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Liverpool, NY 13088



Back to Home Care After Surgery

Possible Side Effects Associated with Oral Surgery

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Side effects vary with the complexity of the surgical procedure. In addition to the conditions described in the Instructions for Your Comfort at Home, the following may also occur:

1. STIFFNESS: Stiffness of the jaw muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth. This should resolve in a few days.

2. EARACHE, HEADACHE OR SORE THROAT: You may experience any of these conditions temporarily as a result of your surgery. Your other teeth may also ache. This is called sympathetic or referred pain and is also a temporary condition.

3. NUMBNESS: Numbness of the lower lip, chin, and/or tongue on the side of surgery may develop. This is called 'paresthesia' and though in rare cases it may be permanent, it is usually a temporary condition that will correct itself within a few days to several months.

4. BRUISING: Black and blue marks may occur on the cheeks and chin, or under the eye, near the area of surgery. This may begin as a swelling, before resulting in discoloration by the second or third day. The color may progress from black and blue to yellow and green and may progress down your face onto your neck. It will gradually disappear over a week or two and may be helped by moist external heat.

5. FEVER: Your body temperature may be elevated during the first day or two. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids. If the fever persists, call our office.

6. CHAPPING: If the corners of the mouth are stretched, they may dry and crack. Use lip balm or other ointment to keep your lips moist.

7. PHLEBITIS: Occasionally the vein in your arm used to administer the anesthesia during surgery becomes tender. This indicates an irritation of the vein and usually responds well to applied heat. Should the area become swollen, red, warm and very tender, call our office.

8. INFECTION: Rarely, a localized infection may occur in the surgical site in the weeks following surgery. If you have a sensation of increased pain, fever, increased swelling or stiffening of the jaw after the first 48 to 72 hours after surgery, call our office.

9. BONE FRAGMENTS: Occasionally, small sharp fragments of bone may work up through the gum tissue during the healing process. This is more common after multiple extractions and is nature's way of reshaping the ridge. This process of 'shedding' slivers of bone may last anywhere from one to four months. Impressions for bridges, partial dentures or full dentures should be postponed until the ridge is well healed -usually six weeks.