After Your Surgery

Post Operative Instructions for Oral Surgery

Every patient recovers differently after surgery.

1. Pain

The pain is usually worst in the first 24hours after the surgery before settling over the next 4-5 days. On occasions however, the pain may take longer to subside.

2. Swelling

Swelling is a variable part of the post-operative recovery. It is common for the swelling to increase for up to 2 days and then resolve for 2-3 days.

3. Bruising

Bruising is usually found around the angle of the jaw and may take 1-2 weeks to disappear.

4. Bleeding

It is normal for tooth sockets to bleed for 1-2 days after the procedure. This should be no more than a small amount of ooze. If you find you are bleeding more than this, a small wad of gauze should be placed over the bleeding socket and held there by biting firmly for 20-30 minutes. Always remove the pack from your mouth before going to sleep. If there is still bleeding repeat the gauze procedure. If the bleeding persists contact your surgeon.

5. Limited jaw opening

It will be difficult to open your jaws widely for a few days. This may make eating and tooth brushing difficult. It is important however, that you begin to exercise the jaw after 2-3 days.

6. Infection

To reduce the risk of infection you will need to do 4 things
A) Brush your teeth gently from day 1.
B) Use a mouthwash such as Savacol twice daily from day 2 after the surgery.
C) Take any antibiotics prescribed.

The signs that you are developing an infection are:
A) Fever (>38 degrees)
B) Pus discharge or foul taste or smell
C) Increasing pain after 4-5 days
D) Having flu like symptoms If you develop these symptoms please contact your surgeon.

7. Eating

You should have a soft diet for the week following surgery (the consistency of mashed potatoes, boiled vegetables and noodles is good). See below.

8. Sensitive teeth

Some patients find the teeth next to the extraction sites become sensitive. This is a result of bruising of the bone around these teeth and can take up to 6 weeks to resolve.

Soft / Blended Diet Instructions

What is the best consistency?

Most people find that in the early stages after surgery a thicker fluid consistency is preferred. This consistency often stays on a spoon more easily and is the most soothing to eat.

How much do I need to eat/drink?

Good nutrition is important for recovery; you will require a higher calorie intake than usual to assist with healing. Three litres of a blended/fluid diet is the equivalent of 5-6 medium sized meals per day. Milk based feeds have a higher calorie load than water based meals.

The ideal soft diet should provide calories, fluids, protein, and vitamins.


Ready to drink fluids

Flavoured milk
Up & Go
Yoplait breakfast

Ice Cream
Fruit juice
Vegetable Juice
Soy Milk

Food Supplements

These drinks may serve as meal replacements. They have a higher calorie load and vitamin fortification.
Sustagen Formula or Powder
Ensure Formula or Powder

Blended food

Almost all foods can be blended, this includes roast dinners!
It is often easier to blend foods if mixed with a little milk (instead of water). Try adding seasoning to taste.



Milk soaked cereal
Baby cereal

Fruit and Vegetables

Peeled Fresh fruit
Canned fruit
Stewed fruit
Soaked dried fruit
Baby food

Meats and proteins

Well cooked beef
Soft cooked chicken
Beans and lentils

Sample Menu

This menu is probably best for the first day or two after surgery


Glass fruit juice
Tea or coffee (not too hot)
Soaked weetbix

Morning tea

Flavoured milk


Vegetable Soup
Sustagen or Up & Go
Chocolate milk
Ice cream or yoghurt

Afternoon Tea

Flavoured ice-block


Soup (Chicken or beef)
Blended vegetables
Fruit juice


Flavoured milk