Before and After Care

Post-op Instructions for Gingival Grafting


1. Periodontal dressing (packing): the pink material that you feel around your teeth is a surgical dressing. It will become firm in about an hour and should not be disturbed while it is setting. Small particles of the dressing may chip off, but this is of no consequence unless it causes discomfort, in which case you should call the office.

2. Plastic splint: This needs to be left in for 24 hours. 24 hours after surgery, you can remove the splint and brush the teeth (except in the surgery site). After 24 hours, you only need to wear the splint when you are eating and sleeping for 3-5 days. DO NOT PLACE GAUZE UNDER THE SPLINT. 

3. Pain: You may have moderate discomfort after the anesthesia wears off, especially for the upper donor site. This will last 3 to 5 days. Much of the discomfort can be avoided by controlling the swelling with Motrin or Advil use. Tylenol, extra-strength Tylenol or Tylenol with codeine will usually provide adequate back up control of pain. If you take a narcotic analgesic (such as codeine), do not drive or work around dangerous machinery. Your discomfort should decrease daily. If pain should increase after the first three days, please call our office.

4. Swelling: Swelling is to be expected along with possible bruising of the grafted site. Motrin will significantly reduce the swelling. ICE PACK USE IS NOT ADVISED.

5. Bleeding: Do not be concerned if traces of blood are noted in the saliva. Occasionally, some seepage is noted when the anesthetic wears off. Do not rinse vigorously the first few hours, as disruption of the clot may occur. If you are having bleeding from the donor site, APPLY PRESSURE. If you are having bleeding from the grafted site, ROLL UP A PIECE OF WET GAUZE AND PLACE IT BETWEEN THE DRESSING AND THE LIP/CHEEK TO ALLOW PRESSURE TO STOP THE BLEEDING. If bleeding continues after applying this technique twice, please call Dr. Newhart.

6. Oral Hygiene: Meticulous oral hygiene should be continued in all other areas of the mouth, BUT THE AREA OF THE SURGERY SHOULD BE AVOIDED IN ORDER NOT TO DISLODGE THE SURGICAL DRESSING. Gentle rinsing after meals with a glass of warm water will be sufficient. Beginning 24 hours after your surgery, start rinsing with Peridex, the prescription mouth rinse. Peridex is a timed-release rinse that kills plaque when used as directed. DO NOT BRUSH, FLOSS OR CHEW IN GRAFTED AREA FOR FOUR WEEKS.

7. Nutrition: Maintaining an adequate diet after surgery is advisable. You can chew on the opposite side of the mouth and should avoid hard or spicy foods. Some foods that require little or no chewing: broths, ice cream, milk shakes, chopped or gound meat, soups, eggs, custard, puddings and baby food. PLEASE AVOID SUCH FOODS AS PEANUTS, POPCORN, HARD TACO SHELLS AND SMALL GRITTY FOODS. Food supplements such as Metrecal, Sego, Carnation Instant Breakfast are nutrient recommended. 

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