Post-Operative Care





Bleeding is well controlled prior to your discharge. However, some amount of bleeding is perfectly normal. If gauze was placed in your mouth keep it in for approximately 1 hour. Take the gauze out when taking the initial medication dose. You may replace this gauze as needed with new gauze given to you. Apply constant pressure with gauze manually or by biting with gauze over the surgical site if bleeding continues. If you run out of gauze you may use a wet tea bag or purchase gauze from any pharmacy. Refrain from vigorous rinsing and spitting for the first 24 hours to prevent blood clot destabilization. For the first 24 hours after surgery, place a clean towel across your pillowcase to avoid possible staining from blood. If profuse bleeding unexpectedly occurs and is uncontrollable, contact the office.



Immediately following surgery, apply cold packs to the face adjacent to the affected surgical areas for the first 48 hours to reduce swelling. Cold packs are to be applied intermittently 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off during waking hours. Simply place crushed ice, or frozen vegetables within a heavy-duty sandwich bag and apply as directed. Starting on the third post-operative day, heat packs may be used in the same manner as above to reduce swelling. Moderate swelling is normal. As long as you are comfortable, do not be alarmed.



Moderate amounts of discomfort can be expected from all minor oral surgical procedures.  Take the first dose of pain medication prior to the local anesthesia wearing off. Continue taking the prescribed pain medications as directed. Do not allow the pain to catch up with you. Take the medications on schedule to help control as well as prevent the pain.  If severe pain occurs or if you are uncomfortable and cannot gain relief by taking the prescribed medications as directed, please contact the office.



It is imperative that you take all medications as prescribed. Antibiotics are prescribed to prevent infection and must be taken as directed to be effective. Anti-inflammatory and pain medications are prescribed to prevent and reduce swelling as well as pain. If itching, rash, or labored breathing occur while taking the prescribed medications, discontinue all medications immediately and contact the office immediately and go to a hospital emergency room right away.



Long acting local anesthetics are commonly used. Therefore, you may expect numbness of the gum tissues, lips and tongue for as long as 12-24 hours. Great care must be exercised to prevent biting or maceration of the lips and tongue. If numbness persists after 24 hours, contact the office immediately.



Minor amounts of bruising around the cheeks, lips, neck and face are normal. However, if the bruising extends over the neck area and enlarges over your chest please contact the office.



Do not disturb your stitches. In some cases, both dissolvable and non-dissolvable stitches are commonly used. Dissolvable stitches will begin to untie in 1 to 2 weeks. Non-dissolvable stitches will be removed at the first or second post-operative visit. If you feel the stitches are coming undone before 3 days or if you feel loose excess gum tissue, please call the office.



Following surgery, a SOFT diet must be maintained for at least 2 weeks to minimize trauma to the surgical sites which can affect healing. Any food you can cut with a side of a fork is good rule to remember. In some situations, a longer period of time is required. Your doctor will discuss this with you if you require a longer soft diet period or IF you require a liquid diet. Try to chew on sides not affected by surgery if possible.



A special mouth rinse, Peridexä (or its generic) may have been given or prescribed to you. Rinse with this solution two times per day for one minute at a time for 1 week following surgery. One time in the morning and one time in the evening making sure all removable items are out of your mouth. Peridex is an antibacterial agent and will help keep the healing surgical areas clean. DO NOT BE ALARMED if Peridex causes tooth and/or tongue staining or changes taste perception.The STAIN IS REMOVABLE and taste sensation will return when Peridex is discontinued. Alternatively, another mouth rinse, Closys may be recommended by your doctor, exercise the same instructions with this product. In addition to the rinsing, (or if Peridex was not prescribed) continue brushing as usual in all other areas (excluding the surgical sites), using a medium or soft bristle toothbrush, and exercise great care to prevent trauma from your toothbrush to the surgical sites.


Surgical Dressings

Following certain surgical procedures, a periodontal dressing may be used to cover and protect the surgical site. If a dressing was placed in your mouth, try not to disturb it with hard foods or by brushing. It is common for pieces of the dressing material to come loose. If this occurs within the first two days following surgery, call the office. The area may need to be re-dressed. If the dressing comes loose after this time, continue with proper oral hygiene as outlined above.



Avoid driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery when taking pain medications. Limit moderate and high physical activity for two weeks following surgery. This includes jogging or running, aerobics, and heavy housework. Walking and light housework is permitted as tolerated.


Alcohol and Tobacco

Refrain from alcohol consumption for 24 hours following surgery and 48 hours if IV anesthetics were used. Smoking severely compromises tissue healing. Refrain from smoking for at least 4 weeks following surgery.


Post-Surgery Diet Suggestions

Below is a list of foods that will be easy for you to consume during the healing period.  It is very important that you eat well balanced, nutritional meals. This is not a proper time to diet or restrict caloric intake.  Following surgery, a soft diet is recommended.



  • Soups: Broth, Creams, (no meats)
  • Cereals, Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, Applesauce
  • Rice, Overcooked Pasta
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Baby Food
  • Blenderized Foods
  • Fruit and Vegetable Juices
  • Milk or Protein Shakes, Puddings, Yogurt
  • Ice cream/Sherbets
  • Any food you can cut with the side of a fork



  • 2000-4000 calories per day is recommended following surgery. To supplement caloric intake, try the nutritional drinks (i.e. EnsureÔ, SusticalÔ), available at most supermarkets.


  • Avoid spicy or highly seasoned foods. They can irritate tissues. Avoid hard, sharp, crunchy foods.


  • Increase consumption of liquids.