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Recovering from Oral Surgery–Do’s and Don’ts

Do eat soft foods while recovering from oral surgery

While recovering from oral surgery, there are some simple things you can do to minimize discomfort and help your mouth heal more quickly. Avoid infection, and speed up your recovery with these do’s and don’ts in mind!

Let’s Start with the Do’s

Do eat soft foods while recovering from oral surgery

DO Get Plenty of Rest– Be sure to block off some time to take it easy at home after having your oral surgery. Your body can heal faster when you give it the best footing to do so! Also, keep your head propped up as much as you can to help reduce swelling and bleeding post surgery.

DO Take Prescribed Antibiotics– The last thing you want to deal with after your oral surgery is an infection. If your oral surgeon prescribed an antibiotic, be sure you take it as directed and finish the medication.

DO Use Ice Packs– Minimize swelling by applying ice packs to your face. Usually on 15 minutes, off 15 minutes does the trick.

DO Eat Soft Foods– You’ll want to adhere to a liquid or soft food diet for several days after your oral surgery. Think soup, smoothies (though you’ll want to skip the straw), mashed potatoes, and yogurt.

DO Take Cleanliness Seriously– About 24 hours after your oral surgery, rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water at least four times daily, and after each meal and snack. Make sure to wash away all bits of food around the surgery area. Your Ocoee Oral Surgery team will give you advice on how to do this properly.

DO Brush Your Teeth Gently– Don’t brush or floss teeth in the surgical area, but you will want to continue brushing and flossing the rest of your teeth. Just take an extra gentle approach to this as you’re healing.

DO Eat Healthy Foods– Vitamins A and C are important for the healing process. Be sure to eat foods like eggs, carrots, and sweet potatoes to help boost your body’s natural healing powers.

Gargling warm salt water helps heal the gums when recovering from oral surgery.

Now for the Don’ts

DON’T Over Do It!– Just to reiterate, rest is critical after any surgery, and oral surgery is no exception. Be sure you don’t overexert yourself post op. You’ll also want to avoid exercise for a few days after your surgery, as increased blood flow can cause blood clots in the mouth to become dislodged, inhibiting healing.

DON’T Eat Hot Foods– In the time directly after your oral surgery, your mouth will be numb. This numbness wears off at different rates for everyone, but the last thing you want to do is burn your mouth that’s already been through a great deal.

DON’T Smoke or Drink Alcohol– Just don’t do it, okay? Smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages can interrupt the healing process. Let your body do its thing without roadblocks.

DON’T Eat Hard/Crunchy Foods– For about 6 weeks post oral surgery, you’ll want to avoid overly hard or crunchy foods. Give your mouth adequate time to fully heal before reintroducing these foods into your diet.

If you follow these do’s and don’ts after your oral surgery, you should have a smooth and speedy recovery. Of course, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office staff at Ocoee with any questions or concerns, and be sure to contact us if you have a fever that lasts more than 24 hours post surgery, experience throbbing pain that doesn’t subside with medication, or have excessive bleeding. We’ll take great care of you!

Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants look like natural teeth and restore full functionality.

Dental implants look like natural teeth and restore full functionality.

Of course we all hope we never need dental implants, but if you find yourself in a situation where you do, our team is here to explain the process, as well as the benefits of going with dental implants. Some reasons you may end up needing one include having lackluster dental hygiene and limited preventative care, or other reasons like lifestyle, smoking or unhealthy diet, or a traumatic event. All that said, if tooth loss is affecting your quality of life, dental implants are a great treatment choice, and their benefits are as follows.

Natural Look

One great thing about dental implants is they are aesthetically pleasing. This is a great option cosmetically, because dental implants are expertly fashioned to look just like natural teeth. Having a healthy smile is paramount, but we think loving your smile is extremely important too. We want you to enjoy a tooth loss solution that, in addition to being pragmatic, also enhances your smile and the way you feel about yourself.

