The Basics

  • Go home immediately after surgery and relax, keeping yourself as still and quiet as possible.


  • Be good to yourself. Let someone pamper you.
  • Don’t try to do your business or household chores, or exert yourself in any manner.
  • Take prescribed medications as directed beginning the day of surgery.
  • Keep your ice pack in place as directed and be sure that you are properly nourished.

The Day of the Surgery

Initiation of the healing process, and possibly the most important part of healing, is the formation of the blood clot. Every effort should be made to promote clotting and discourage bleeding. Keep your mouth still and don’t carry on conversations the day of surgery as this stretches the tissues of the mouth and may open the wound. Avoid hot food or drink. Only tepid or cool things should be put into the mouth during the first 24 hours. Avoid mouth rinsing the day of surgery, as it tends to increase bleeding. If you do experience a bad taste from bleeding, hold cool water in your mouth and gently empty it out without any forced expectoration. Avoid sucking through a straw as this, as well as spitting, will create negative pressures within your mouth which may initiate bleeding. Some bleeding the day and evening of surgery is to be expected! However, if bleeding persists, hold a tea bag on the bleeding area and apply moderate pressure for 10-15 minutes. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding continues, call the office or, if after hours Dr. Burdine's cell phone.

Comfort medication is usually given at the time of surgery, and you have been given a prescription for additional comfort medication. The degree and type of discomfort a patient experiences can be highly variable for a given procedure. Therefore, it is recommended that you take the medication on an as-needed basis within the prescription guidelines. After surgery, most patients will be able to take just ibuprofen or Tylenol by the second or third day.

Good nutrition is important for healing and for control of discomfort. A soft diet high in protein is recommended. Chew on the side not involved with the surgery during the first week. Cooked cereals, eggs, ground meat, baked fish, stewed or canned fruits, yogurt or cottage cheese, mashed potatoes, cooked vegetables and soups are very helpful during the healing periods. Drink at least eight large glasses of water each day. It is recommended that you supplement your diet with a daily multivitamin during the time of healing.

Some swelling and discoloration are not unusual following certain types of surgery. In order to keep swelling down to a minimum, hold an ice pack to your face over the surgical site for three hours. Keep it in place for 15-20 minutes, then remove it for 15-20 minutes. Continue this routine until three hours have elapsed. Ice packs are only effective the day of surgery. The day following surgery, warm, moist heat may be applied to any swollen areas. Any swelling should be gone within a few days.

Surgical Dressing
A surgical dressing has been applied to the wound site(s). This provides protection for the wound during initial phases of healing. It is not unusual for parts or all of certain dressings to come off during the first week. This should not be cause for alarm. Any dressing that remains will be removed at the one-week post-op visit. If you wear a bite appliance and a dressing has been placed on the top teeth, you will not be able to wear the appliance until the dressing comes off.

The Week after Surgery

The day after surgery, you should start to get back on your usual routine. However, you will probably experience a drop in your energy level for the first two or three days. This is normal. Healing takes a lot of vital energy and your energy supply is being channeled to your healing. Don’t rob this vital energy by trying to do too much. Do what you feel like, but sit down and rest and let your body catch up when you feel fatigued. Listen to your body and let it tell you how much activity is appropriate. In general, heavy exercise such as jogging, weight lifting or aerobics should be avoided the first week.


Oral Hygiene
The day after surgery, resume normal brushing and flossing on all areas not involved with the surgery. The surgical areas should be sponged twice a day (morning and evening) with a cotton ball soaked in full-strength hydrogen peroxide. This procedure should be used over all dressings as well as exposed surgical areas.

Warm Salt Water Soakings
Warm salt water soakings take soreness out of tissues and aid in healing. Take an 8-ounce glass of warm water and stir in one-half teaspoon of table salt until dissolved. Soak gently around the wound area several times a day. You may also be given a prescription for chlorhexidine or other mouth rinses and/or be shown additional cleaning techniques.

Your Next Appointment

You will be given an appointment for dressing and suture removal in five to seven days. Should you have any concerns before that time, please call the office or, Dr. Burdine's cell phone.

Call Today
(713) 688-5200

10000 Memorial Drive
Suite 410
Houston, TX 77024


John T. Burdine

Dr. John T. Burdine graduated from the University of Texas in 1966 with a B.S. in chemistry and from the Houston Dental Branch in 1970 with a D.D.S degree.