Face swelling after mouth surgery. What are the best ways to bring down the swelling?

I got the all-in4 dental surgery and my face is very swollen? What are the best ways to bring down the swelling?

Doctor Answers 6

Best treatment for facial swelling after surgery

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 To prevent or reduce swelling after any surgical procedure, it is best to take anti-inflammatory medications and use ice. 
Motrin is a very effective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory that is  prescribed  in doses from 400 to 800 mg.  It becomes even more effective  when taken in conjunction with a steroid anti-inflammatory such as dexamethasone. In addition, ice is mother nature's anti-inflammatory. It should be used for the first 24 to 36 hours. 

I hope you found this information to be helpful,
Dr. Champa

Freehold Dentist


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TIME HELPS....Most swelling starts to subside after 72 hrs. 

FIRST day after surgery, put a cold compress on the swollen area. You can purchase a cold gel pack from Walgreens/CVS, or you can use a bag of frozen vegetables. You can also make a cold compress by wrapping ice cubes in a towel (it can get messy). Take a styrofoam cup and place water in it, freeze it... once frozen the styrofoam acts like an insulator from the cold so that you can hold it. Do NOT use dry ice.

Be sure to keep the cold compress there for 10 minutes. Take it off for 10 minutes, then put it back on for another 10 minutes; rotate/repeat;  Do this over and over again for the first 24 hours after surgery, if possible.

On the SECOND day after surgery, put something warm on the swollen area. You can make a warm compress by wrapping a hot water bottle or a heating pad in a towel. Placing a moist towel in the microwave for a FEW seconds (be careful not to overheat). The warmth will increase blood flow or circulation and bring down the swelling. Do not use anything hot enough to burn your skin. Call your dentist or oral surgeon if the swelling continues to get WORSE 72 hours after surgery, or if the swelling does not go down within 7 days after surgery. Call 911 if you cannot breath/airway narrows.

Steroids can be prescribed by your doctor to minimize swelling.

Positioning your head so it's blood pressure is slightly reduced can help to minimize the amount of swelling that occurs. The general idea is to keep your "head above your heart."
Sit  up right (or recline); When lying down, prop yourself up by using 2 or 3 pillows

As with all information, consult your dentist prior to making any decisions.

Hope that helps.

Ace Jovanovski, DMD
Round Rock Prosthodontist

Reduce Swelling

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I know that I am a little late in response to this question, but cold ice pack 1st 24 hours- 15min on/ 15 min off cycle.
After the first 24 hours, use a hot towel to dramatically reduce the swelling. Also make sure you take NSAIDs (Motrin or Advil) as well to assist in the reduction of swelling. This should be all that is needed.
Always remember your immune system is at work so your body will be focused on the injured area. This will cause more energy required for the body, so any additional exertion will slow the recovery process down. So rest is key, and no physical exertion during the healing process, especially for the first few days.

James Magee, DDS
Altamonte Springs Dentist

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I agree with the cold packs initially, on for 5 min,off for 5 min. I would also call your surgeon who did the implants and go in to see them to make sure nothing else is going on. Lots of swelling is not that common unless perhaps you had teeth removed,too?

Swelling on 4

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I'm surprised you are quite swollen.  Most of my patients experience minor swelling & discomfort.  Although it may happen, it is recommended to use cold compresses for the first 24 hours then warm towels afterwards.  The warm towels won't help with pain but will increase circulation to shorten the swelling period. Also take your medication as recommended.  Not doing so also contributes to more swelling.

Victor Sanz, DDS
Chicago Dentist

Swelling After All-on-4 Dental Implant Surgery

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Thank you for your question regarding swelling after All-on-4 dental implant surgery. Yes, it is normal to have swelling post All-on-4 surgery and sometimes the swelling can last a week. What we look for with our patients is that they are improving on a day to day basis and that the swelling is not progressing, the tenderness is subsiding, and they are overall feeling better. If you're still concerned, I would suggest you visit your surgeon and have him/her give you their opinion regarding your recovery. He/she would be the most familiar with you case as not all cases are the same. Good luck!

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.