Instructions For Patients Following Gum Grafting
- DO NOT DISTURB THE WOUND – In doing so you may invite irritation, infection and bleeding. Please avoid pulling or stretching the lip as this may compromise the graft.
- BLEEDING – REMAIN QUIET AND KEEP HEAD ELEVATED AT ALL TIMES, even while sleeping – Moisten the gauze to prevent it from sticking to the surgical site. Bite down by applying slight pressure and then remove the gauze every 20-30 minutes until bleeding stops. SPOTTING of blood is normal for the first 24 hours. If bleeding from the roof of the mouth is heavy or oozing, please remove the plastic shield (if present) and apply moist gauze with slight pressure for 15 minute intervals until the bleeding stops. If the bleeding shows no signs of slowing down, call the office immediately. DO NOT EAT, DRINK, OR SLEEP WITH GAUZE IN YOUR MOUTH, AS IT CAN BE A CHOKING HAZARD.
- PLASTIC SHIELD (if applicable) – A dressing may have been provided to protect the roof of your mouth. This device is to be worn continuously for the first 24 hours. The shield is not a requirement for proper healing; after 24 hours, it may be worn as needed and should be removed and cleaned at least 2-3 times per day with Periogard and toothbrush.
- HOME CARE – Do not swish or spit aggressively for the first 24-48 hours following surgery. It is very important to maintain the blood clot over the healing site and swishing will disrupt it Use the prescription mouth rinse (Periogard) or warm salt water to do head tilt rolls as instructed. Do not brush the surgical area for 1 week following surgery, we will provide you with a soft “post-op” brush to start using on the teeth, but still staying away from the gums. All other teeth should be brushed and flossed as usual. Rinse 2 times a day, morning and night, and do not rinse with water following Periogard. Periogard rinse WILL STAIN YOUR TEETH AND TONGUE after prolonged use (over 1 week). After 1 week of rinsing with Periogard, switch to an alcohol free OTC rinse; we recommend the “Natural Dentist”. You will notice your sutures coming loose at around 1-3 weeks and they may completely come out when you rinse.
- SWELLING: To aid in the prevention of swelling after oral surgery, ice packs should be placed at intervals of 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off externally around the surgical site. Do not place ice packs inside the mouth. Maximum swelling and bruising does occur 72 hours after surgery. Bruising can be blue, purple, green, yellow, or brown and travel down the neck or up the cheek as it heals.
- ANTIBIOTICS: If antibiotics are prescribed, be certain to continue taking the full course. If you develop hives or a rash, please discontinue use, take Benadryl, and call our office immediately! Antibiotics are prescribed as a precaution; however, this does not mean an infection will not occur.
- REST – Get adequate rest. Strenuous activity can cause renewed bleeding and delayed healing for 5-7 days following a graft procedure. The proper care following the surgical procedure will hasten recovery and prevent complications.
- SMOKING or VAPING– Refrain from these for at least 7 days post-surgery as this will hinder the healing process and can lead to complications.
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**In order to aid in successful healing with the gum graft, please refrain from talking excessively, smiling, or stretching the facial muscles post surgery (recommended 24 words within 24 hours)**