Restore Chewing Power

On top of looking like natural teeth, dental implants also behave like them. This means that when you opt for an implant, your oral surgeon will help restore full chewing power. After getting your dental implant, you’ll be able to eat normally, and brush and floss your teeth normally as well.

Prevent Bone Loss

Dental implants also serve patients in the area of preventing bone loss. The jaw bone begins to deteriorate more quickly in areas where no tooth is present as a result of the lack of stimulation. If no implant is placed where a patient has suffered tooth loss, that bone area loses approximately 25% of its volume within the first year, and that bone loss only continues with time. But the dental implant not only restores chewing and functionality, but also provides necessary stimulation necessary for bone growth.

Dental implants are also an aesthetically pleasing fix for tooth loss.

Prevent Premature Facial Aging

As we grow older, the lower third of the face begins to collapse, gradually shortening the distance between the tip of the nose and the chin. This facial sagging that accompanies aging can be accelerated by tooth loss and consequently bone loss. These changes include excess and premature formation of wrinkles around the mouth, thinning lips, and a more pointed appearance of the chin. This process can make a patient with bone loss look a lot older than he or she really is, but dental implants can help mitigate these issues.

If you have any questions about tooth loss treatments or dental implant procedures, our team would love to help answer them. Contact us anytime with questions or to schedule a consultation with one of our oral surgeons. We’re here here to preserve your smile!

Wisdom Teeth Removal– When Is It Time?

When it comes to wisdom teeth removal, there are some things to consider before scheduling your oral surgery.

When it comes to wisdom teeth removal, there are some things to consider before scheduling your oral surgery.

When it comes to wisdom teeth removal, there’s a lot of information floating around out in the world. It can be hard to know what is accurate, or how that information applies to you or your child, and what is most appropriate when in regard to wisdom teeth. Our staff at Ocoee Oral Surgery is here to help answer any questions you might have pertaining to wisdom teeth removal or oral surgery, but in the meantime, here are some things to consider.

  1. CHECK IN. Between ages 16 and 19, have your dentist check the status of your wisdom teeth. How many do you have? Are they growing in? Are they impacted? Are they causing any pain or movement for other teeth?
  2. PAIN ASSESSMENT. If your wisdom teeth are causing you any pain, you’ll definitely want to see an oral surgeon to discuss wisdom teeth removal.
  3. CROWDING TEETH. If your wisdom teeth begin to erupt they can cause movement for the other teeth in your mouth, particularly if you have a small mouth and there isn’t ample room for them to come in smoothly. This can be problematic for obvious reasons, especially if you’ve spent time and resources with any orthodontic procedures to straighten the teeth.
  4. OVER 30? If you’re over the age of 30, and you’ve never had any issues with your wisdom teeth, you may be in the clear.

You may need to schedule your wisdom teeth removal to address issues like pain, crowding, and to prevent possible infection with impacted wisdom teeth.

If you are going to get your wisdom teeth extracted, you likely have a lot of questions and things to consider before you schedule your oral surgery. Below are a few FAQs about wisdom teeth and wisdom teeth removal you may find helpful.

Q: When is the best time to have wisdom teeth removed?

A: Lots of dentists and oral surgeons agree that it’s best to have wisdom teeth removed before the age of 20. The reasoning behind this is two fold. For one thing, when you’re younger, you tend to heal faster and have less complications with surgeries. For another, when you’re young the roots and bones of your teeth are softer and not fully formed making for an easier extraction.

Q: What causes problems with wisdom teeth?

A: Wisdom teeth can be problematic for many reasons. Your mouth may not have enough room to accommodate these extra teeth, and they may become impacted or unable to break through the gums. Impacted wisdom teeth can create painful, swollen pockets in the gums and even lead to infection.

Wisdom teeth that do fully erupt can cause issues with crowding, and are often susceptible to cavities or gum disease to surrounding gum tissue because they can be hard to adequately clean.

Q: What are the risks of undergoing a wisdom teeth removal procedure?

