Cosmetic Surgery Tips

What To Expect After Oral Surgery

What To Expect After Oral Surgery

If you have just had oral surgery, there are a few things you can expect as you recover. The first thing to know is that oral surgery is not a walk in the park. You will be uncomfortable and in pain, but it will pass. The second thing to know is that there are steps you can take to make your recovery easier.

The third thing to know is that we aren’t going anywhere—we are here to help! We have all been through this before and we want to make your experience as comfortable as possible.

Oral surgery is the removal of impacted or malpositioned teeth causing functional impairment and/or aesthetic annoyance. An orthodontic evaluation should precede as well as accompany elective surgery to determine if orthognathic alignment is possible. This blog article discusses the issues faced during and after oral surgery, including concerns during healing and future surgery planning. Read on to learn more on After Oral Surgery Signs Infection/Symptoms After Oral Surgery.

Dentist examining a patient's mouth
kumikomini / Getty Images

What To Expect After Oral Surgery

Oral surgery is a type of surgery performed on the mouth, teeth, gums, and jaw. While there are different types of oral surgeries, the most common one involves removing a tooth (tooth extraction), often because it is deeply decayed or impacted, or because of gum disease or overcrowding in the mouth. Sometimes, multiple teeth are removed, or a missing tooth is replaced (called a dental implant procedure).

For every oral surgery, there is a period of recovery. To optimize the healing process and to prevent complications, like infection, it’s important to follow your surgeon’s postoperative instructions carefully and precisely.

 The Ins and Outs of Gum Surgery

Treating Pain After Oral Surgery

The two main therapies used to alleviate pain after oral surgery are ice application and pain medication.


Your surgeon will give you specific instructions about icing, which can reduce both pain and swelling. For instance, they may recommend applying ice packs to your face (on the side where the surgery was performed) for 15-minute intervals (15 minutes on and 15 minutes off).

Pain Medication

Your oral surgeon will likely recommend either Tylenol (acetaminophen), a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) like Advil (ibuprofen), or a combination of the two, to ease your post-operative pain.

For optimal pain relief and to avoid the use of opioids, an “around-the-clock” pain regimen is generally recommended, instead of treating pain only when it surfaces.

Since opioids carry a risk of dependence1 and other undesirable side effects like respiratory depression, sedation, and constipation, they are generally avoided as first-line pain medications for oral surgery. That said, for more severe cases, your surgeon may prescribe an opioid for breakthrough pain.

The Healing Process

Postoperative instructions for oral surgery are often outlined using a day-by-day approach.

Below is the typical healing process for a surgical tooth extraction.

First 24 Hours

During the first 24 hours after surgery, your surgeon will likely advise you to rest, not engage in any physical activity, and stay home from school or work.

You also will likely be told to not drive, especially if you underwent general anesthesia or were given a sedative.


With a tooth extraction, slight bleeding is normal for up to 24 hours after surgery.

To help ease the bleeding, your surgeon may recommend biting down with firm pressure on a piece of damp sterile gauze for 30 minutes to one hour.

If bleeding continues, your surgeon may instruct you to bite down on a moist tea bag, as the tannic acid in teas has been shown to reduce bleeding and assist with clotting.2

To prevent choking, it’s important to not fall asleep with gauze in your mouth.


Swelling is a normal response to undergoing oral surgery. To minimize any swelling, you will probably be instructed to keep your head propped up with two to three pillows when resting and sleeping.

Icing also helps reduce swelling and inflammation.

Two to Three Days

By day two or three, you may be able to resume normal activities, which may include going back to work or school. That said, for more extensive procedures, like having multiple teeth removed, it may be one full week (or more) before you are able to do this.

The two-to-three day mark is also around the time that any stitches in your mouth will dissolve or fall out on their own. Less commonly, your stitches will need to be removed by your oral surgeon.

Seven to 10 Days

By post-operative day seven to 10, swelling is usually completely gone. If this is not the case or you have any concerns, be sure to reach out to your surgeon.

