Immediately after periodontal surgery, a medicated dressing or bandage may have been placed over your teeth and gums to protect the area while it is healing. Try not to disturb the dressing. You may rinse around the area with mouthwash or warm salt water. If the dressing comes off, it does not mean anything is wrong.
It is normal to feel some discomfort for up to several days after surgery. To control discomfort, take over the counter pain medication as recommended or follow the directions for any pain medication prescribed by our office. Apply an ice pack, 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, for up to six hours following surgery to decrease pain and swelling. You may also sip cold beverages such as ice water, iced tea, frozen yogurt, milkshakes, or similar cold liquids. Do not use a straw — this may start bleeding.
Slight bleeding is normal for a day or so following the surgery. When you leave, the dentist may have gauze placed in your mouth. You may remove it once you get home. If bleeding persists, apply firm pressure with a gauze pad or bite on a tea bag soaked in cold water for twenty minutes and elevate your head with pillows. Localized bruising is not unusual, and a low grade fever during the first 24 hours is possible.
Try to limit your conversation and phone use, and take it easy for the first 12 to 24 hours. Avoid any strenuous exercise or aerobic activity for 24 to 48 hours.
For the first 48 hours, your diet should consist of liquids and high protein soft foods. This can include yogurt, ice cream, eggs, broiled fish, well cooked pasta, soups, and cottage cheese. Avoid solid, spicy, salty, or hot foods, and hot or carbonated liquids.
Antibiotics or antifungal rinses may have been prescribed to protect against infection and help in the healing process. If so, take antibiotics exactly as directed, until fully finished. Read and follow prescription mouthwash directions carefully.
Your teeth may be overly sensitive to hot or cold for few weeks — this will eventually subside. Try to avoid cold liquids and foods. Food may get caught around the dressing or in between the teeth — this can be minimized by chewing away from the surgical site and by frequently rinsing with warm salt water.
Please call the office if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Moderate to high fever
- Excessive discomfort not that is not controlled by medication
- Swelling that has progressed to the eye, neck, throat, or under the tongue
- Excessive bruising that is extreme
- Uncontrolled or heavy bleeding
- Any other unusual circumstances