Post-operative Instructions Following Periodontal Surgery

Please follow these simple instructions after your surgery to ensure a more pleasant recovery.

  • Do not rinse, brush, drink from a straw, or smoke for 24 hours. Smoking will slow down the healing and cause more inflammation and pain. You may start brushing with the soft toothbrush and gel-kam tomorrow night. For the next 4 weeks, use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
  • Do not use floss, rubber-tip, proxabrush, or use the battery toothbrush. Do not rinse with saltwater. Use the soft toothbrush, gel-kam, and sensitive toothpaste until your post-op appointment. Start rinsing “gently” with Periogard 2 times daily 24 hours after your surgery. Periogard reduces bacteria and speeds your healing time. We will give further home care instructions at your post-op appointment.
  • Take the pain medication as soon as you get home! You can take the pain meds as needed for the next 48 hours. If the pain medication is too strong, use Tylenol or Motrin.
  • You will have some bleeding after surgery for the next 24-48 hours. Do not rinse your mouth because this will increase the bleeding. If the bleeding will not stop then you can use a “Lipton” teabag. Wet the tea bag and place it over the bleeding area using pressure for 20 minutes. This should stop the bleeding. If the bleeding does not stop, call the office.
  • Return to your scheduled post-op appointment. A post-op appointment takes about 10 minutes. Some patients will have a 3rd appointment for polishing. Polishing will remove any sensitivity that you may have. Polishing will also remove plaque, bacteria, and inflammation that has accumulated during your recovery. Not all patients will need a polishing appointment.

Emergencies: call the office to page the doctor.

Dr. Habekost or the staff will try to call you tonight to see how you are doing. Please call us with any questions or concerns you may have.

We do not charge for an after-hours emergency call.

Post-op Instructions for Gum Grafts

Today you had a gum graft. We transplanted alloderm tissue to an area that had a lack of attached gum tissue. It is important to follow these simple instructions to ensure a healthy result.

  • This is the most important rule! Do not look at the graft! Pulling on your lip to look at the graft will destroy the blood vessels that are growing and the graft will die.
  • Do not rinse your mouth, especially with saltwater or over the counter mouth rinses. You have been prescribed chlorhexidine mouth rinse, “Periogard”. Start using the Periogard 2 times daily 24 hours after your surgery. Gently allow the rinse to coat the surgical site. “Periogard” will kill bacteria and speed your healing time. Rinsing your mouth with other rinses will cause the surgical site to continue to bleed and slow down the healing process. Some stronger rinses can kill the graft. “Periogard” may cause some staining but it will be removed after the gum graft has healed.
  • Do not use the rubber-tip, floss, gel-kam, or your battery toothbrush until further notice. Do not brush near the surgical area. You can use the soft toothbrush that was given to you today to brush your other teeth 24 hours after surgery.
  • Eating: you can eat anything you want but do not bite with the teeth where the graft was placed. It is best to cut your food and chew in an area other than the surgical site. Soft foods are recommended for the first few days.
  • Pain medication: take the pain medication as soon as you get home. Do not take pain medication on an empty stomach! Most graft patients find that they do not need the prescribed pain medication; you can take Motrin or Tylenol if the pain medication is too strong for you.

We will remove the sutures in about 2 weeks. We usually do not remove the sutures on the graft site at the first post-op appointment. You will be rescheduled to return for a 2nd post-op appointment to remove the remaining sutures. There will be a 3rd appointment to polish your teeth and Dr. Habekost will check the graft. The polish will remove any stain, plaque, inflammation, and bacteria that will build upon the teeth. There are no additional charges for your post-op appointments. You can reach the doctor at any time if you have an emergency. Our office will try to call you tonight to see how you are doing. If we do not reach you, we will assume that everything is going well for you.

* Place ice over the surgical area for 2 hours today only!