After Periodontal Surgery
Post-Surgical Care Following Periodontal Surgery
Rest: Relax today and refrain from vigorous work-out programs for 2-3 days following surgery. Keep your head slightly elevated in the first 24 hours (an extra pillow or a thick book under the head of your mattress).
Medication: Any pain medication that you would use for a bad headache will normally be adequate. If medications have been prescribed for you, it is important that you take it as prescribed. If you are taking antibiotics and develop itching, rash or swelling, discontinue the drug and contact our office.
Oral Hygiene: DO NOT RINSE TODAY. Starting tomorrow you will rely on the antibacterial oral rinse given to you to keep the area clean. You should rinse/swish for 30 seconds/spit out, 2 times per day (follow instructions on bottle) or swab the site with a Q-tip dipped in the rinse. Do not swallow the rinse. You must avoid brushing/flossing the surgical site for at least 1 week unless otherwise instructed, since this can break stitches prematurely or cause movement of the gum.
Stitches/Glues: Dissolving stitches are generally used. Dissolving rates vary significantly from person to person; they can fall out between 2 and 8 days. If non-dissolving stitches have been placed, they will be removed at your post-op appointment. If a stitch comes loose and is bothersome, simply clip it off with small scissors. Medical glues may also be used which will gradually chip off as healing progresses. Bothersome pieces of the medical glue may also be clipped or picked off as they loosen.
Periodontal Pack: This is a protective dressing sometimes required to protect a surgical site from trauma and reduce discomfort. If it falls off or you swallow it, do not worry; this will not influence healing and it is not harmful if ingested.
Swelling: Is very common. You can minimize it by placing an ice pack on your face over the surgical site during the 1st day after surgery (on for 20 minutes, off for 20 minutes). Swelling is often worst in the morning because you have been lying down. It will reduce gradually after you get up. Ice packs can help again.
Bleeding: Slight seepage/blood staining in your saliva is expected following the surgery. Profuse bleeding is extremely rare. If it should occur, apply pressure with a moistened tea bag for 20 minutes. If you are still unable to control the bleeding after 40 minutes, call our office. If you are unable to reach the dentist, you should go to the nearest hospital emergency department.
Smoking: Affects healing and generally has a negative impact on the surgical result. Avoid smoking as much as possible.
Alcohol: Will affect your body’s normal clotting mechanism, and can contribute to bleeding problems within the first few days after surgery. Avoid alcohol for the first few days after surgery. It can also adversely interact with painkillers (codeine based drugs) and some antibiotics.
Nutrition: Maintain your diet as close to normal as possible, especially if you are diabetic. Avoid eating hard/crunchy foods; avoid foods with small seeds or popcorn which could get stuck in the surgical site. Liquid food supplements are recommended if you are having difficulty eating. Do not suck through a straw as this can cause bleeding.
Connective Tissue Graft: Remember that the graft is “sandwiched” under your existing gums, so don’t be concerned if it looks as though the graft “didn’t take”.
Free Gingival Graft: It is especially important that the graft not be dislodged, so avoid the temptation to pull back your lip or cheek to inspect the graft.
Please do not hesitate to call our office if you are concerned about your situation. Dr. Black’s contact phone number is above.