Post-Operative Care

The following directions are designed for a comfortable post-operative course and will help you avoid unnecessary complications. Please read these recommendations and follow them carefully.

It is our sincere desire that you are as comfortable as possible following surgery. If you should have any questions or problems, please call our office at (540)-772-3940.


Care of the Mouth 

Brushing and flossing: Begin brushing and flossing the areas not operated on the day following surgery. AVOID THE SURGICAL SITES until given specific brushing instructions at your post-operative visit. You may notice a white film over the surgical sites. This is completely normal.
Rinsing: Use the prescribed rinse beginning 24 hours after the procedure. You may notice some staining, but this will go away.
Water Pik: DO NOT use a Water Pik for at least 4 weeks following surgery.
Avoid gritting or clenching your teeth as pressure on the teeth may cause pain.


Medication

Pain medications: Take pain medication within one hour after treatment with a full glass of water. Never take pain medication on an empty stomach. This medication may be repeated every four to six hours as needed for discomfort. DO NOT USE ASPIRIN or products containing aspirin following surgery. Aspirin can contribute to bleeding problems. Non-aspirin pain relievers such as Tylenol and Aleve are acceptable.
Antibiotics: If antibiotics are taken, take them as directed until all have been taken.
Anti-inflammatory: If anti-inflammatory medication is prescribed, take all of this, including any refills. This will reduce swelling and pain.
Mouthwash: If a special mouthwash is prescribed, use as directed until instructed to discontinue.


Smoking

DO NOT SMOKE for three weeks after surgery. Smoking is detrimental to healing tissues and will affect the results of surgery.


Activities

Rest: Plan to rest at home the remainder of the day of surgery and the following day. You may read, watch TV, or work at your desk from home. Do not do anything to raise your heart rate for 48 hours following surgery, as it may cause bleeding. When sleeping, elevate your head to decrease swelling.
After 24 hours: You may return to your regular schedule, but avoid strenuous activities such as heavy lifting, jogging, exercise programs, etc. for one week following surgery.


Diet

First 24 hours: A nutritious diet is important. Always eat something before taking the pain medication. Avoid eating on the treated side. Dietary supplements such as Boost are an excellent choice. AVOID PEROXIDE, ALCOHOL, CARBONATED BEVERAGES, AND DRINKING THROUGH A STRAW.
After 24 hours: You can eat whatever you can; however, most patients find it easier to eat soft foods that require little pressure to chew, such a ground meat, cottage cheese, eggs, fish, cereals, whole wheat bread, and bananas. Italian, Mexican, or spicy foods might irritate the area or sting and therefore should be avoided.


Sutures

Resorbable: The resorbable sutures used usually will be resorbed by the time you return for your post-operative surgery.
Non-resorbable: If non-resorbable sutures were placed, they will be removed at your post-operative visit.


Swelling

Ice packs: Some swelling usually occurs after periodontal surgery. To minimize this, you may use ice packs. Place the ice pack on the outside of your face, over the treated area, for 15 minutes, then take it off for 15 minutes. Continue to apply the ice pack for 2-3 hours following surgery.
Moist Heat: After 24 hours, moist heat may be used if desired. A hot moist towel or hot water bottle works well. If swelling persists or appears to be increasing, please call our office.


Bleeding

Slight bleeding or oozing is normal during the first 1-2 days following surgery.
If extensive bleeding occurs, please call our office. Also apply dry gauze or a moistened tea bag on each side of the bleeding area and hold with firm continuous pressure for 20 minutes. Avoid spitting. Repeat if necessary.
If bleeding persists, call the office OR if after hours, call Dr. Till at home at (540)-774-6774 or on her cell phone at (540)-871-8455.


Surgical Dressing or Pack

You may have a dressing covering the tissue that was surgically treated today. One of the functions of this dressing is to assist in healing. It takes approximately 2-3 hours for the dressing to harden; please avoid eating, drinking, or talking excessively during this time. Also avoid “playing” with the dressing with your tongue.
Occasionally, small pieces of the dressing break off. If the uncovered area is small and feels satisfactory, it is perfectly safe to wait until your next appointment. If a large part of the dressing comes off or becomes loose, call our office at (540)-772-3940.