What To Do After an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Healing after a surgery to the mouth, face or the jaws is a quick process and usually has fewest complications. Problems after surgery usually occur because you function your facial region. For example, you begin eating, breathing and talking too much in your process of healing. Know that the mouth is an organ that cannot be sterilized therefore, there is a high risk of infection to the oral wounds. This risk of infection increases if you begin playing with your mouth using your fingers or anything else. Smoking is another factor that increases the risk of infection in the mouth.

What you need to do post-surgery?

The most important thing that you need to do is rest because this is what speeds up the recovery process. It is specifically important in the first 24 to 48 hours after the surgery. One needs to keep in mind that everyone recovers differently and in their own way, therefore, it is important to respond to how you are particularly feeling. Typically, people take about 3 to 4 days to recover and be able to resume normal activity. Some people even take about a week to recover.It is  not recommended to do any sort of exercises during the first week of post-surgery to avoid any sort of risks of a possible fracture.

So, what foods are you allowed to consume?

Right after surgery, it is very important to have a soft diet. You are not allowed to go ahead and start chewing heavy and hard foods. You need to prevent yourself from chewing too much. By chewing too much, you are exposing yourself to the risk of food being pushed into the wound which can cause a post-operative infection in the mouth. The most important precautions of food is to not use a straw when drinking because this increases the negative pressure in your mouth which can further stimulate bleeding. It is best to consume liquids out of a cup, but you need to be slow and steady instead of stuffing yourself with all the fluids.

How should I be handling the numbness and pain?

During the process of the surgery, surgeon usually use a good amount of long lasting local anesthetic. This lasts for a good 6 to 12 hours and can sometimes last even longer. This process is done on purpose to reduce the post-operative discomfort as much as possible. After you have gained consciousness, you are given a pain reliever that is tailored to your specific needs. This will ensure that you are comfortable instead of running back and forth between severe and no pain at all.

Will I suffer from post-surgical bleeding?

Yes. Every surgery has a bleeding aftermath. To handle the bleeding, you need to take two pieces of gauze and roll it into a shape of a cigar. Once you have made the shape, insert it in the mouth and place it where the wound is. Bite the gauze with a mild pressure to block any bleeding. During this process make sure that your head is elevated. This reduces the pressure on the face and thus reduces the bleeding.


Here at Confident Smiles, we practice all CDC and OSHA standards of infection control on a daily basis, even prior to this virus. We treat everything to the highest standards for our patient’s and employee’s safety. 

We are able to see ALL patients at this time. 

We clean everything with hospital level disinfectants as part of our standard protocol and we sterilize all of our instruments. The handwashing protocol advised by the CDC is routine for us. We feel safe enough to continue to stay open and care for our patients since we always practice disease prevention as advised by OSHA and the CDC. As per our standard policy, sick patients will NOT be seen to protect all involved in their dental care. 

We have added the following precautions to our daily protocol

  • Patient phone screening questions about current symptoms illness and/or recent travel
  • Usage of hand sanitizer for every patient who enters the office
  • Daily employee screening questions about current symptoms of illness 

To learn more about the steps you can take to prevent being exposed, please visit www.cdc.org