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Post-Operative Instructions

Discomfort

After any surgical procedure a certain amount of discomfort is expected. By taking the prescribed medications as directed, your discomfort should be reduced. Under no circumstances should you take Aspirin for pain, since it encourages bleeding.

Bleeding

Expect some pink fluid in your mouth. This is simply saliva mixed with the blood clot, and it is of no significance. You may want to place a towel over your pillow the night after surgery to protect your bed-linen. Slight oozing from the area of surgery is normal on the first day of surgery. Because blood mixes with saliva, it may appear to be a greater volume than it really is.

To manage post-operative bleeding you should:

  • Avoid rinsing, spitting, or using a straw for 24 hours
  • Avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours
  • Avoid smoking for at least 24 hours
  • Avoid vigorous exercise for 48 hours
  • Avoid eating hard or sharp foods that may further traumatize the wound

If bleeding does occur, apply pressure to the area for twenty minutes with of piece of gauze. If the bleeding continues, apply pressure for an additional twenty minutes with a tea bag.

Swelling

Swelling usually occurs 2-3 days after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply ice for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for the first 24 hours. Sleep with an extra pillow under your head for the first night and take the anti-inflammatory medications as recommended.

Diet

Following surgery you may experience mild tooth discomfort, and as such, maintaining a softer diet is strongly recommended. Foods such as overcooked pasta, mashed potatoes, eggs, and soups are well balanced options. Avoid foods:

  • Whose small pieces, such as nuts and fruits with seeds, chips, etc. that can get trapped in the surgical area
  • That are too hot, too cold or too spicy
  • With alcohol

Temperature (Fever)

A mild temperature up to 38oC is considered normal following surgery, and is a part of the healing process. It should respond to Tylenol. If your temperature is above 38oC, or does not lower with Tylenol, please contact your doctor.

Oral Hygiene

It is very important to keep your mouth as clean as possible to reduce the chance of infection.

First day after surgery: No rinsing, hence no brushing of teeth

Starting second day after surgery:

  • Brush and floss as normal, avoiding the area of surgery
  • Avoid flossing in the surgical area until told to resume
  • Use chlorhexidine mouthrinse or salt water rinse three times a day as indicated by your doctor. Make sure to brush before using the rinse and rinse for 30 seconds. Remember not to eat or drink for 30 minutes following rinsing.

You may resume normal regular oral hygiene practices such as brushing, flossing after your post-operative appointment with your doctor.

Periodontal Pack

Your doctor may choose to place a periodontal pack. The pack will usually be left in place for one week. It is expected that particles may chip off during the week, or the entire pack may fall off. Should this happen do not be concerned.

Rest

After surgery, you should rest as much as possible for 1-2 days to allow your body to heal.

Instructions for Specific Periodontal Procedures:

Regeneration – If a regenerative material was placed during surgery, a proxybrush and/or floss may be used 6 weeks post-operatively. Professional cleanings below the gum tissue in that area cannot be performed for 6-9 months post-surgery.

Soft tissue grafting – No pulling lip to look at graft for 2 weeks. No sticky foods/sharp foods for 2 weeks.

Sinus Augmentation:

  • Avoid blowing your nose, drinking through a straw, or smoking for 1 week
  • Sneeze and cough with your mouth open for 1 week
  • Avoid lifting or pulling lip to observe surgical site
  • Do not use prosthesis for 10-12 days

If there are any questions or concerns during regular office hours, please do not hesitate to contact us at: 416-248-1551.

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