Post-operative advice and instructions for patients undergoing surgical procedures

Outpatient Department
Maxillofacial Services

Use a hot salt water bath after meals and last thing at night - more often if you can.

Make the mouth bath by diluting one level teaspoon of salt in a mug of water - as hot as you would drink a cup of tea.

Hold a mouthful in your mouth for about 10-15 seconds, then spit it out and continue in the same way until you have used the entire mug.

  • Do not start mouth baths until the following morning
  • Do the mouth baths for at least 3-4 days after surgery
  • Use your toothbrush as normally as possible
  • If antibiotics have been prescribed, please ensure you finish the course
  • Do not drink alcohol, or smoke, for at least 24 hours

If bleeding starts, bite firmly on a clean handkerchief or gauze placed over the bleeding point. If the bleeding persists after one hour, please phone the ward for advice.

You may need to control the pain with tablets. If these have not been prescribed, you can use paracetamol or ibuprofen, or any medication you would use if you had a headache. Follow the dosage recommended on the packet. It is often best to take painkillers regularly, e.g. three or four times a day for best effect.

If you need advice or have a problem, please contact:

Maxillofacial Outpatients Department
Telephone: 01709 424675 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm)

Out of hours contact on-call doctor on 01709 428304.

Alternatively, you can contact your own dentist.


Produced by: Mr Crosher, June 2013. 
Revised: December 2014, December 2015. April 2019, July 2021.
Next revision due: July 2023. Version: 6.0
© The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust 2021. All rights reserved.

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