The thought used to be that ice would be the best way of keeping swelling down, and it would be used for 2-4 days following oral surgery.
However, now, things have changed, and ice is not used that long in most cases. If you are about to have oral surgery, you need to ask the best length of time to use ice to help control your swelling.
General Rules for Reducing Swelling Following Oral Surgery
Most of the time, your oral surgeon will have you apply ice on and off for the first 24 hours. You should put it on the cheek nearest the swelling for 15-20 minutes, then have it off the same amount of time. This shouldn't often go beyond the 24 hour mark. At that point, you should flip the cold for moist heat.
This means you should follow the same on and off pattern, but instead of using ice, you should use a hot water bottle that is warm, but not hot, or use a warm washcloth. This can help increase blood flow to the area, and speed up healing.
When it comes to your post-op instructions, you need to follow them to the letter. They are set up to keep your mouth healthy, and to improve your chances of having a speedy recovery. If you have any questions, you can always call your oral surgeon's office.
They will listen to what's going on, and give you advice on how to help your situation. If something doesn't sound quite right, they will have you come in to take a peek.
Please contact our office if you have any questions about using ice after an oral surgery.