A: After having your wisdom teeth removed, you may experience discomfort, pain and swelling in the gums, excessive bleeding, slow healing gums, or dry socket, which occurs when the blood clot that protects the tooth socket becomes dislodged too soon.

You may also run into issues with jaw function, damage to other teeth or dental work, like crowns or bridges, existing near the extraction area. That said, all these issues are uncommon, and it is much more likely that you’ll have a complication-free oral surgery.

Q: Will I be sedated or under anesthesia for the wisdom teeth removal procedure?

A: The patient having wisdom teeth removed will be provided with a local anesthetic to numb the affected area. Some scenarios lend themselves well to other options for anesthesia, based on patient needs and recommendations of the surgeon. Your oral surgeon at Ocoee Oral Surgery will discuss options with you prior to your surgery.

Q: How long does it take to recover from wisdom teeth removal?

A: Recovery after wisdom teeth removal can take up to two weeks. During that period of time you may experience some minor pain and discomfort as well as swelling, but these symptoms will improve day by day. Be sure to closely follow post-op instructions provided by your oral surgeon for the best results and smoothest recovery.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, or you’re ready to schedule your surgery, contact our team at Ocoee Oral Surgery. We’ll take great care of you.

Wisdom Teeth Removal– Is it a Must?

Wisdom teeth removal oral surgery is necessary often for a lot of reasons like overcrowding, pain, and difficulty chewing.

Wisdom teeth removal oral surgery is necessary often for a lot of reasons like overcrowding, pain, and difficulty chewing.

Wisdom teeth removal surgery is extremely common in teens and young adults. Although it’s an oral surgery procedure that is performed frequently– is it always absolutely necessary? Every case if different and unique, of course, but here are a few reasons extracting wisdom teeth is recommended and beneficial for your overall dental health.

1- Discomfort and Gum Problems

Wisdom teeth can cause gum problems. When wisdom teeth are impacted, they can result in pain and swelling that is mitigated with extraction. Also, wisdom teeth that have only partially erupted through the gum tissue are especially susceptible to infection, which can cause a whole host of other problems.

2- Teeth Crowding

Most of us don’t have room in our mouths to accommodate these extra molar teeth. Sometimes when wisdom teeth begin to come in, they cause crowding and shifting of your other teeth, which can be problematic for obvious reasons. Incoming wisdom teeth can also create pockets in the gums that can become traps for bacteria which can lead to cavities and other problems that will be painful and costly. Wisdom teeth removal can help prevent this crowding and the other issues that often follow.

3- Difficulty Chewing

Sometimes when wisdom teeth begin to come in, their positioning can cause pain and difficulty chewing in certain dental patients. In some cases, they can cause damage to soft tissues in the mouth, that results in pain and hindered jaw function. This scenario would provide great grounds for having the oral surgery.

Sometimes, erupting wisdom teeth can cause pain and difficulty chewing, in which case extraction by oral surgery will likely be necessary.

4- Tooth Alignment

As mentioned before, erupting wisdom teeth, particularly in patients who have small mouths or lack adequate room to accommodate more molars, can cause crowding and affect tooth alignment. These incoming wisdom teeth can press against other teeth, consequently undoing the work of braces, bridges, crowns, and other prior dental work. Not only can this result in moved and crooked teeth, but also can create more issues like traps for food and bacteria, often resulting in decay, cavities, and more dental work.

Wisdom Teeth Case by Case

All this said, it is possible that a patient has adequate space for wisdom teeth. As long as they’ve fully broken through, and aren’t causing crowding or discomfort, your oral surgeon or dentist may recommend you leave them alone. If you are experiencing any discomfort associated with wisdom teeth, give our staff at Ocoee Oral Surgery a call. We can help!

10 Ways to Prepare for Oral Surgery or Wisdom Teeth Removal

In preparation for your Chattanooga oral surgery or wisdom tooth removal, you'll want to stock your fridge and pantry with soft foods like oatmeal and yogurt.

