Monthly Archives: May 2020

Oral surgery tips for quicker healing

Getting Oral Surgery? Why Straws Are Off-Limits During Recovery.

When it comes to oral surgery, your choice of who performs the procedure can help ensure a speedy, problem-free recovery. Experienced professionals — such as the team here at Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery — take every possible step to make that happen.

However, what you do after undergoing oral surgery can affect how quickly and easily your mouth heals. And if you use a straw, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Here’s why drinking through a straw is out of the question when you’re recovering.

Oral surgery tips for quicker healing

How Drinking Straws Can Cause Damage

Your oral surgeon will provide you with complete aftercare instructions, letting you know what to do and what not to do in the days following your procedure. One of the recommendations will be to avoid drinking straws — but why?

Sure, there’s the chance that you could accidentally poke the surgical site with the straw when you use it. That would cause pain and damage to the area, but it isn’t the biggest reason straws are a no-no after oral surgery.

The formation of blood clots is a normal part of the healing process, and the suction action of drinking through a straw can dislodge the clots. And if this occurs, you can expect a longer, more painful recovery.

What Else to Avoid During Oral Surgery Recovery

For the best chance at healing fast, without any complications, follow your oral surgeon’s advice. Your specific instructions may vary, but as a general rule, experts recommend that you avoid certain actions during recovery.

Here’s what to do when you’re healing from oral surgery:

  • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol.
  • Don’t eat hard, crunchy or chewy foods.
  • Don’t bend or lift anything heavy.
  • Don’t exercise or play sports.
  • Don’t spit, gulp or vigorously swish liquids.

How Long Does Oral Surgery Recovery Take?

The time it will take you to heal depends upon the complexity of your procedure and your overall health.

If yours is a simple oral surgery — such as a tooth extraction or the placement of a bone graft — you may be able to resume your normal activities in just a couple of days. With wisdom teeth removal, your recovery may take about a week.

For a complex procedure, like corrective jaw surgery or dental implant surgery, you might not be completely healed for a few weeks. And in some cases, the recovery period can be as long as several months. However, you won’t be out of commission the entire time — you’ll likely be back to your regular routine within a week.

Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, serving the greater east central Indiana area, is committed to providing every patient with a positive experience. Our highly experienced, board-certified oral surgeons know how to set the stage for a smooth and easy recovery, and we do everything we can to ensure you heal without a problem.

If you’re in need of surgical treatment, contact Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and schedule a professional oral surgery consultation today.

Is there a test for oral cancer?

Do You Need an Oral Pathology Screening?

The goal of a professional oral pathology screening is to diagnose cancerous conditions early, when treatment is easier and has a higher success rate.

Your dentist and oral surgeon both check for oral cancer during your routine visits. But conducting monthly self-screenings is important too, as there’s always a chance you could develop cancer of the mouth or throat between appointments.

How can you tell if you need to schedule a professional oral pathology screening? Here, we explain the symptoms to watch for — and why you shouldn’t panic if you spot a potential sign of oral cancer.

Is there a test for oral cancer?

When to Contact Your Oral Surgeon for a Screening

You should make an appointment for a professional oral pathology screening anytime you notice a change in any part of the oral cavity. This includes the inside of your lips and cheeks, your gums, your tongue, the roof of your mouth and your oropharynx, which is comprised of your throat, tonsils and soft palate.

Signs that call for an immediate professional screening include:

  • Mouth sores that aren’t healing
  • White, red or discolored patches
  • Lumps, thickened tissues or rough spots
  • Lesions that bleed when touched
  • Numbness in the lips or inside the mouth
  • Trouble moving the tongue or swallowing
  • Prolonged sore throat or hoarseness
  • Feeling like something is stuck in the throat

Why You Shouldn’t Assume You Have Oral Cancer

If you spot an abnormality in your mouth or throat tissues, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer.

Several noncancerous conditions cause strange growths and lesions to develop. Yours could be any of the following:

  • Cold sores
  • Canker sores
  • Fibromas
  • Thrush
  • Benign bone tumor

Your sores or irregularities could also be due to medication you’re taking. Aspirin, sulfa drugs and beta blockers are among the medicines known to create mouth abnormalities in some patients.

Schedule a Screening with a Specialist in Oral Pathology

The earlier that cancer is detected, the greater the odds of successful treatment. Regular professional screenings are essential, as experts in oral pathology and conditions of the mouth, face and neck can spot warning signs that patients may miss.

If your last dentist or oral surgeon appointment was quite some time ago — or if you’re concerned about symptoms you’ve noticed — schedule a professional screening. For expert care in the greater east central Indiana area, turn to Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Our board-certified surgeons have been diagnosing and treating oral cancer and noncancerous conditions of the mouth and throat for more than a decade. You’ll be in good hands with our professional team — contact our office in Richmond, Indiana, to schedule an oral pathology screening today.