INSTRUCTIONS FOR PATIENTS AFTER PERIODONTAL SURGERY
The discomfort after surgery varies from patient to patient and with the type of surgery performed. You can minimize discomfort and speed your healing by following these instructions. Some discomfort and swelling is normal and may last a few days. Your enjoyment of food may temporarily diminish. You should be able to maintain most of your normal activities; however, please avoid strenuous activity or sports. Most patients return to work the day after surgery. Take your usual medications.
Brushing and Flossing: For MOST surgery: after the first day take care of your teeth as normally do. This will speed healing. It is VERY important to clean your teeth thoroughly after surgery to minimize your discomfort. You must do this even if the area is still tender. If you do not clean the wound you increase the chance of complications. Some bleeding will occur during flossing or brushing for a few days after surgery. If you have had graft materials placed or a dressing around your teeth. Do not brush or floss the surgical site.
Medication: You may have been given medication or a prescription for pain or antibiotics. You should take the pain medication as prescribed for 2-3 days following the surgery, even if you think you don't need it. It will help you get a restful night's sleep and minimize inflammation. Antibiotics should be taken until all are gone unless otherwise directed. Remember, stop taking any drug immediately if you become allergic to it, then call the office. You may have been given a prescription for Peridex® or Periogaurd® (Chlorohexidine) mouthwash. It is important to use it daily until the prescription is used up. Chlorohexidine may stain your teeth or alter your ability to taste. This is a temporary and normal effect.
Swelling: A slight amount of swelling is not unusual and should disappear in a few days. Swelling can be minimized by using an ice pack for 20 minutes per hour during the first day. After 48 hours you may use warm salt water or water and a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide as a rinse. It is not recommended that you lay down for the first few hours after surgery, unless you have been sedated. If you have been sedated and must lie down, prop your head with two pillows. Sleeping with an extra pillow for a few nights will help minimize swelling.
Bleeding: A small amount of bleeding is normal. This worsens if you rinse your mouth or spit vigorously. If bleeding is excessive or continuous over a long period of time, sit up, fold a piece of sterile gauze into the shape of a "U" place it over the teeth in the bleeding area and use firm pressure against the gums for 30 minutes. If necessary repeat. If the bleeding doesn't slow down or stop call the office.A little bit of oozing is normal your mouth should NOT fill up with blood.
Sutures (stitches): We use dissolving and non-dissolving sutures. Your sutures may loosen after a few days. If they start to loosen and bother you, they can be cut with a sharp clean pair of scissors, only if they have already been in place for 3 or 4 days. Please call the office for instructions, if you want to do this yourself.
Eating: Eat anything that you enjoy but avoid hot liquids and foods, anything spicy or acidic, alcoholic beverages and hard foods such as French bread. It is important to eat well during the healing period. Do not smoke.
Dressing (pack): We may have placed a dressing around your teeth. Please avoid brushing or dislodging it. Generally after the first day, if some or all of it comes off, it is not necessary for us to replace it unless the area is excessively sore or painful.
DON'T: drink or eat anything very hot, spit or rinse excessively.
AVOID: smoking, alcohol, sports, and strenuous exercises.
DO: Brush and floss as instructed, take your medication and call the office if you have problems.
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