Going into any type of surgery can be stressful, especially when there are many unknowns. But our staff at Ocoee Oral Surgery in Cleveland TN wants to ensure each of our patients knows what to expect, how to prepare, and feels as at ease as possible during the time leading up to your wisdom teeth removal or other procedure. That’s why we compiled a list of 10 ways to help you prepare for your Chattanooga oral surgery appointment! We hope you’ll find them helpful.

1) Talk to your oral surgeon about pre-op instructions.

Your surgeon here at Ocoee Oral Surgery will do everything possible to ensure the surgery process goes smoothly for you, and that will involve some instructions for you to follow prior to your procedure. Be sure to tell your oral surgeon about any medications you are taking, and about any past surgery experiences you may have had to help inform their work.

2) Don’t eat or drink for 6 hours before surgery.

You’ll receive specific instructions prior to your surgery date, and each case can be different. That said, in general, it’s a good idea to fast for at least 6 hours before your oral surgery procedure. More specific instructions will depend on the factors surrounding your surgery, and whether you’ll be using IV anesthetics or nitrous oxide (laughing gas); however, our staff will make sure you know what to do!

Wearing comfortable clothes is a good idea when preparing for oral surgery or wisdom tooth removal in Chattanooga, TN.

3) Wear comfortable clothes!

It’s surgery, right? So we want to make sure you’re comfortable. You can wear sweats or even pajamas to ensure you’re comfortable. You also might want to bring a sweatshirt or light jacket to make sure you don’t get cold.

4) Brush and floss before your oral surgery.

You’ll definitely want to brush and floss prior to your wisdom teeth removal or other oral surgery procedure. Keeping your mouth clean will help to reduce the risk of infection and other potential issues during your treatment. Also, if you are a smoker or use other tobacco products, we recommend you refrain from doing so for at least 12 hours before your surgery. This will help to ensure a quicker, more complete recovery.

5) Bring a friend or family member.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your oral surgery, you may require heavy sedation before the procedure. This will mean you shouldn’t drive for a while afterward, so you’ll need a little help from a friend or family member with getting from point A to point B. It’s also a good idea to have someone stay with you for several hours after the surgery is completed. Just to be safe and make sure you don’t have complications or need anything.

6) Plan to rest post oral surgery.

Your sedation will likely wear off 30 to 45 minutes after your surgery, and you’ll be able to go home to rest. The residual effects of sedation dentistry and general anesthesia can last for up to 24 hours, so you’ll need to plan ahead to be able to relax and take it easy. The post-op R&R might be the best part of surgery. Cue up your favorite Netflix shows, and snuggle in.

7) Stock your pantry and refrigerator.

You’ll receive in depth instructions about what to do after your oral surgery, as well as what to eat or drink. You’ll want to get plenty of fluids, but make sure not to drink with straws, as this can cause complications and damage to surgical sites. You’ll need to subsist on soft foods for a while as you heal. Think soups, mashed potatoes, yogurt, oatmeal, and the like. Avoid hard, crunchy, and chewy foods for a few days or even a week after treatment. If you notice bleeding, swelling, or experience major discomfort, please contact our office for assistance.

In preparation for your Chattanooga oral surgery or wisdom tooth removal, you'll want to stock your fridge and pantry with soft foods like oatmeal and yogurt.

8) If you’re sick, reschedule!

We never want to put off anyone’s oral surgery, but that said, if you’re not feeling your best, it might be a good idea to reschedule. If you are sick or immuno-compromised, that could potentially increase your risk of infection. Going into the oral surgery in ship shape will mean a faster recovery!

9) Arrive at the office early.

We recommend arriving a little earlier than your appointment time. This will ensure you have time to ask any last minute questions, and will eliminate the stress that accompanies rushing around to get somewhere. You can take a few minutes to relax and breathe before your procedure.

10) Find your zen.

Our staff is here for you! We want you to feel prepared and at ease before your oral surgery, and we know that knowledge is power. The more you know, the less you have to worry. So just relax, and rest assured we know what we’re doing. You’re in great hands at Ocoee Oral Surgery!