Gingival Grafting

Post-Operative Instructions

  • AVOID strenuous physical activity and smoking for the first 48-72 hours following the procedure.
  • Start the prescribed medications immediately and AVOID all alcoholic beverages.
  • The prescribed pain medications may cause drowsiness and impair your ability to drive and perform delicate tasks. Avoid all activities requiring your full, alert attention while on pain medication.
  • Apply cold compresses to the surgical side of your face intermittently during the first 48 hours.
  • Aim for a complete, but soft, diet and avoid spicy and crunchy foods.
  • To prevent graft movement, minimize talking for the first 24 hours.
  • Do not lift your lip to examine the graft site as this can cause graft movement!

Surgical dressing: Sometimes a pink dressing is placed over the graft site and/or on the root of your mouth. This usually remains in place for 1-7 days.

Discomfort: After any surgical procedure a certain amount of discomfort is expected. Ibuprofen (600 mg) 4 times daily and extra strength Tylenol is usually sufficient. Tylenol #3 may also be prescribed. This is a strong painkiller and should only be used if other drugs are not effective. Do not take Aspirin for pain, since it encourages bleeding.

Bleeding: Slight oozing is normal for the first day. Because blood mixes with saliva, it may appear to be more blood than it really is. If bleeding occurs, apply pressure to the area for 20 minutes with damp gauze or a tea bag. If bleeding is severe and does not stop, please contact our office.

Swelling: Swelling usually occurs 2-4 days after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply ice for 10-20 minutes every 30 minutes for the first 24 hours. Sleep with an extra pillow under your head for the first night and take the anti-inflammatory medications we have recommended. Some bruising may occur and should not alarm you. You may also experience stiffness of the jaw, which can be relieved by gentle opening and stretching on the 2nd and 3rd day after surgery.

Diet: It is important to eat a full but modified diet as your body needs proteins, vitamins, minerals and calories to heal. A soft non-acidic diet is recommended for 4 weeks.

Oral Hygiene: Starting the day following surgery, gently rinse with the recommended or prescribed mouthrinse twice daily. Avoid brushing and flossing in the surgical area until asked to resume. Warm salt water rinses can be used throughout the day.

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