Besides swelling, stiffness in the muscles of the face should also ease up at this point. That said, you may see slight bruising, especially if the surgery involved your lower wisdom teeth.

Sometimes, an antibiotic is prescribed after oral surgery to help prevent infection. Since most antibiotic regimens last around seven to 10 days, you may be at or near the end of your course at this point.

Be sure to take your antibiotic as prescribed. If you are experiencing any side effects from the antibiotic, please contact your surgeon.

Two Weeks

Most oral surgeons will recommend a two-week follow-up appointment. During this appointment, your surgeon will evaluate your wound and look for any signs of complications, like an infection. Be sure to not skip this appointment, even if you are feeling fine.

Oral Hygiene

Usually, after oral surgery, your surgeon will advise you to brush gently with warm water (not toothpaste) and to rinse with a saline or saltwater solution. This will naturally help keep the surgical site clean and aid in the healing process. Instead of spitting out the warm salt water, allow it to simply fall out of your mouth.

In order to prepare your saline solution, place one tablespoon of salt in one cup of warm water. Do not swallow the saline solution. Repeat rinsing as necessary throughout the day.

By day three or four, your surgeon may give you the OK to start gently brushing with toothpaste and flossing. You should avoid vigorous rinsing or spitting, as this can increase bleeding.

Of note, about a week after you have undergone a tooth extraction, your surgeon may recommend irrigating the site of the tooth extraction a few times a day using a syringe filled with tap water. The pressure from the syringe can dislodge any food particles from the site.

Returning to Normal Activity

Generally speaking, a person may resume normal activities by postoperative day two to three, which may include going back to work or school and engaging in their typical exercise routine.

Foods to Eat

Besides staying hydrated, it’s important to follow your surgeon’s diet recommendations, which usually entail eating cold liquids and soft foods for the first day or two (sometimes longer, depending on your case) after oral surgery.

Examples of such cold liquids and soft foods include:

  • Yogurt
  • Milkshakes
  • Smoothies
  • Gelatin
  • Sherbert
  • Pudding
  • Applesauce

A couple of days after surgery, you may be allowed to incorporate warm, soft foods such as mashed potatoes, broths, and soups. Be sure to avoid chewy, crunchy foods (e.g., popcorn or carrots) for the first week, as these foods can get stuck in and irritate the tooth extraction site.

Your surgeon will most likely advise you to not use a straw for at least the first week after oral surgery. Suction may dislodge the blood clot that is keeping the wound closed in your mouth.

Finally, in order to optimize your postoperative healing, your surgeon may also recommend that you take a vitamin C supplement or consume foods that are rich in this vitamin.3

Foods and Items to Avoid

During your surgery, a local anesthetic will likely be given into your mouth to numb it. The numbness usually only lasts a few hours but can be longer for certain procedures, like a wisdom tooth extraction.

While the numbness is wearing off, it’s important to avoid hot foods and drinks that may inadvertently burn your mouth (because of the loss of sensation).

Since drinking alcohol and smoking have been found to impair wound healing4 in the mouth, your surgeon will want you to avoid these habits for up to a week or two after the surgery.

When to Seek Medical Attention

Even if you are attentive and careful with your postoperative instructions, issues can still arise. Be sure to contact your surgeon or seek medical attention right away if you encounter one or more of the following problems:

  • Bleeding that cannot be stopped with gauze
  • Signs of infection like a fever that lasts more than 24 hours after surgery and/or the presence of pus (thick whitish/yellow substance) in your mouth
  • Pain that is severe or persistent, despite taking medication
  • Swelling that is severe or persistent, especially if it affects swallowing or breathing
  • Signs of an allergic reaction (for example, a new rash)
  • Persistent numbness in your mouth and lips after the local anesthetic wears off

A Word From Verywell

The best thing you can do if you (or a loved one) have undergone oral surgery is to follow your post-operative instructions as closely as possible. This usually starts with taking a step back from life, resting, and focusing on your recovery.

