After leaving the office, relax for the remainder of the day. Avoid strenuous activity for several days. For GRAFT placement, avoid trauma to the area, especially vigorous face washing or resting of the telephone on your chin. Do not replace dressing (bandage) if dislodged.
Some swelling is normal, and an ice pack held on the cheek or lip over the surgical site for intermittent periods (10-20 minutes on and 10-20 minutes off) during the first 24 -48 hours may help reduce swelling and will relieve some discomfort. For any residual swelling after the first 48 hours, heat is encouraged (hot water bottle, heating pad, etc.) to increase circulation and promote healing. If swelling becomes progressively more severe after 2-3 days, please let us know.
There should be minimal bleeding after the surgery is completed. There may be a pink discoloration of your saliva for several hours; frank bleeding (bright red) is not to be expected. Should bleeding occur, place a moistened tea bag (not herbal tea) over the area and hold it against the bleeding site. It may take several minutes before the bleeding stops. If there is no change in the amount of bleeding, call the office immediately.
Dissolvable sutures (stitches) are placed to hold the gingival tissues in the proper position for ideal healing. Your doctor will want you to return so that he can observe sufficient healing of the surgical area. Do not disturb the sutures with your tongue, toothbrush, or any other manner since displacement will impair healing.
It is necessary to maintain a relatively normal diet throughout the course of healing. For the first few days, soft food, cool or room temperature, may be eaten. Chewing should be done predominantly on the side opposite the surgical site. It may be necessary to stick to liquids for the first day if chewing is uncomfortable. High protein foods and liquids are desirable for 3-4 days post-surgery.
It is important to maintain a normal level of oral hygiene in the non-surgical areas by brushing and flossing. The assistant will have instructed you on the care of the surgical areas.
Take medications as instructed. Generally, medications should not be taken on an empty stomach. IMPORTANT: Never drive or operate equipment while taking narcotics. If antibiotics are prescribed, take them as directed until ALL are gone as long as there are no adverse reactions or discomfort (itching, redness, etc.).
Please do not smoke during the post-surgical period, as wound healing will be delayed.