After your gum grafting surgery, there are some steps to follow for quick and smooth recovery. Healing after soft tissue periodontal surgery can be broken into periods.
In the first 24 hours:
- Only after freezing has completely warn off, you can apply ice to the area as needed in 10 min ON/10 min OFF for 3 cycles.
- Do not apply heat to the area as this can stimulate blood flow and increase bleeding in the area
- Do not brush or floss the area
- Do not remove your stent
- Rest with your head elevated to avoid blood pooling to the area, discomfort, and swelling
- Do not do any activity that raises your heart rate
- When sleeping, use an old pillow case in case your bleed through the night
After 24 hours:
- Do not apply ice
- You may remove your stent to clean it – to clean your stent, rinse with warm water
- When removing your stent, expect to see a small membrane
- Re-insert your stent when eating, sleeping, and talking for as long as you feel is necessary to protect your palate. Most patients wear their stent for 5-7 days post-operatively.
- Brush the area and neighbouring teeth very gently with the post-surgical toothbrush that was given (this toothbrush is even softer than a ‘soft’ toothbrush and is made specifically for surgical sites)
- When using the post-surgical toothbrush, avoid the sutures and the gum line at the surgical site
- Pool Peridex rinse at the surgical site twice per day (morning and night) for two weeks. Peridex mouthrinse works like a “toothbrush in a bottle” and works to keep the surgical site clean without the manual disruption by a toothbrush at the sensitive site.
- Do not spit, gargle or swallow Peridex. Simply let it fall from your mouth.
- Do not eat or drink for 2 hours post-Peridex rinse.
- Do not floss the area
- Brush and floss all other areas of the mouth with your regular electric toothbrush
After 48 hours until your 2 week post-operative appointment:
- Apply a warm compress to cheeks as needed
- You may begin to exercise at 50% intensity being careful to monitor for any bleeding at the surgical site
- Eat only soft foods on the opposite side of the mouth. A general rule of thumb is to eat foods that require 3 chews or less.
- Do not eat extreme temperature foods as this can damage the tissues and can increase blood flow in the area – eat room temperature foods only
- Avoid alcohol, tobacco and cannabis during the healing phase (2 weeks)
- Do not pull at the lip to see the healing area. This may loosen the stitches and can disrupt the healing tissues.
- Do not use straws, whistles, wind instruments as the force applied may damage the delicate healing tissues
- Avoid wearing a denture or flipper as much as possible as this may rub against the healing tissues
It is important to take all medications as prescribed, especially an antibiotic.
To manage pain, Ibuprofen can be taken by the clock, as necessary. Any antibiotics prescribed are essential to take until completion. Use the Peridex mouthrinse twice daily for 2 weeks.
Patients report experiencing their peak discomfort immediately following surgery and experience a steady decline in discomfort through to Day 5. However, patients report the greatest level so swelling, which can sometimes be accompanied by bruising, 3 to 5 days following surgery.
Should you experience any bleeding, swelling, bruising, or discomfort that is out of greater concern, it is important that you contact your periodontist.