Gingival Graft Surgery Post-Operative Instructions

  1. Medication:  It is not unusual to have some discomfort for a few days following your surgical procedure. In many instances, two over the counter Motrin every eight hours will be sufficient. Motrin is preferred, as it contains anti-inflammatories and will help with any discomfort as well as swelling.  You may be given a prescription for a more potent medication to be taken only if necessary, to minimize your discomfort.
  2. Liquid Bandage:  In the event tissue from the pallet was borrowed for the surgical procedure, a liquid material is sometimes placed over the surgical area as well as dissolved sutures. Please note this may feel like a piece of plastic over the area.  It is expected that liquid bandage/sutures will fall off during the first week of the healing process.  If liquid bandage falls off and you are experiencing severe pain, please give our office a call and we reapply liquid bandage.
  3. Do not disturb the wound: In doing so you may invite irritation, infection, and/or bleeding.  Avoid pulling lip back to look at the area and keep fingers and tongue away.
  4. Do not smoke or use tobacco products or alcohol for two weeks following your procedure.  Smoking can interfere with the healing process and promote bleeding.
  5. Swelling and Bruising: Swelling and bruising may or may not occur, depending on the nature of the procedure.  Discomfort and swelling can be minimized by using ICE PACKS against the cheeks 20 minutes on/off following surgery until you go to bed.  Ice as needed starting the next morning.
  6. Bleeding:  Bleeding may occur following your procedure.  If you experience any bleeding only on the palatal area (if we harvested donor tissue from site), you can use a DAMPENED gauze pad to apply LIGHT pressure to the area. If you are still experiencing bleeding, you can place a DAMP tea bag to the area and apply pressure for about 30 minutes.
  7. Diet:  Should consist of nourishing foods of a soft and liquid consistency. NO crunchy or STICKY foods such as nuts, popcorns, pretzels, chips, gum, caramel etch. Avoid food that are exceptionally hot.
  9. Mouthwash: For the next two weeks it is important to keep the area as clean as possible to prevent infection and promote healing. Avoid all rinsing for 24 hours after surgery. This is to ensure the formation of a blood clot. Disturbance of this clot can lead to increased bleeding or the loss of the blood clot. After the first 24 hours, you should VERY GENTLY RINSE (HOLD IT IN PLACE) the area 2 times a day using warm salt water or any kind of mouth rinse. DO NOT SPIT AFTER RINSING.