After Oral Surgery Signs Infection

A chemical peel is a mixture of chemicals that forms gel-like consistency. It’s applied to the face in order to smooth the surface of the skin, remove the appearance of fine lines and remove blemishes. There are three types of chemical peels: mild, medium-depth and deep. Each have their advantages and serve different purposes.

What Are the Advantages of a Mild Chemical Peel?

  • Chemical peels help to smooth dry skin
  • Can help with pigmentation problems
  • Controls acne
  • Removes blemishes
  • Less recovery time
  • Helps with mild sun-damage
  • Reduces mild blotchiness
  • Fresher and younger looking appearance

What Are the Advantages of a Medium-Depth Chemical Peel?

  • Thin facial lines are removed or the appearance is less noticeable
  • The medium-depth reduces facial birthmarks
  • The pigmentation in the skin is improved
  • Helps with dry skin and old acne scarring
  • Helps with sun-damaged skin
  • Improves blotchy skin
  • Younger looking overall appearance

What Are the Advantages of a Deep Chemical Peel?

  • Ability to remove pre-cancerous growths
  • Deeper acne scar emanation
  • Long lasting effect
  • Eliminates deeper lines on the face??
  • Controls acne
  • Helps with deep or course wrinkles
  • Age spot removal
  • Only a single treatment is necessary
  • Smoother skin, younger appearance
  • Long-term results are very good when the peel is specifically for acne scarring

The advantages of chemical peels are many, and all three help with different issues. The deep chemical peels are reserved for those with the worst types of skin problems, including serious acne, scarring and birthmarks. Some disadvantages of chemical peels need mentioning.

What Are the Disadvantages of a Chemical Peel?

  • Excessive peeling normally happens more with the medium-depth peel and particularly with the deep peel
  • Stinging sensation when initially applied
  • Redness appears. Again, this is particularly so with the deep and medium peels. The light peel normally results in peeling like a sunburn.
  • Temporarily may feel a bit of numbness
  • Deep chemical peels can cause a crusting or scabbing after the treatment, as the deep dead skin cells are sleuthing off. This is temporary.
  • Sensitivity to the sun ? you will need to stay out of the sun for a short time after the peel as your skin is more sensitive
  • Costs can also be a disadvantage for some, since the average chemical peel cost $500 for each treatment

While some disadvantages do exist for chemical peels, the advantages do outweigh them particularly for those suffering from severe skin problems, such as acne or acne scarring. Even with the disadvantages, most people that have had them report they would have it again because of the overall improvement of their skin’s surface and the younger fresher look the entire chemical peels bring about. The discomforts often associated with a chemical peel are temporary and subside rather quickly.

Symptoms After Oral Surgery

1. The face and jaw will probably swell. Swelling is most marked within the first 48- 72 hours. Swelling may take a week to disappear.

2. Stiffness (trismus) of the jaws is Nature’s way of splinting and resting the part that needs to be repaired.

Prolonged or recurrent stiffness may be a warning of underlying infection. Please notify the office of stiffness if it seems prolonged or recurrent.

3. Numbness of the lower lip and chin and on the side of the tongue may occur on the day of the surgery. This is called “paresthesia,” and though it may be permanent, it is generally a temporary condition which will correct itself. It may remain anywhere from a few days to several months.

4. Black and blue marks (ecchymosis) on the face are caused by seepage of blood beneath the cheeks, chin or under the eye (blackeye). This may appear initially as a swelling, but often by the second or third day it may discolor the face. The color may progress from black-and blue to yellow-and-green, and the color may progress down your face onto your neck. It will gradually disappear over a week or two. Moist external heat will assist in resolving the surgically created bruise.

5. You may have a slight earache.

6. You may have a sore throat.

7. Other teeth will possibly ache temporarily. This is called sympathetic or referred pain, and is only temporary.

8. Your “bite” may seem to have shifted. This also passes quickly, but that often happens when you alter your chewing pattern such as was the case during your immediate post-surgery diet of yogurt and ice-chips.

9. If the corners of the mouth are stretched, they may dry out and become cracked. The lips should be kept moist with a cream or ointment.

