Instructions Following Surgery

Post-operative discomfort should be minimal if the following post periodontal surgery instructions are followed.

Medications:

Pain relievers and antibiotics are usually prescribed. Please take all prescriptions as directed. Please be aware that sedatives and narcotics may impair your judgement or cause drowsiness. Discontinue anti coagulants 3 days prior to procedure and resume 1 day after.

Comfort:

Comfort will be maintained by taking the prescribed medications. During the first 24 hours it is advised to take the analgesic (pain) medication on a regular basis, beginning before the local anesthetic wears off. In addition, it will be helpful to apply ice packs to your face (approximately 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off) for the first day. Also hold cold water in your mouth, periodically, until it becomes warm. The cold in your mouth and on your face will help to limit swelling and pain. After the first 24 hours, begin warm saltwater rinses and moist heat applications. Do not use cold compresses after the first day.

Diet:

The importance of a nutritious diet cannot be over emphasized during healing. The patient who is well nourished feels better, remains comfortable and heals faster. A hungry person becomes irritable and nervous. It has been scientifically shown that a person in this state is more susceptible to pain. One should avoid foods that are extremely hard or crunchy. Foods containing tomatoes, onions, pepper or any spices may be irritating. Fruit juices may cause a burning sensation unless taken through a straw. For the first day cold, soft foods are recommended (jello, pudding, ice cream, milkshakes, cottage cheese etc.). After the first 24 hours warm foods are allowed, but try to keep them soft and lightly seasoned. Please make sure to eat prior to any surgical appointment unless you are utilizing intravenous sedation.

Dressing:

Packing may be used to cover areas of your mouth after surgery. Do not be concerned if this packing material comes off, but take care not to disturb the surgical site.

Oral Hygiene:

After the first day, warm saltwater rinses are strongly recommended to aid in the healing process. Use one-quarter teaspoon of salt to an 8 ounce glass of water at least three times a day. You may wish to rinse with diluted mouthwash, in addition to the saltwater. You can also gently brush the biting surface of treated teeth with a soft toothbrush, which has been moistened under warm water. Please continue your usual plaque control measures on all untreated areas of your mouth.

Swelling:

As mentioned above, ice packs and cold-water rinses will help to minimize swelling and pain for the first day. If there is any significant or prolonged swelling or elevation in temperature, please call the office.

Bleeding:

There may be some light bleeding for the first few hours after surgery, but persistent or heavy bleeding is unusual. If this does occur, apply direct pressure to the area with a piece of gauze. If bleeding continues place a moistened tea bag on the site. Should bleeding persist, please call the office.

Smoking:

It is strongly recommended that you abstain from smoking during healing from periodontal surgery. It has been scientifically shown that smoking interferes with proper healing following surgery. Additionally, you should be aware that smoking might contribute to further periodontal breakdown.

Future Appointments:

Sutures and packing will be removed 6-10 days after surgery. We will need to see you again to monitor healing. Periodic recall appointments will also be arranged after surgery in order to maintain what has been accomplished through treatment.

Emergencies:

Excessive pain and swelling, or persistent bleeding are not usual and should be called to our attention at once. If you have any other problems or questions please feel free to call us. If we are not in the office, our answering service will be able to locate the doctor.