hygiene After Oral Surgery

Avoid vigorous rinsing and spitting for at least 24 hours. Be gentle with brushing and floss only when you’re able to open your mouth wide enough. Mouthwash is not recommended. If necessary, lightly rinse your mouth with water and let it fall out of your mouth without spitting.

24 hours after surgery, you may try rinsing your mouth with a salt water mixture. This will help keep the surgical site clean and naturally aid in the healing process. The saline solution can be made by mixing one tablespoon of salt and one cup of warm water. Be careful not to swallow the solution.

If your procedure included a tooth extraction, do not try to remove anything from the socket or hole. Lightly rinsing can help remove food particles from the area.

Tobacco Use

For at least 24 hours after oral surgery, do not smoke. Smoking prolongs the healing process and can even cause a painful infection or dry socket. The use of chewing tobacco is also discouraged until your mouth has completely healed.

More on Oral Surgery : Oral Surgery Frequently Asked Questions

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Patient Testimonial

"Words cannot express enough, how wonderful, caring and professional Dr. Haigney and his staff are! After being rushed to the Huntersville hospital with an orbital fracture, broken nose and other facial damage, Dr. Haigney rushed me into surgery (on his day off I must add) and corrected all my problems. I only wish all doctors cared as much about their patients and their recovery as Dr. Haigney and his staff did. Thank you so much for everything! Your attention and compassion has helped me make my recovery as comfortable as possible. 5 star service!"