These instructions apply to the surgical procedure just completed. They are designed to help you minimize post-surgical discomfort and inform you of any situation that may require special attention.
It is not unusual to have discomfort for at least the first week following your surgical procedure. You may be given a prescription for medication to help you tolerate the post-surgical recovery period. Please take your medications as directed. It is advisable to not take pain medication on an empty stomach, as nausea may result. Note: When taking any prescribed medication containing Acetaminophen (Tylenol), i.e.; Percocet, Hydrocodone, Norco, Vicoden or Tylenol with Codeine, you should not take additional Tylenol so as not to exceed the safety level of Acetaminophen. Please contact the office with any questions you may have.
Please alert the office to any allergies or sensitivities that you might have to antibiotics. An antibiotic may be prescribed following your surgical procedure. Take as directed until gone. It is advisable not to take these medications on an empty stomach, as nausea may result. For women taking birth control pills, be advised that antibiotics may interfere with their effectiveness.
Swelling may occur following your surgical procedure and will typically increase 2-3 days after the procedure. To minimize the swelling, place an ice pack over the outside cheek area for 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off. Continue using ice for 24 hours following the procedure as often as possible.
A small amount of bleeding is normal and can last up to 48 hours so don’t be alarmed. It is recommended that you place a towel over your pillow the first few nights after surgery to prevent possible staining. If excessive or continuous bleeding occurs:
• Do not rinse your mouth.
• Elevate your head when lying down.
• Enclose a moistened tea bag in a gauze square and apply pressure for 20 minutes.
• Call the office if bleeding persists.
A periodontal dressing (which acts as a bandage) may have to be placed in your mouth. The dressing should be permitted to remain in place until it is removed in the office at your next appointment. If particles of the pack should fall off during the week, do not be concerned as long as you do not have pain. Should a sizable piece fall off or if a rough edge irritates you, please, call our office.
Avoid excessive exertion of any type for at least 48 hours. Golf, tennis, skiing, bowling, swimming or sunbathing should be postponed for a few days after surgery.
Diet and Food Suggestions
Be sure to get plenty of nutrition. Avoid any chewing on the side where surgery was completed. Avoid hot foods and liquids for approximately 48 hours following the surgery so as not to irritate the surgical site. A soft diet is recommended. Avoid using a straw for the first 48 hours. Remember, adequate nutrition is essential for feeling better as well as for healing. When preparing a post-op menu, please consider some of the following choices:
• Mashed Potatoes
• Milk Shakes
• Cottage Cheese
Do not smoke. The heat and smoke will irritate your gums, significantly slow healing, and compromise results. If at all possible, use this opportunity to give up smoking. There is a strong correlation between smoking and progressive periodontal bone loss.
Do not drink alcohol while taking prescription pain medications.
Do not brush the surgical site for the first 4-5 days. You will be given a surgical grade toothbrush to use very gently on the TEETH ONLY (not on the gums) starting 4-5 days after the procedure. You may resume normal brushing/flossing in other areas aside from the surgical site the following day. Please use the prescribed rinse as directed on the surgical site.
An antibacterial rise, Peridex, may be prescribed. This should be used at least twice a day unless told differently. Avoid rinsing with Listerine until otherwise directed to do so.
You may notice increased discomfort 3 to 4 days after the surgical procedure. As the tissues begin to heal, they may pull against the sutures and dressing. Our office will schedule a suture removal appointment 7 to 14 days following surgery. There will be times when supporting sutures may be kept in longer. You may choose to take some form of pain medication one hour prior to your suture removal appointment to minimize tenderness.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at:
Sheppard Periodontics 847-885-1664