POSTOPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS FOR SOFT TISSUE (GUM) GRAFT
- SURGICAL DRESSING/PACKING: A dressing/packing has been placed over the surgery area(s) for protection for approximately one week. If the dressing loosens or comes off, please contact the office.
- SWELLING: Slight swelling and/or bruising of the face is normal; however, if excessive swelling occurs, please contact the office. The use of ice packs or cold compresses is usually not recommended, since this may dislodge the graft.
- EATING: Softer foods are recommended for the first week. Avoid hard, spicy, and hot foods. Recommended foods include yogurt, soup, jello, noodles and pasta, milkshakes, nutritional drinks, etc. Force fluids for 3 to 4 days.
- RINSING: Gently rinse with mouthwash or salt water (1 teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water) 4-5 times a day for one week. Commercial mouthwash should be diluted with half water.
- BLEEDING: Slight bleeding (especially from the palate) may occur following the graft procedure. Place a gauze or tea bag over the area and apply pressure. If you feel the bleeding is excessive or cannot be controlled, please contact the office or doctors at home (evenings and weekends).
- MEDICATIONS: Take the prescribed medication(s) as directed.
- ALCOHOL AND SMOKING: Avoid alcohol and smoking for several days since healing willbe significantly delayed and prolonged discomfort may occur.
- STENT OR PLASTIC APPLIANCE: You may be given an appliance to help protect your palate. Wear this appliance for 5-10 days, based on your comfort. You may eat with the appliance in. After each meal, remove the appliance from your mouth, and rinse both the appliance (with water) and your mouth (with salt water or mouthwash). If you are more comfortable without the appliance, you do not have to wear it. Any rough edges on the appliance can be smoothed down with an emery board or small scissors.
If you have any problems or questions, please call the office at (614) 575-0070.