A surgical bandage or dressing may have been placed on the gum or soft tissue to help the healing process. If so, leave the bandage in place – it should come off on its own. Otherwise, it will be removed during your post op visit.
After your gum graft surgery, some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for the first 24 hours. Keep your head elevated slightly. To minimize swelling and bruising, apply ice packs to your face for 20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off for the next 2 days.
Sutures have been placed to hold your gum grafts in place. If dissolving sutures were used, they may begin to melt before your first post op visit. If not, your sutures will be removed by our office at your post op visits.
Drink plenty of fluids. Some suggestions are Gatorade, Boost and Ensure. You may eat warm (not hot), soft foods when you feel you are able. Avoid spicy or crunchy foods. Avoid strenuous activity immediately following surgery, as it can cause blood pressure to rise and trigger bleeding.
For 3 days after the surgery, avoid doing any of the following as it can disrupt clotting, slow the healing process and cause the gum graft to fail:
- Do not poke at, disturb or touch the incision sites
- Do not lift/pull on the lip to look at the sutures
- Do not rinse hard
- Do not spit
- Do not smoke
- Do not use a straw or purse your lips in any manner that will cause suction
- Do not use a commercial mouthwash
- Do not drink carbonated beverages
- Do not use an oral irrigating device
You may have been prescribed some or a combination of any of the following medications:
- Anti-inflammatory pain reliever: This will help reduce swelling and reduce pain. You should take 1 pill 8 hours after surgery and then 3 times daily for the next 3 days. Your initial dose may be be given to you intravenously.
- Decongestant: Such as Afrin oxymetazoline. Use 2 sprays in each nostril 1 hour before surgery and then twice daily for 3 days. You can take Sudafed or something similar if you still feel congestion until your stitches are removed.
- Narcotic pain reliever: This is usually acetaminophen with hydrocodone. This may be prescribed for moderate to severe discomfort. This can be taken every 4 hours as needed after surgery, in addition to the anti-inflammatory pain reliever.
- Antibiotics: You will have started taking the prescription a few days before the procedure. Continue taking the antibiotic as directed after surgery until it is finished.
- Steroids: To accelerate healing and reduce swelling. Your initial dose may be given to you intravenously. You will take 3 tablets the day after surgery and 1 tablet the following morning.
- Antiseptic rinse: Prescription oral rinse that helps keep the area clean during the healing process. You should rinse GENTLY morning and night. Avoiding eating or drinking for 1 hour after rinsing.
Two weeks after surgery, you may GENTLY swab the grafted area with a Q-tip dipped in antiseptic mouthwash. Do this twice a day.
Avoid the following for the next 8-10 days or until the sutures are removed:
- Smoking or tobacco use
- Using a straw
- Lifting or pulling on lip to look at sutures
- Lying on the side of face over area of surgery
- Pressing on the cheek or the jaw over the area of surgery
- Brushing grafted area with toothbrush
- Eating solid food near the graft
Call the office for instructions if any of the following occur:
- Your medications do not relieve your discomfort
- If you develop a fever above 99 F
- If you have any unusual swelling or uncontrolled bleeding
- If stitches become lost or loose