Protection of the gum graft is VERY IMPORTANT to ensure a successful “take” of the procedure.
CARE OF MOUTH: DO NOT brush or floss in the graft site for TEN days after surgery. Then you may begin gentle brushing with a soft toothbrush for another two to four days and finally return to normal brushing. If you are using a Sonicare® toothbrush, please avoid using this particular toothbrush for 30 days after the surgery because of the vibratory action of the bristles. Teeth which are not grafted can be brushed and flossed as you would normally. DO NOT rinse vigorously at any time. After 24 hours, you may gently rinse your mouth with warm water or Listerine®. In most cases, cyanoacrylate cement (superglue-like material) was used as liquid sutures to help secure the gum graft along with dissolvable sutures. The glue is purple and firm and may come off in pieces at any time after surgery, so do not become alarmed if this occurs.
DO NOT pull the lip out or rub cheek in the area of the graft since this may dislodge the graft.
SWELLING: You may expect some swelling after surgery. To minimize swelling, place an ice pack or cold compress against the face every 15 minutes the first 2-3 hours, then 15 minutes every hour over the next 24 hours. After the first 3 days, use a warm compress to reduce swelling. Try to keep head elevated for 3-4 days with an extra pillow at night.
BLEEDING: Expect a small amount of bleeding in the donor site (palate) and recipient site (tooth). Do not be alarmed if the area continues to bleed slightly or ooze for one or two days. The most common site for bleeding is the palate and pressure is the best way to control bleeding. Position a moistened gauze pad or tea bag over the bleeding site and apply pressure for 30-45 minutes. Repeat if necessary. DO NOT apply pressure in the recipient site (tooth) since pressure may disrupt the graft and any bleeding in this area should stop on it its own. Call the office if the bleeding is profuse and continuous.
EATING: Eating should be avoided after surgery until the local anesthesia has worn off completely. DO NOT chew or bite in the area. Generally, there are no restrictions on your diet, but depending upon the location of the graft, this may modify your usual biting and chewing patterns. AVOID hard, chewy or spicy foods, since they will aggravate bleeding, especially in the donor site (palate).
DISCOMFORT: Following all types of surgery, a certain amount of discomfort should be expected. Usually this is slight and can be controlled by taking acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Nuprin) or naproxen sodium (Aleve). Occasionally, a prescription for pain medication will be provided. Take medication as directed and always use the weakest medication sufficient to control your discomfort.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES: Avoid all physical activities for ten days which have the potential of dislodging or injuring the graft. During this period, walking and other light aerobic activities are acceptable.
INFECTION: An antibiotic was prescribed and should be taken if tissue other than your own was used for the grafting procedure, such as Alloderm®, etc. Otherwise, only take the antibiotic if the grafted area becomes infected. Signs of infection would include: fever, facial redness and warmth and increased swelling after 48 hours in the area of the gum graft. If in doubt, take the antibiotic for the prescribed period.
If you have any problem that you consider an emergency, please call 513-871-8488.
Office hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Suture removal appointment: M T W TH F________________AT _____________ a.m. p.m.
For further questions, please call our office to voice your concerns.
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