Care Following Periodontal Surgery
Discomfort: Mild to moderate discomfort is expected following most periodontal surgery. Most discomfort occurs during the first 24 hours. You may have been given several prescriptions. One will be an antibiotic to prevent infection. The prescription for pain requires that you not drive or drink any alcoholic beverages while taking the pain medication.
Swelling: Immediately after surgery, apply ice to the side of your face that was operated on. Use an ice pack or wrap ice in a towel. Keep ice on the area for 15 minutes, then off for 15 minutes. This should be repeated as often as possible during the first 24 hours. Swelling may occur during the first 3-5 days after the surgery.
Bleeding: There may be bloodstains in the saliva for several hours after the surgery. This is normal. If there is excessive bleeding, remove any clots with a gauze square and place moderate but constant pressure over the bleeding area with a damp tea bag. Hold the tea bag in place for at least 15 minutes. If this does not stop the bleeding, please call us.
Rinsing: After the first 24 hours you may rinse gently with warm salt water 2-3 times a day until your next appointment. No vigorous swishing or spitting. We may also prescribe an antibacterial rinse for you to rinse gently with twice daily beginning the evening of your surgery.
Brushing and Flossing: Brush the areas of your mouth not involved in the surgery as you would normally. Avoid brushing the surgical area for 2 weeks, use the Peridex rinse to help reduce bacteria. At your next appointment we will give you further instructions for your home care.
Hygiene After Surgery: After having oral surgery, please wait at least three weeks before a teeth cleaning with your hygienist. We usually recommend having your first cleaning done in our office so that we can monitor the surgical site(s) and ensure proper healing. After that we may recommend alternating between our office and your general dentist.
Sutures: In most cases the sutures are resorbable and will start to come out in 4-7 days. Do not pull on loose sutures as you may cause damage to the surgical area.
Barriers: In some cases the doctor will place a non-resorbable barrier to protect the bone grafting as it heals. The barrier is bright white and visible in the area where the tooth was extracted. This barrier will be removed 4-6 weeks after your surgery visit. If it becomes lose or comes out early, please call the office.
Smoking: If at all possible, avoid smoking for the first 24 hours as this interferes with blood clotting and increases your chances for post-op infection.
Eating: It is important to maintain a healthy diet during the recovery time. We recommend that you drink a cold milkshake immediately after your surgery appointment to replace any blood sugar loss. Do not use a straw and avoid drinking hot liquids for the first few days.
Eat whatever you feel like eating. A soft diet may be desirable for the first few days: fruits, eggs, breads, fish, hamburger, noodles, potatoes, ice cream, pudding, cheese, yogurt, etc.
Sore throat: Following your recent procedure, you may experience a sore throat. Sore throats and pain when swallowing are not uncommon. The sore throat and pain is caused by swollen muscles after surgery. This pain will subside in 2-3 days.
Stiffness of Jaw: Stiffness of the jaw muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a few days following surgery. This is a normal post-operative event, which will resolve over the next few days.
Sinus Precautions: If sinus grafting was performed, please avoid using straws and blowing your nose for 3 weeks after surgery. If there are no contraindications with other medications prescribed by your primary care physician (ie, medication for hypertension) please use a nasal decongestant. Examples: Allegra-D, Claritin-D, or Zyrtec. A bloody nose could be expected several days after your surgery. Sleeping slightly elevated and minimizing activity can help alleviate this.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call our office at (928) 778-2340, Dr. Jirsa at (928) 710-7492 ● Dr. Walker at (928) 460-1592 ● Dr. Rishi Guha at (412) 275-7510