After surgery it is important to follow a few simple steps in order to ensure optimal healing occurs.
For the first day after surgery, do not rinse your mouth aggressively, brush your teeth at the gum line or play with the surgical area. Doing so could wash away the protective blood clot or pull out the stitches and lead to infection.
Often there is some continued oozing of blood the day and night of surgery. If you have significant bleeding after you get home (like a running blood nose), apply a gauze pack to the area and apply pressure for 30 minutes. If you have had a gum graft taken from the roof of your mouth, soak a black tea bag in cold water, squeeze the excess water out and then press the tea bag on the palate and hold with firm pressure for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues after that, contact our office or the after hours emergency contact number of your Periodontist. If you are experiencing a life threatening emergency, call and Ambulance or attend an Emergency room.
If prescribed, make sure you take your antibiotics. For periodontal surgery, the antibiotic helps prevent infection so you must take your medication even if everything is feeling great.
It is a good idea to take some pain killers. Use over-the-counter medications such as Panadol or Nurofen initially (whatever you have found works best for you). If you have severe pain, you may want to take some Panadeine Forte or Digesic instead of the Panadol.
Pain normally peaks 1-3 days after surgery and then gets better. Swelling normally peaks 2-3 days after surgery and then gradually improves. Occasionally significant bruising can occur that may run up the cheek/eye or down the neck.
If you are prone to swelling, use an ice pack on the first night, applying it on for 10 minutes and off for 20 minutes. Do not apply an icepack until your local anesthetic has completely worn off.
You will need to eat and drink. Please choose soft foods that can be swallowed without chewing. Food and drink should be kept away from the surgical site as much as possible. Water is the best drink. Continue to be careful about keeping food away from the surgical site for two weeks. Initially you should have very soft foods. After 3-4 days you will be able to eat most foods, but chop them up into small bits so they can be swallowed without disturbing the wound.
The day after surgery and for the following two weeks, brush your teeth morning and night but do not brush at the gum line on the teeth in the area of surgery. After brushing, rinse gently for 40 seconds with 10-20ml of Curasept mouthwash. After that, do not rinse your mouth with water, eat or drink for 15 minutes.
After 2 weeks, you should be able to start gently brushing at the gum line in the area where you had surgery. Continue to use the Curasept rinse. After three weeks, you should be able to return to your normal brushing and flossing/interdental brush routine.
Often stitches will fall out by themselves. Generally you will have a post-operative appointment scheduled to check initial healing and if the stitches are still present at that time, often they will be easily removed.
We hope your healing progresses well. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
Do not smoke for at least 2 weeks before and following your surgical procedure. It will significantly slow healing and can compromise results. We strongly advise you to see your GP for assistance in quitting smoking.