5 Ways to Enhance Healing After Oral Surgery

Apr 01, 2024
5 Ways to Enhance Healing After Oral Surgery
Whether you need minor oral surgery or a more extensive procedure, your body needs extra support during the recovery process. Do you need surgical dental treatment? Don’t miss these steps that help you heal.

When you have oral surgery on the horizon, it’s tempting to think you’ll be back to normal in no time flat. But surgical procedures always put strain on the body, even if they only involve removing a single tooth.

That’s why it’s essential to take good care of yourself after undergoing oral surgery, no matter which procedure lies ahead, such as:

You can rest easy knowing you’re in exceptional hands during your treatment with Dr. Robert A. Scherrer at Advanced Dental Care of Ridgewood. And, to maximize the healing process after oral surgery, he recommends following these five steps. 

1. Rest

First things first, no one wants to miss out on the action. But, if you’ve had oral surgery, it’s crucial to give your body time to rest and recover.

Dr. Scherrer can offer personalized guidance based on your procedure. However, you should plan on avoiding physical activity for at least 24 hours, and even longer for more extensive procedures.

Making time to rest ensures your body can focus on what’s important — healing.

2. Keep your mouth clean 

Dr. Scherrer provides detailed instructions on caring for your mouth and surgical site after your surgery. And it’s essential to follow them to avoid infection.

In most cases, you should avoid brushing or rinsing your mouth for 24 hours following your procedure. After that, Dr. Scherrer recommends gently rinsing with warm saltwater four times each day, especially after every snack or meal.

Following this step helps clear debris from the surgical site. However, it’s vital not to spit or rinse vigorously, which can cause issues like bleeding.

3. Eat right

When you have oral surgery, food is often the last thing on your mind. However, you need the right nutrients to support the healing process — and your stomach is going to start growling whether you like it or not.

For the best healing power, Dr. Scherrer suggests eating liquid or soft foods for the first few days after your surgery, such as:

  • Smoothies and fruit milkshakes
  • Apple sauce
  • Yogurts and pudding
  • Soups and broths
  • Sherbert
  • Mashed potatoes

And don’t forget items rich in vitamins A and C, like sweet potatoes, stewed carrots, fish, and eggs.

By day three, you can often graduate to firmer foods, like cooked pastas and soft sandwiches. However, you should avoid acidic, spicy, tough, or crunchy foods until directed.

4. Avoid alcohol

People usually don’t associate alcohol with their oral health. But, it can cause several issues, from tooth decay and gum disease (periodontitis) to dry mouth. And it can impact the healing process post-surgery.

Alcohol causes two issues that interfere with wound repair in the mouth. First, it increases inflammation in the body, which hinders healing. 

On top of that, it slows down saliva production. Why does that matter? You need enough saliva to wash away harmful bacteria and acids in the mouth.

While you heal, play it safe and drink plenty of water. But remember to skip the straw — the sucking motion can dislodge blood clots in the surgical site.

5. Don’t smoke or vape

Finally, if you need another reason to ditch your smoking habit, use your oral surgery as the perfect excuse.

Tobacco products make it harder for your immune system to fight off infections, which slows the healing process. They can also increase your chances of complications like dry socket and pain. And, smoking can even impact the success of certain procedures, like dental implants.

These are just a few ways you can support the healing process after your oral surgery. Dr. Scherrer can provide more pointers based on your procedure and oral health.

Looking for expert dental care or oral surgery? Contact Advanced Dental Care of Ridgewood in in Ridgewood, New Jersey, to schedule a consultation today.