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Post-Operative Instructions: Oral Pathology


Bleeding may occur for several hours after your procedure. This bleeding can be controlled by placing a rolled up, clean gauze directly over the surgery site and putting firm pressure. Change the gauze every 45 minutes until there is just a red spot, then leave gauze out.

  • You should drink liquids and eat soft foods for the first 24 hours after surgery, starting 1 hour after leaving. No steaming hot foods for 24 hours after surgery. Hot encourages bleeding.
  • NO smoking, use of straws, vigorous rinsing, spitting, or use of commercial mouthwashes for 48–72 hours.
  • Take your medication as directed. You need to take a pain pill as soon as you arrive home with soft, cool foods. Numbness will usually only last 2–3 hours. The antibiotics are also better tolerated when there is food in your stomach, but you may wait until dinner to start.
  • If stitches are used, they are dissolvable and will come out by themselves in 3–10 days.
  • You may gently brush your teeth following surgery, but stay away from the open area and stitches for a few days.
  • On the FIRST DAY after surgery, salt water rinses 2–3 times a day for 5 days. (One teaspoon of salt per 8 ounces of warm water.)
  • Remember to keep your mouth as clean as possible during the healing period.


Pain: If you have pain UNRELIEVED by the medication prescribed, call the office. Due to FDA regulations, pain medication can no longer be called in. A written prescription is required.

Swelling: Mild to moderate swelling and bruising is normal after surgery and should subside over the next 3–5 days.

Bleeding: If heavy bleeding occurs holding pressure with gauze contact the office.

Stiffness: This is a normal response to surgery. Exercising your mouth will help. Numbness: This is a normal reaction to the local anesthesia injected.


A tissue specimen (biopsy) was sent to the University of Louisville Oral Pathology Laboratory for pathology diagnosis. You will receive a bill for this service; however, your medical insurance plan may provide coverage for this fee. If you do receive a bill for this service and have a question, please call the UofL Oral Pathology Laboratory at (502) 852-5654. We will see you back for a follow-up within the next 2 weeks, or Dr. Hudson will call you with the biopsy results.

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