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At Central Virginia Oral and Facial Surgeons, we realize that having any surgery can be stressful. Our desire is to have your post-operative course progress as smoothly as possible. These instructions provide some general guidelines with regards to post-operative care; your doctor may give you additional instructions as well. Thank you for choosing Central Virginia Oral and Facial Surgeons.


Do not disturb the surgical site. Sutures were placed which will dissolve in 10-14 days. Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 – 48 hours. Excessive bleeding can be controlled by placing a gauze pad over the surgical site and biting down firmly. Continue pressure for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, place a moist tea bag over the surgical site for 30 minutes (the tannic acid in the tea helps to form a clot). If bleeding persists, please call for further instructions.


Swelling can be a normal occurrence after surgery. In some instances swelling can be worse on the third to fourth day after surgery. After this time period should the swelling increase, or be accompanied by severe pain or an elevated temperature, then please notify your doctor. To minimize swelling, apply an ice pack (a bag of frozen peas works well) to the face corresponding to the surgical site. A good rule for proper circulation is to place the ice pack for 20 minutes at a time then rest for 20 minutes. Please apply ice packs for 48 hours starting the day of surgery. For intro oral application of ice, consider using frozen grapes. Apply the grape between the surgical site and the cheek or the tongue. To minimize swelling keep your head elevated, even while sleeping. Use several pillows and prop your head and torso upright while relaxing or sleeping.

Pain Medications

You may have been given prescriptions for one or more pain medications to help manage severe discomfort following your surgery. However, in some cases moderate discomfort can be controlled with Tylenol or an anti-inflammatory medication (Advil/Motrin/Ibuprofen; Aleve/Naprosyn; Lodine/Etodolac). Anti-inflammatory medications can be alternated with a narcotic medication in most cases. Take these and all medications as prescribed and in the manner indicated by your doctor. It is a good idea to begin taking your pain medications while you are still numb.

While taking narcotic pain medications, do not drink alcoholic beverages, drive, or operate any machinery for 24 hours after the last dose of narcotic pain medicine. Some patients experience nausea and or vomiting as a result of narcotic pain medications. The risk of nausea can be minimized by taking medications with some food. If you have a persistent problem with nausea or vomiting, please notify your doctor.


If you have been placed on antibiotics, take them as directed. If you have an unfavorable reaction such as a rash, please discontinue the medication and call the office for further instructions.

Oral Hygiene

Mouth cleanliness is essential to good healing. Start rinsing 24 hours after your surgery. Rinse with warm salt water (pinch of salt to an 8 oz cup of warm water) three to four times a day. Use the saltwater rinse in addition to any other rinses prescribed by your doctor. You may begin to brush your teeth 24 hours after surgery. Of course be gentle in the region(s) of the surgery.


Drink plenty of fluids; however avoid hot liquids and foods. Soft food and cool liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. You may return to a normal diet, as tolerated, beginning the day after surgery but avoid crunchy food (popcorn, pretzels, and potato chips) for a week after surgery, as these could become lodged and irritate the surgical area.


Resume normal activities a day or so after surgery, or as directed by doctor. Please keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery.

Avoid smoking for as long as possible following surgery. The use of tobacco products slows down the healing process and may lead to developing other complications. We strongly recommend avoiding tobacco products for one full week.

If you have questions please call the office 24 hour service.

434-973-3348 (Charlottesville)

540-825-3069 (Culpeper)

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