After Oral Surgery: What You Should Know

How to Enhance Healing After Oral Surgery

After undergoing oral surgery of any kind — including implants, periodontal surgery, bone grafts, tissue grafts, etc. – it is important to take the necessary precautions to optimize the body’s ability to heal.

Quit Smoking: Healing after oral surgery (or any type of surgery) is negatively affected by smoking. Cigarette smoking interrupts our bodies’ natural ability to fight off infection.  It is widely known how damaging smoking is for the lungs. In general smoking limits the amount of oxygen that is delivered to our entire body just by limiting the lungs’ ability to absorb proper amounts of oxygen.

Smoking constricts blood vessels; this limits the amount of oxygen and much needed nutrients delivered to cells especially in the mouth. Surgeons tell patients to refrain from smoking directly after surgery because it slows down and interrupts healing of skin, bones, oral tissues, and all other soft tissues. Infection is a risk or complication with any surgery. Healing after periodontal surgery requires cessation for a period of time especially because oral soft tissues are much more vascular than other cells.

Plastic surgeons for example warn their patients of the dangers of smoking while healing from surgery. All of our cells are delicate and sensitive to the effects of smoking, but oral tissues are especially affected by smoking. Nicotine patches may be used if needed. We do various surgeries at Southern Arizona Periodontics including placing implants, periodontal surgery, bone grafts, tissue grafts, etc. The healing of implants is negatively affected by smoking.

Other Systemic Conditions: Other systemic problems or maladies such as diabetes can inhibit healing also; therefore it is important to make sure blood sugar levels are regulated especially before, during, and after surgeries. It is important to take the necessary precautions in order to optimize the body’s ability to heal in general but significantly following surgery.

Good Oral Hygiene: Keeping plaque and biofilm to a minimum also helps improve healing of oral tissues. It is important to follow post operative surgery instructions in order to heal successfully. Many times a prescription mouth rinse is recommended such as Peridex which is a broad spectrum antimicrobial which kills bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

Follow these and other after care recommendations by your surgeon to ensure rapid healing with no complications.