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Post-Operative Instructions


  • There should be no pain immediately after the operation due to the local anaesthetic used. This should last for 3-4 hours before sensation returns slowly and care should be taken to avoid biting the lip or tongue during this time
  • Pain tends to be worse on the 2nd or 3rd day but gradually improves over a period of 7-10 days
  • Simple painkillers such as Paracetamol, Ibuprofen or Codydramol should control the pain
  • If there is a sudden increase in pain after a few days, this may indicate infection and the surgeon should be contacted.


  • This is common after surgery has been carried out in the jaw
  • The swelling reaches it’s maximum 2-3 days after surgery
  • The swelling should resolve 7-10 days after surgery
  • Bruising of the face occasionally occurs and can take up to 2 weeks to resolve


  • This should be minimal by the time you leave the surgery/hospital
  • Blood stained saliva is to be expected for 24-48 hours after the operation
  • Do not rinse the mouth for the first day. This may disturb the blood clot and cause bleeding
  • If persistent bleeding occurs, roll up a piece of gauze and place it over the wound and bite firmly over a period of at least 15 minutes

Oral Hygiene

  • The next day, use a hot salt-water mouth bath. The water should be as warm as possible and a spoonful of salt added. Take a mouthful and hold it still for a couple of minutes before spitting out
  • Repeat 4 times daily. This will help healing
  • Keep your teeth clean with gentle tooth brushing if possible. A tooth brush can be softened under a hot tap
  • Chlorhexidine (Corsodyl) mouthwash will help reduce plaque while tooth brushing is difficult


  • Your mouth opening will be restricted for about a week
  • Eating semi- solid food should be possible
  • Use your own discretion and gradually start eating normally according to your own pace


  • If you have stitches (sutures) in your mouth, these should dissolve and drop out after a period of 7-10 days


  • Antibiotics after the operation may be required in some cases
  • If necessary, antibiotics and painkillers will be prescribed or advice given

Time off work

  • This will depend on your profession and the amount of surgery
  • The average time off work should be between 3-5 days, but there is a great deal of variation between individuals


  • If follow- up is needed, this is usually 2 weeks after surgery