Care for Your Mouth After Gum Graft

  • SWELLING You should expect swelling. The inflammatory response happens after any surgery and usually reaches a peak at 72-96 hours after surgery (3-4 days). Please use the provided ice pack. The cold will constrict the area blood vessels and lead to less swelling during this time. An anti-inflammatory such as Motrin (ibuprofen) or Aleve (naproxen) is also useful to take as directed the first 3 days after surgery. This will limit the number of inflammatory mediators produced at the surgery site. The combination of ice packs and anti- inflammatories leads to significantly less swelling during the first 3 days. If we can minimize the swelling, we can minimize majority of the pain. Visible bruising can be expected as well. Following the recommendations outlined above will help minimize this. If swelling persists after 7 days and is not resolving, contact your doctor for further instructions.
  • BLEEDING bleeding is normal during the first 1-2 days. Cover your pillow with a towel to prevent staining. It is recommended to sleep with your head elevated (extra pillows, recliner chair) to help reduce swelling and bleeding. AVOID USING: ALCOHAL, PEROXIDE, CARBONATED BEVERAGES, DRINKING STRAWS AND SMOKING for the first 3 days. The agents can dissolve any blood clots and can lead to breakthrough bleeding.
  • PAIN Following surgery, pain is usually mild to moderate in severity and should be expected. The pain usually persists for 24-48 hours after surgery. If you have severe pain after 72 hours, please contact the office or your doctor. Please take your prescribed pain medications as directed and alternate with ibuprofen to help reduce swelling.
  • ORAL HLYGIENE Do not brush or floss the teeth around the gum graft site until you return for your post-op visit. All other teeth not treated should be brushed and flossed as normal using a soft toothbrush. Your doctor will check the surgical site and inform you of when you may begin brushing and flossing again at the graft site.
  • SUTURES The sutures may have dissolved by the time you come for your first post-op appointment. Sometimes sutures are used that do not dissolve and will be removed at your post-op appointment.
  • PRESCRIPTION rinse (chlorhexidine gluconate) or ALCOHAL FREE LISTERINE should be used twice a day starting the day after surgery to kill bacteria around the surgical area. If you experience nausea or are prone to experiencing it let our office know, we can prescribe you an anti-nausea medication if needed.

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