Tips to Reduce Swelling after Dental Surgery

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
May 01, 2015

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Quick Bites

  • Cold compression can relieve the pain.
  • Warm water bag must be used on swollen area.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication can reduce swelling.
  • Eating solid food must be avoided.

After dental surgery, detailed post operative care needs to be taken to reduce swelling, pain and any chance of getting infections. Generally a dental surgery is followed by swelling of gums within 24 hours, which can last up to 7 - 10 days.


Swelling after the dental surgery can prove to be very painful if proper care is not taken. There are a few simple ways to reduce swelling after dental surgery:

Dental Surgery Swelling

Cold Compression

Cold compression is a very effective way to minimise swelling. Wrap a few cubes of ice in a towel and apply it on the swollen area. Do not apply ice directly on the operated area as extreme cold can harm the skin or the mucosal membrane. Duration of 10 minutes between two compressions should be maintained.

Warm Water Bag

48 hrs after the surgery, replace the cold compression with a warm water bag. Wrap a hot water bottle in a towel and apply it on the swollen area. Do not apply the compression directly on the operated area as this can burn your skin and the mucosa. A warm compression after a cold compression improves blood circulation in that area, thereby reducing swelling.

Dental Surgery Swelling

Anti-inflammatory medications

Anti-inflammatory medications can be used to reduce swelling. Various antibiotics are used to treat the swollen gums. Always take medicines after consulting the doctor as some medicines can have some side effects.

Avoid Solid Food

Avoid eating any solid food soon after the surgery. It is advisable to have soft food or liquid food. You can have soups, yoghurts, milkshakes and mashed potatoes. Avoid any spicy food, hot or cold drinks and even soda as these can cause irritations and itching.

Dental Hygiene


  • Brush your teeth very carefully as a mild bruise can cause serious infection.
  • Keep your head in an upright position while sleeping.
  • To reduce the post operative swelling, rinse your mouth with warm salt water at least 4 times a day. Do not spit and rinse thoroughly.
  • Rinse your mouth properly after every meal to ensure that no food particle is stuck in the area where teeth are missing.
  • Avoid smoking, taking alcohol and tobacco as they can cause infection. They can increase the severity of swelling.

Swelling after dental surgery can be reduced by taking proper precautions. These methods can prove beneficial in minimising the swelling and quickening the healing process.

Image source: Getty Images

Read more articles on Dental Procedures.



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