These instructions apply to the surgical procedure just completed. They are designed to help you minimize post-surgical discomfort and inform you of any situation that may require special attention. You will find instructions for the following:
- General Post-Treatment Instructions
- Specific Procedure Post-Treatment Instructions
For your convenience we have provided PDF copies available for you to download:
General Post-Treatment Instructions
Having periodontal surgery does not necessarily mean that you have to alter your daily routine, however, it is important that you get plenty of rest.
- Mild exercise may begin after 24 hours.
- Resume heavy exercise or physical exertion after 72 hours
Discomfort and Medications
The amount of discomfort and its duration varies from person to person. We will provide you with proper medications. Please take as indicated and recommended.
- Finish all antibiotics.
- If not contraindicated, 3 tablets (200 mg) of ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) with 1 tablet of Extra Strength Tylenol every 6 hours. Do not exceed the maximum dosage.
Expect some swelling, it may take 3-4 days before reaching its peak.
- First 48 hours apply ice for as long as you can tolerate, remove, and reapply.
Even though the bleeding will be controlled when you leave our office, a small amount of bleeding may continue for up to 24 hours, so do not be concerned should this occur.
However, should you have excessive bleeding, place a piece of moist gauze over the surgical site while sitting in an upright position. Apply firm and steady finger pressure for about 5-10 minutes.
- Gauze soaked in tea is sometimes more effective.
- If the problem persists, please contact the office.
A slight elevation in your temperature may be expected, however, if it is excessive or questionable, please contact the office.
Diet and Eating Instructions
Avoid drinking beverages hot in temperature or eating hot foods for the first 24 hours. Cold beverages are fine; however, some sensitivity may occur. A good diet is essential. Eat soft foods, avoiding any spicy, hard, or crunchy items until sutures are removed.
- Acceptable soft foods: yogurt or cottage cheese, soup, well-cooked veggies, soft bread, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pudding or gelatin, sorbet, oatmeal, pasta, eggs, applesauce, bananas, protein shakes, fish.
- Foods to avoid: foods with small seeds, pretzels, crust, chips, peanuts, popcorn, sesame seeds, kiwi seeds, cereal, bread, pizza, candy, rice, nuts, gum, nachos, steak, wings, sausage, etc.
Since local anesthetic will be administered, please be mindful of oral numbness. Reduce the risk of trauma to the tongue, cheeks, gums, or lips by eliminating mastication until the anesthetic wears off completely and abiding by a soft diet.
Toothbrushing and Rinsing
Do not brush the surgical site near the gum tissue until you are instructed to do so. Avoid touching the stitches. Brush and floss all other areas of your mouth.
Do not expectorate (spit) the day of the surgery
Rinse with mouth rinses, as indicated and directed by your care provider.
- Rinse with 1 tsp of salt with 4 ounces of warm water after meals.
- Gentle swishing is advised.
Alcohol and Smoking
Alcohol and smoking can narrow the blood vessels and prevent the blood from clotting properly.
Please refrain from smoking or drinking alcohol for at least 48 hours to avoid slowing the healing process.
Specific Procedure Post-Treatment Instructions
Sinus Grafting Procedures
Treatment of the area of the sinus can cause slight discomfort, swelling, and occasional bruising. It is advised to avoid bending over, nose blowing, and suppressing a sneeze for 2 weeks.
- Slight nose bleeds are normal for up to 2 weeks.
- Small bone particles may be found in the mouth in the morning, they are normal.
Soft Tissue Gum Graft Connective Tissue Graft
During the normal course of healing, the tissue graft may change appearance and color. The color may appear white/gray/red during the healing period. Do NOT be alarmed by the appearance of the graft.
Full mouth reconstructive surgery varies in the duration and extent of discomfort, swelling, and occasional bruising. If treatment is completed on the upper jaw, avoid bending over, nose blowing, and suppressing a sneeze for 2 weeks.
- A soft mushy diet is to be followed for 6 weeks following the procedure.
- Oral home care will not be implemented until instructed to do so.
It is extremely important not to dislodge blood clots that form in and around the gums. One of the most important results of laser surgery is the blood clots that form following surgery.
- Carefully avoid chewing food in the areas of the mouth where the laser has been used for at least one week following surgery.
- Do not be alarmed with any color changes or appearance of tissues following laser therapy. Tissues can be gray, yellow, red, blue, purple, or “stringy” and reflect normal response to laser treatments.
Do NOT Rinse the first 24 Hours.
- It is OK to spit, rinse, and wash your mouth after 24 hours.
Do NOT brush or floss your teeth until instructed to do so.
- Try to keep your mouth as clean as possible to help the healing process. Brush, floss, and follow other home care measures in all the areas of your mouth except for the surgery area.
- Do not apply excessive tongue or cheek pressure to the surgery area.
- For the first three days, follow only a liquid-like diet to allow Anything that could be put into a blender to drink is ideal. The purpose of this is to protect the clot that is acting as a “band-aid” between the gums and the teeth. Do not drink through a straw, as this creates a vacuum in your mouth that can disturb the “band-aid”. Take daily vitamins.
- Next four days after treatment, foods with a “mushy” consistency such as eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, malts, ice cream, etc. Stay away from spicy and “chippy” foods. It is also important to maintain good fluid intake during this period.
- Starting seven to ten days after treatment, soft foods may be eaten. Soft foods that have the consistency of pasta, fish, chicken, or steamed vegetables. You may then, gradually add back your regular diet choices.
Please remember that even after ten days, healing is not complete. The first month following treatment you should continue to make smart food choices. Softer foods are better
Do Not brush, floss, or touch at the surgical site. Rinse only with your lips apart, no vigorous swishing.
- Waterpik can be used only from the tongue-side (inside) surfaces.
- Tissue will be healing changes in color and appearance will occur over the next 6 weeks.
- Do not be alarmed about soft swelling or bruising during the first week.
- Expect cold sensitivity on teeth for 6 weeks or longer.
Ice is at 10-minute intervals for the first 48 hours to minimize swelling.
- Pain can be controlled with one acetaminophen (Tylenol) and NSAID (Motrin or Advil) at the same time, subject to other instructions from the Doctor.
- Wear prescribed appliances 24 hours a day, if instructed. Do not clench or grind your teeth. Check with the Doctor about any other appliances (e.g., retainers, Invisalign, perio-protect, etc.)
Do not eat crunchy or sticky food or drink out of a straw.
It is common for dressings to fall off. If so, use a Q-tip dipped in Chlorhexidine Gluconate (Peridex) and gently swab the area. If the dressing becomes loose, simply remove it, do not try to push it back in place, this will irritate the tissue.
AVOID FOR 3-5 DAYS POST-SURGERY
- Aspirin and other blood thinners. Please discuss this with your care provider.
- Vitamin E.
- Fish Oil.
S.M.A.R.T. Bone Graft
- Bruising or swelling is possible.
- Apply cold for the first 48 hours. Heat after.
- Avoid strenuous physical activity for 48 hours.
- Keep your head up. Do not lean over the rest of the body.
- Sleep sitting up and /or using a neck pillow.
- Avoid toothbrushing the area.
- Do not pull your lips or cheeks.
- Do not touch the area.
- Chew on the opposite side.