Periodontal Post-operative Instructions
These instructions apply to most surgical procedures. They are designed to help you minimize post-surgical discomfort and inform you of any situation that may require special attention.
It is not unusual to have discomfort for at least the first week following your surgical procedure. You may be given a prescription for medication to help you tolerate the post-surgical recovery period. Please take your medications as directed. It is advisable to not take pain medication on an empty stomach, as nausea may result.
Note: When taking any prescribed medication containing Acetaminophen (Tylenol), i.e.; Percocet, Hydrocodone, Vicodin or Tylenol with Codeine, you should not take additional Tylenol so as not to exceed the safety level of Acetaminophen. Please contact the office with any questions you may have.
Please alert the office to any allergies or sensitivities that you might have to antibiotics. An antibiotic may be prescribed following your surgical procedure. Take as directed until gone. It is advisable not to take these medications on an empty stomach, as nausea may result. For women taking birth control pills, be advised that antibiotics may interfere with their effectiveness.
Periodontal Dressing (Gum Graft Putty)
The dressing (which acts as a bandage) is used to protect the surgical site and help reduce discomfort. If your periodontal dressing falls off, you do not necessarily need to call unless the site is bleeding, or sutures are loose.
Inspecting your dressing or any surgical site by pulling (placing tension on) your lip is never a good idea. Please avoid inspection at all costs.
Swelling may occur following your surgical procedure and will typically increase 2-3 days after the procedure. To minimize the swelling, place an ice pack over the outside cheek area for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Continue using ice for 1-2 days following the procedure as often as possible.
A small amount of bleeding is normal. If excessive or continuous bleeding occurs:
- Do not rinse your mouth.
- Elevate your head when lying down.
- Apply moistened gauze to the immediate area with moderate pressure for 20 minutes; repeat if necessary.
- Enclose a moistened tea bag in a gauze square and apply pressure for 20 minutes.
- Call the office if bleeding persists.
Until comfortable, avoid chewing on the side where surgery was completed. Avoid hot foods and liquids for approximately 3-4 days following the surgery so as not to soften the dressing. A soft diet is recommended. Foods such as cottage cheese, oatmeal, soup, eggs, yogurt, pasta, mashed potatoes, casseroles, and fruits are more easily eaten. Remember, adequate nutrition is essential for feeling better as well as for healing.
Do not smoke for at least 2 weeks following your surgical procedure. It will significantly slow healing and can compromise results. Quit smoking completely if you can.
Do not drink alcohol while taking prescription pain medications.
Do not rinse for the first 24 hours. After that, you may use a mild, diluted mouthwash or any mouthwash prescribed by Dr. Riggs. Repeat as necessary to help keep the dressing clean.
Do not brush the surgical site. You may resume normal brushing/flossing in other areas the following day.
You may notice increased discomfort 3-4 days after the surgical procedure. As the tissues begin to heal, they may pull against the sutures and dressing. You may choose to take some form of pain medication one hour prior to your suture removal appointment to minimize tenderness. If you are a patient for whom Antibiotic Pre-Medication is required, take the prescribed antibiotics 1 hour prior to your suture removal appointment.
Should you have any questions or concerns during regular office hours, please do not hesitate to contact us at Partners In Periodontics Phone Number 970.669.7300.