Main Office # (949) 347-9990

Post-Operative Instructions

Day of Surgery:

General: Limit your activity for several hours. Be sure to have someone assisting your care at your home. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery if you have received sedation or general anesthesia. Sleep with your head elevated on 2-3 pillows. You may want to use older pillowcases in case you bleed during the night. Do not do vigorous exercise for 2-3 days after surgery, or in any way increase blood flow to your head. Do not consume alcohol or tobacco for seven days after surgery. Alcohol is dangerous when consumed with pain medication, and can delay the healing process; tobacco also delays healing, the suction created by smoking will displace the forming blood clots, and tobacco usage frequently causes dry sockets.

Bleeding: Place small rolls of gauze over your wounds (not between your teeth) and bite firmly for a few hours after surgery to control the bleeding. Change gauze as needed (usually once every 45 minutes to an hour). Some oozing is expected, but this should subside in 24-48 hours. Do not be alarmed if your saliva is pink – one drop of blood will color all of your saliva. Only heavy bleeding is a cause for concern.

Nausea: Nausea is not uncommon after surgery. Sometimes pain medications are the cause. Nausea can be reduced by preceding each pain pill with a small amount of soft food, and taking the pill with a large volume of water. Try to keep taking clear fluids and minimize dosing of pain medications, but call us if you do not feel better. Ginger Ale may help with nausea.

Swelling: Swelling after surgery can vary from minor to extensive. To minimize swelling, apply an ice pack to your cheek. Alternate the ice for 15 minutes on, then 5-10 minutes off. If procedures have been done to both sides of the face, alternate the ice pack from side to side. Continue for 36 hours.
Swelling will peak 36 hours after surgery. Around 36 hours after surgery, you may apply heating packs to the side of your face, just as you did the ice packs. Swelling will begin to decrease after the third day after surgery, and should subside 7-10 days after surgery.

Medication: Follow the instructions given by Dr. Johnson.

Oral Hygiene: You may brush your front teeth as normal, but avoid touching the operated area. The toothbrush bristles will irritate the wound, and may cause an infection. You may not rinse the first day. Around 24 hours after surgery, you may begin to soak your surgical wounds gently with warm salt water (½ c. water, ½ tsp. salt) every two hours to keep the area clean of infection until the gums have healed initially (about a week). Start brushing your teeth gently after meals. Be cautious when brushing – avoid direct contact between the toothbrush and the surgical area for the first 3-4 days.

Diet: Eat only soft, bland foods; you may progress to room temperature foods the day after surgery, and warm foods the day after that. Do not return to normal eating habits and foods (especially fried, spicy foods) until 2-4 weeks have passed. Avoid extremely hot foods. It is sometimes advisable, but not absolutely required, to confine the first day’s intake to liquids or pureed foods (soups, pudding, yogurt, milk shakes, etc.) It is best to avoid foods like nuts, sunflower seeds, popcorn, etc., which may get lodged in the socket areas. Over the next several days you may gradually progress to solid foods. It is important not to skip meals! If you take nourishment regularly you will feel better, gain strength, have less discomfort and heal faster.

If concern or discomfort, please call the office at 949-347-9990.



Tel: (949) 347-9990 Toll Free: (877) 200-4588 Covina: (626) 966-1800 Fax: (949) 347-9991 Covina Fax: (626) 858-1788


28202 Cabot Road, Suite 420
Laguna Niguel, CA. 92677