Can You Go Swimming After Dental Surgery?

Swimmer Experiecing Jaw Pain Amid Pink Background

Undergoing dental surgery is significant, and following your post-operative care instructions is essential for a smooth recovery. For patients who’ve recently gotten dental implants or other surgical procedures, it’s easy to wonder about the activities you can safely engage in afterward. One common question is whether or not it’s safe to go swimming after surgery. This article discusses swimming after dental surgery and other tips to ensure a successful recovery. 

Why It’s Recommended Not To Go Swimming After Surgery 

When recovering from dental surgery, it’s generally recommended that you should avoid any water-related activities. As your surgical site is still healing, it can face complications. Here’s why we suggest that swimming should be avoided: 

  • Risk of Infection: Open wounds from dental surgery can become easily infected, especially in a chlorine pool or natural body of water. Bacteria, chemicals, and other contaminants in swimming pools or natural water sources can increase the risk of infection and delay healing. The non-sterile water in the pool or lake introduces bacteria into the wound. 
  • Dislodging Blood Clots:  When the dentist removes the tooth, tiny blood clots form at the socket. This clot minimizes bleeding and prevents debris and bacteria from reaching the pulp. However, engaging in activities like swimming involving movement and pressure changes can dislodge these blood clots. When swimming after a tooth’s removal, the risk of dislodging the clot increases, resulting in a dry socket. In addition, they will experience increased bleeding and pain due to strenuous activity.

However, the time when you can resume swimming will depend on the type of procedure performed and how well you progress with your healing. It’s essential to consult with your oral surgeon before engaging in water-related activities such as swimming, as they can provide you with personalized recommendations based on your healing progress. 

Overall, the duration you should wait before swimming following dental surgery depends on the type of surgery. You can swim 24 hours after a minor surgical procedure, but you may need to wait two weeks after a major one. Patients who are easily fatigued or anemic may stay longer. The first 24 hours after your surgery is vital, as it’s considered the most prominent time for your surgical site to heal. However, swimming immediately after your surgery before those 24 hours can pose a high risk of infection, so it’s best to try and avoid swimming until your surgeon says so or until you feel your surgery has healed well enough to swim. 

Visit University Oral Surgery Center For a Successful Recovery!

If you have any questions about your post-operative care or need further clarification regarding swimming or other activities, please don’t hesitate to contact our experienced team at University Oral Surgery Center. We are here to support you and ensure your successful recovery from dental surgery. For more information about our surgery options, call (310) 208-3471 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ramin Shabtaie at our location in Los Angeles, CA. 

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