10. During the healing process, small sharp fragments of bone may work up through the gum tissue. This is especially true after multiple extractions and is Nature’s way of reshaping the ridge. This process of “shedding” slivers of bone may last anywhere from 2-4 weeks. If there is difficulty with some of these slivers, please call the office and arrange for an appointment. Impressions for bridges, partial dentures or full dentures should be postponed until the ridge is well healed – usually six weeks.

A chemical peel is a cosmetic treatment that uses a chemical solution to peel away old and damaged skin cells, allowing healthier and more youthful skin to emerge. It can help address a number of issues including wrinkles, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation. 

Some of the great benefits of this skin rejuvenation treatment include: 

  • Improves the efficacy of your skin care products 
  • Heals discolouration and scars on the skin 
  • Exfoliates away dead cells and increases cell turnover for healthy, glowing skin 
  • Results in a more even-toned complexion

7 Reasons to Consider a Chemical Peel

Chemical peels come in varying strengths and they can accomplish a great deal — whether you simply want a gentle exfoliation or you require treatment for more ingrained dermal problems. During a consultation, your skin care specialist can assess your concerns and skin type to determine which type of chemical peel is safest for you. 

Customized Chemical Peels at our Edmonton Medical Spa 

At our Edmonton med spa, our highly trained team of aestheticians creates customized chemical peel treatments to eliminate fine lines, wrinkles, and even acne scars. We also offer minimally invasive anti-aging treatments including Botox, Juvederm, and IPL photorejuvenation to address any skin concerns you might have and help you achieve all your aesthetic goals. 

Want to know how we can help you achieve healthy, glowing, and more youthful-looking skin? Contact Our Edmonton Medical Spa

What to Expect Following Your Chemical Peel Treatment 

A chemical peel works to peel away tired and dull skin cells while stimulating the growth of fresh and healthy skin. In addition to this, chemical peels will result in accelerated cell turnover and encourage the production of collagen. How to Prepare Your Skin for a Chemical Peel

If you are undergoing a chemical peel treatment, here’s what you can expect after your procedure and some tips on how to take care of your skin for the best results. 

What Happens After a Chemical Peel? 

The recovery period following a chemical peel will vary depending on the type of peel you opted for. However, in general, here’s what you can expect: 

  1. The duration of the recovery period can range from three to 14 days, depending on the type of chemical peel. 
  2. For most peels, patients can expect a recovery time of five to seven days. 
  3. Following the procedure, your skin will dry out. During this time, you must drink plenty of water
  4. Avoid washing your face for at least 24 hours following your peel. 
  5. Over the next few days, your skin will begin to peel. The most intense peeling will occur during the middle days of your recovery
  6. You may also experience some irritation, crusting, or skin redness. However, if you notice any bleeding or oozing, you must contact your skin specialist straight away

4 Tips to Take Care of Your Skin After a Chemical Peel 

When performed by a highly-skilled aesthetician, a chemical peel is a safe and effective way to rejuvenate your appearance and eliminate any scars or signs of aging. However, in order to get the best results, you must look after your skin properly following your treatment. 

Here are some tips to follow: 

  1. Avoid using hot water for at least one week: For the first week following your chemical peel, avoid washing your face or showering with hot water. This is because hot water can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. In addition to this, the steam will open up your pores which can significantly increase your risk of infection. 
  2. Let your skin peel naturally. The most important thing to keep in mind following your chemical peel is to avoid touching your face. Picking and pulling your skin can result in scarring. The best course of action is to allow your skin to peel off naturally. 
  3. Be gentle with your skin and avoid exfoliation. Following your chemical peel, the skin’s protective barrier will be temporarily compromised. This means that you should avoid any cleansing products with exfoliators such as facial scrubs until your skin has completely healed. When drying your skin, do not rub it. Instead, pat it dry gently with a soft towel. 
  4. Always use sunscreen and limit your exposure to the sun. Your face is at its most sensitive post-peel, so you want to avoid the sun for at least a few days. When you do go outdoors, make sure to use sunscreen and stick to shady spots. Use the sunscreen for a minimum of six weeks after your chemical peel. 

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