Periodontal Surgery

To insure your comfort in the success of treatment, we strongly suggest that the following instructions be carried out:

1. The dressing will cover the treated areas, and it is important that it remain in place until your next appointment.  If a large section of dressing should come off, break or become loose, please contact this office.

2. Until the dressing hardens (approximately 1 hour), avoid foods and hot beverages.

3. Try to avoid chewing on the side of your mouth just treated, and do not brush those teeth covered by the dressing.  However, other areas of your mouth should be cleaned as usual.  If you develop an unpleasant taste, you may gently rinse with cool water, with or without a mouthwash. One of the more effective over the counter mouthrinses is Listerine because it has plaque-reducing properties. Orabase with benzocaine, a non prescription ointment, may be applied to exposed areas that are sore.

4. The dressing may be gently swabbed with mouthwash to remove surface debris.

5. Avoid excessive exertion for 24 hours following surgery.

6. Moderate discomfort may be present at first when the anesthesia wears off. You may have been given several prescriptions, one of which may be for discomfort.  Unless taken prior to the visit, the first dose should be taken shortly after the procedure is completed, while the anesthesia is still in effect.  Thereafter, the medication should be taken every six to eight hours if discomfort persists.  There is a possibility that the medication may upset your stomach.  In order to help avoid this complication, drink milk or eat yogurt approximately 1/2 hour before taking a dose of your medication.  If you did not receive a prescription for discomfort, then two Tylenol or Anacin 3 tablets may be taken every four hours as necessary. 

DO NOT TAKE ASPIRIN FOR DISCOMFORT, AS THIS COULD CAUSE BLEEDING.
 
7. Swelling:  In some cases puffiness or swelling may result.  This may be kept to a minimum by holding ice on the outside of your face adjacent to the treated area.  We suggest that you use crushed ice in a plastic bag.  Use it for 20 minutes and then leave it off for 10 minutes.  This should be continued for several hours, since it helps to prevent discomfort and swelling.  The ice should only be used for the first 24 hours.

8. Do not become alarmed if swelling becomes worse over the next several days.  The greatest swelling frequently occurs between the third and fifth day post-operatively.  Starting on the third or fourth day post-operatively, you may apply moist heat to the area of swelling, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for several hours each day.  Swelling is usually not indicative of infection.

9. If an antibiotic is necessary, we will give you a prescription.  Please continue taking the antibiotic as prescribed until finished.

10. Occasionally, one may find blood stains in the saliva.  If there is considerable bleeding, try to find the spot that it is coming from, and place a piece of gauze over it.  Hold the gauze with firm pressure for 20 minutes without removing it for examination.  If this does not stop the bleeding, place a moist tea bag over the bleeding area with firm pressure for 20 minutes.  Do not try to stop the bleeding by rinsing.  If bleeding continues to persist, please call the office.

11. It is most important that you maintain a nutritious diet during the week of healing.  You can chew on the opposite side of your mouth, but you should avoid hard foods.  The patient who maintains a good diet of soft foods generally feels better, has less discomfort, and heals faster.  A multivitamin will provide you with the daily essential vitamins and minerals.  Foods containing onions, tomatoes, or pepper may be irritating and should be avoided.

12. After the dressing has been removed, some of the teeth may be sensitive to cold.  The cold sensitivity is usually temporary.  Over the counter toothpastes, such as Sensodyne, when used daily, can help to lessen the sensitivity.  In addition, an in-office desensitization treatment can be scheduled if the problem persists.

13. Once the dressing has been removed, the surgical area must be cleaned daily.  In addition to a soft tooth brush and floss, you may be given instructions on the use of other oral hygiene aids, such as a proxabrush, rubber tip, or super floss.  It is very important that you maintain excellent oral hygiene during the healing period, via gentle yet thorough care.