DISCOMFORT: If you have discomfort following the procedure just performed, please take the prescription for pain killers as directed. Try not to take pain medication on an empty stomach (to prevent nausea). Do not drink alcohol on the day of surgery and as long as you are taking pain medication. Do not operate an automobile or operate heavy machinery within 24 hours of taking pain medication.
BLEEDING: If there is some blood in the saliva, don't be alarmed (this is a normal part of the healing process). Don't rinse or spit vigorously for 2-3 days to avoid excessive bleeding (gentle rinsing with prescribed mouthwash is ok). Sleep with two pillows at night to keep your head elevated. Please refrain from hot food or beverage for at least four hours after surgery (cold liquids in the mouth help reduce bleeding). If you have excessive bleeding apply a cold, moistened gauze (or a cold, moistened tea bag wrapped in a gauze) to the area with moderate pressure for 10 minutes at a time. If the bleeding persists call 911 or go to the emergency room of your choice.
SWELLING: Some swelling in the operated area is normal. The maximum swelling is on the third day following surgery. Place ice packs on the face in the region of the treated area on for 10 minutes and off for 20 minutes until you go to bed on the day of surgery (to reduce swelling). If you have unusual swelling that persists after the third day, please call the office.
ANTIBIOTICS: If you are prescribed antibiotics please take them as directed. For women taking birth control pills, be advised that antibiotics may interfere with the effectiveness of your prescription.
ORAL HYGIENE: In the surgical area you can gently brush the teeth but don't touch the gums and don't floss until the sutures are removed. If you have a surgical dressing, avoid touching it with a toothbrush or floss. Continue to brush and floss the teeth that were not involved in the surgery area.
PRIODONTAL DRESSING: A periodontal dressing is placed on gum grafts to protect the sutures for one to two weeks after surgery. Your surgical procedure can heal even if the dressing comes off prematurely. If small pieces break off do not be concerned. If the whole dressing becomes loose don't try to remove it yourself, but if it falls off without discomfort, it is ok to leave it off.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: Avoid strenuous physical activity for 1-2 days following surgery. If you elevate your blood pressure you may get bleeding.
THINGS TO AVOID: Do not smoke! Smoking increases your risk of postoperative complications and treatment failure. Don't drink alcohol on the day of surgery or with the prescribed medications. Don't drive a car or operate heavy machinery on the day of surgery or within 24 hours of taking pain medication. Don't rinse or spit, drink through a straw or use an irrigation device (to avoid bleeding) for 2-3 days following surgery.
DIET: A diet with a soft consistency is recommended. Avoid hard, fibrous or "sharp" foods such as chips (they can be uncomfortable and cause bleeding). Drink plenty of fluids. The diet in the first 24 hours after surgery should consist of cold foods and liquids only. The following foods are recommended: Ensure, milk shakes, Jell-O, bananas, yogurt, pudding, applesauce, oatmeal cooked vegetables, mashed potatoes, pasta, casseroles and omelets.
SUTURES: Your sutures are the dissolving type but need to be removed one to two weeks following surgery (since they may not dissolve completely on their own). If you notice a suture that is loose or hanging out, don't be concerned but feel free to call the office. Don't try to remove the sutures yourself.