Post Operative Instructions Following Gum Surgery
Refrain from eating for at least 2 hours and until the anesthesia has worn off.
Diet: Do not eat for about 3 hours following the surgery. Then, a soft or liquid diet, including warm soup or instant breakfast, is advised for the next 2-3 days. Avoid alcohol, carbonated drinks, and hard, brittle foods such as tortilla chips that can injure the surgical site. Drinking plenty of fluids and eating a well balanced diet is important to your recovery.
Medications: Moderate discomfort may begin as the anesthesia wears off. A non-aspirin analgesic may be recommended to relieve any tenderness or discomfort, and may be taken within the first hour after surgery. It is important to take the prescribed antibiotic as it will aid in the healing process. If you have a reaction to a medication such as nausea, or skin rash, stop taking it immediately and call our office.
Bleeding Control: Slight bleeding or oozing after the surgery is normal and may occur at intervals for the first 24-48 hours. Forceful rinsing or excessive spitting can disrupt clotting, so do not rinse for at least 4 hours. If bleeding does persist:
- Apply a moistened gauze pad, or tea bag, with moderate pressure to the bleeding site for 20 minutes. Repeat, if necessary.
- Stay calm and quiet; lie down with the head elevated on 2-3 pillows.
- If the bleeding persists do not hesitate to call our office.
Swelling: Slight swelling is a common response in the healing process. To minimize excessive swelling, place an ice bag or a cold, moist compress over the involved site for 10-20 minute intervals. Repeat this several times as needed over the next 48 hours. If the swelling increases or discomfort develops, again, call our office.
Oral Hygiene: It is extremely important to keep your teeth and gums clean following surgery. Not only will this will help to achieve a better result, but the tissues will heal faster. Brush your teeth very lightly the first night. Then begin flossing the next day, allowing the floss to very gently touch the gums of the surgical area. Do not force the floss vigorously between the tooth and the gums as this will prevent the new attachment from developing normally. Also, refrain from using any irrigation devices such as the Water Pik. After brushing and flossing, apply chlorhexidine gluconate (Peridex), if prescribed, with a cotton swab first by dabbing the area lightly, and then gently swishing a capful in the mouth for 30 seconds. Avoid using any strong mouthwashes that contain alcohol. Chloraseptic and Cepastat are good ones to use.
No Smoking: Do not smoke for at least 48 hours. Smoking can seriously delay the healing process.
If you have any questions or problems, please call our office.