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Ways to Prepare for Swelling After Oral Surgery

Posted on 8/10/2019 by Tessa Smith-Greisch
Ways to Prepare for Swelling After Oral SurgeryWe can't think of a single patient that gets excited about having oral surgery. For some patients, it is just an irritating thing that they have to endure but for others, it is a little frightening. Just the word surgery causes fear in some. But don't worry.

We have a lot of experience, after all, we are oral surgeons. We will make sure that you know exactly what to expect, what to do, what not to do, and how to do it. And just in case you were wondering, you won't have to remember the instructions we will give you a printed version. We explain it to you verbally in case you have questions.

What Do I Do about the Swelling?

Anytime you have a tooth extracted, or we have to work on your gums, you can expect some swelling in the area next to the surgical site. How much swelling you experience depends on the difficulty of the procedure and what you do to minimize the swelling. The reason you swell is your body's normal reaction to the tissue trauma.

When your body experiences trauma to the tissues it immediately reacts by getting white blood cells to the area. White blood cells prevent infection. Since the white blood cells are contained in fluid in order to move to the site, this additional fluid causes inflammation which you see as swelling.

Your body also increases blood circulation to the area to help with tissue repair. For the most part, again depending on the procedure, the swelling should peak within 24 to 48 hours after the surgery. After that, the swelling starts to decrease. Making this process shorter is where you come in.

Once you are home you should apply cold packs or frozen vegetables to the area on your face where the surgery took place. Keep the cold packs on for 10 to 20 minutes, then take them off for an equal amount of time, after which you will put them back on again.

Continue this as long as you can the first day. The next day, if the swelling seems to have peaked, switch to warm (not hot) compresses and apply those in the same manner. Contact us if by the third day the swelling hasn't peaked.

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Madison Oral Surgery & Dental Implants | | (608) 960-7650
2921 Landmark Place, Suite 100 Madison, WI 53713