• Melbourne Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon

Surgery Under Local Anaesthesia


Swelling is normal following oral surgery and is part of the healing process. This will continue to increase over the first 48 to 72 hours after surgery before gradually disappearing. Some bruising may also occur and this will discolour the face black, blue or yellow. For the first few nights we suggest that you elevate your head with a couple of pillows instead of lying totally flat. An ice pack may be placed against the skin on-and-off for the first 36 hours. After this time a heat pack can be used in order to relieve symptoms. Be careful not to freeze or burn the skin.

These symptoms are normal following oral surgery and are usually moderate but vary with the individual. It is easier to manage pain by taking the first analgesic before the numbness has worn off. We recommend the use of ibuprofen (eg Nurofen) together with paracetamol (eg Panadol) every four hours until the discomfort seems to have settled (provided you have no allergies or other side effects from these). Other analgesics can be used such as Panadeine or Nurofen Plus, and stronger analgesics will be prescribed when indicated. However only use these if necessary and try to tailor your usage to your need.

A small amount of bleeding or oozing from the socket or incision line is normal after oral surgery. Bleeding often seems to increase a few hours after surgery but will settle an hour or two later. If increased bleeding occurs, place a piece of rolled gauze directly over the area and bite firmly so as to apply pressure directly to the site. Replace every 20 minutes until bleeding stops. Lie down with your head elevated on several pillows, and apply an ice pack to the cheek on that side. Cease any ibuprofen or aspirin. Avoid spitting as this might increase bleeding. If you develop free bleeding that cannot be controlled, contact Mr Allan or attend the emergency department of a hospital. Gauze swabs may be purchased from a pharmacy, or obtained from our office during normal office hours.

Your jaw may also feel stiff or sore when you try to move it (trismus). This is Nature’s way of splinting and resting the area that needs to be healed, and will usually relax after a week. If it is still stiff after 7 to 10 days, massage the muscles over the side of the jaw after warming your face with a heat pack, and then do some jaw opening exercises to stretch the muscles.

Do not rinse your mouth during the first 24 hours after surgery as this might disturb the blood clots and cause bleeding. After 24 hours, commence mouthwashing with warm salty water rinses 4 times a day and continue until the sockets heal. Avoid brushing the teeth next to the extraction sites for the first week, and then commence gently with a soft brush. Antibiotics may also have been prescribed to prevent infection – follow the instructions carefully and complete the entire course. Report any symptoms you feel may be an allergic reaction.

Avoid food and drink that is too hot during the first 24 hours as this may cause more bleeding, or it could burn your mouth. Eat only soft foods (e.g. soup, mash, pasta, eggs, fish) until the swelling and discomfort are nearly over (usually one week). Try to chew your food on the opposite side if your procedure was done on one side only. Avoid small grainy foods such as rice or seeds as they may become trapped in the socket and lead to an infection. Drink plenty of clear fluids.

You will have sutures where your teeth have been removed. These are usually resorbable, and dissolve or fall out between 3 and 7 days following your procedure. Early loss of sutures will not result in healing problems.


Office hours
After hours
03 9820 5333
Call Mr Allan’s pager service on 03 9387 1000

It is essential to leave a detailed message regarding the problem as all calls are triaged with respect to the degree of urgency.