Patients undergoing surgery should pay increased attention to the following:
After surgery tooth brushing and flossing should be performed just as before it. The wounds and surrounding areas in the mouth should be cleaned the same way as in case of any wound around our body. It is natural to clean the skin after an intervention, but in case of the mouth, this is somehow not obvious for patients. The environment in our mouth is favourable for bacterial proliferation. Many believe that if they do not eat, there will be no plaque that could develop, therefore there is no need for tooth brushing. Yet, it is important to know that the bacteria in our mouth are capable of proliferation even when we are not eating, as the mucous membrane which peels off is sufficient nutrition for them. Plaque formation on the sutures is also a threat. We apply black-coloured surgical sutures; if you notice a yellowish white plaque on the suture in the mirror, make sure you brush it until it becomes completely clean.
Due to the intervention, the blood flow and the lymphatic drainage of the affected area are temporarily reduced as the capillary system suffers injury. Coagulation helps to stop the bleeding relatively early, but the mechanisms of the lymphatic drainage can regenerate much slower. Oedema after surgery develops due to lymphatic fluid congestion. The swelling reaches its maximum size on the third day, not immediately, because this is how long it takes to restore the lymphatic circulation in the region. The vessels can be constricted by cooling the soft tissues (applying ice), therefore the amount of blood flowing here is reduced, which results in a decreased amount of lymphatic fluid. The fluid always accumulates at the lowest point due to the gravity, therefore it is important to keep the head elevated (also during sleep, if possible). Intense physical activity should be avoided, because the increased blood pressure during it increases the blood flow to the area.
We advise - besides taking painkillers - to rest and relax as much as possible for a few days after surgery. A stressful, tired person has a much lower sensory threshold and therefore feels the pain more intensely.
The wound in the mucous membrane can cause smaller bleedings from capillaries for several days. A few drops of blood staining the saliva often raises panic, which can lead to increased levels of stress hormones or blood pressure, making the problem even worse. In these cases, it is recommended to apply tampons to the area (bite on a gauze swab), which helps coagulation by compressing the vessels.
Regeneration requires a lot of energy, therefore a normal, usual diet is recommended. We suggest avoiding milk and dairy products in the interest of hygiene.
- Wound care
A cavity formed inside the jaw is filled with blood clot, which first transforms into connective tissue, then bone. If the blood clot is removed from here, the bone becomes unprotected against bacteria, which leads to inflammation. This is why it is not allowed to suck or pick the blood clot. The surface of it is usually lighter than the intact mucosa, like a scab on the skin soaked with water. Patients often confuse it with pus and try to remove it, which reduces the chance of wound healing.
Food remains getting into the cavity make the problem even worse and cause a bad breath by breaking down slowly.
- Smoking, alcohol
Tobacco smoke and alcoholic drinks contain substances which damage the blood flow to the gum and cause gum inflammation. The inflamed gum with poor blood supply reduces the chance for the wound to withstand bacteria; it tears more easily, which can cause the sutures to fall out. This is why it is not allowed to smoke or drink alcohol for a few days after surgery.
We consult with all of our patients the day after surgery. Besides, we strongly advise our patients to feel free to call us with any problems or questions that may arise later, because many complications can be prevented by early intervention and advice.