After Gum Surgery

Post-Operative Instructions for Gum Surgery

Discomfort and Medications:  You may experience mild to moderate discomfort following your procedure. Please take Ibuprofen (200mg tabs) 3 tablets every eight hours.  If your pain is unrelieved by the primary pain medicine, you have been prescribed a strong, narcotic pain medication, which will relieve more severe pain, but also has significant side effects such as drowsiness or nausea. 

Normal Bleeding: It is not unusual to notice slight bleeding or oozing from the surgical site for one or two days after the surgery.  If at any time you notice the formation of large blood clots or an obvious flow of blood, notify your doctor at once.

Sutures (stitches) will usually have to be removed approximately 10 days to 2 weeks following your surgery.  Do not disturb the sutures with your tongue, toothbrush or any other device.  Displacement of sutures will impair healing and affect the success of your procedure.  If you notice your suture has become loose, notify the dental clinic so that arrangements may be made to remove the loose suture.  In some cases dissolvable sutures may be used.

Bandages: A band aid similar to silly putty has been placed over your surgical site, it will likely flake off over the next two weeks. If it does not, do not touch it.

Diet: Following Periodontal Surgery, a soft diet is recommended.  Avoid chewing in the area of surgery, and avoid hard, sharp or chewy foods.  Drink plenty of liquids, and it is recommended that the post-operative diet be supplemented with vitamins, minerals and live-culture yogurt.  

Meticulous Oral Hygiene is essential for successful post-operative healing.  Brush and floss all non-treated areas as normal. A prescription mouthwash may have been prescribed.  Use it 3 times per day; a 30 second swish is recommended, do not rinse afterward with water.

Physical Activity such as light walking following surgery is encouraged, but please avoid strenuous exercise that elevates your heart rate.

Swelling: Some slight swelling of the area adjacent to the procedure is not unusual.  A cold compress may be used to minimize the swelling for 24-36 hours after surgery.  You should rest with your head slightly elevated to minimize swelling for the first day following surgery.  Any large swelling should be reported to your doctor at once.

Please Do Not: Smoking and alcohol use should be avoided, as both have been shown to increase post-operative complications.  Do not spit, drink through a straw, or otherwise create a sucking action in your mouth, as this will disturb the surgical area and may cause excessive bleeding or damage the treated area.

Please Do: Call the office if you have any concerns. 781-944-0464

Michael A. Ravens, D.M.D.