Care Following Periodontal (GUM) / Periapical (Root) Surgery

Proper care of the mouth following most dental procedures can reduce complications and speed the healing of the surgical area.

1. PROTECTION OF SURGICAL SITE…is of utmost importance to the success of your surgery. If packing is employed, do not displace or remove it. If a pack is not used, extra precaution is required to protect the surgical site. Do not lift the lip or cheek to look at the gum tissues.
2. DO NOT RINSE…or use a mouthwash for at least 24 hours. After 24 hours, rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon table salt in 8 oz. of warm water) 4-5 times a day or with mouth rinse prescribed. The use of commercial mouthwashes (Scope, Listerine, etc.) during the healing period is not encouraged.
3. MEDICATIONS…may be prescribed following your surgery. Some discomfort is unavoidable. If pain medication and/or antibiotics is given or prescribed, take as directed. Do not take aspirin-containing products they may interfere with normal blood clotting.
4. THE TOOTHBRUSH…may be used in the area of the mouth not involved by the surgical procedure on the day after surgery. Do not use a toothbrush in the surgical site for the first week. Instead, concentrate your cleansing efforts in this area to regular vigorous rinsing (especially after meals). Also, discontinue flossing in the surgical area until instructed otherwise.
5. EATING…the proper food and assuring adequate fluid intake following surgery is very important. A high caloric, vitamin rich liquid or blenderized diet must be maintained for the first week of healing while the gum tissues reestablish attachment. A soft diet is encouraged on the second week to allow continued healing. Remember, the high nutritional value of your diet is important for prompt and uneventful healing.
6. AVOID…all excessive activity for several days after your surgery. Don’t pick at the surgical site, avoid alcoholic beverages, and refrain from smoking until healing is well established.
7. SUTURES AND IMPLANT MATERIALS…may or may not be used to complete your surgical procedure. If your doctor places sutures, do not attempt to remove them on your own. Be aware that bleeding should be very minor and that loss of implant material (a granular material) must be kept to a minimum. If a suture becomes loose or annoying, contact your doctor immediately for assistance.
8. CONTROL OF SWELLING…may be accomplished by placing ice packs on the outside of the face over involved area—15 minutes on, 15 minutes off. The ice packs should continue for no more than 24 hours. If swelling occurs, it can be expected to follow a typical 6 day cycle (increasing swelling for the first 3 days that peaks and then decreases for the next 3 days)
9. AN OFFICE VISIT…will be scheduled for you to allow your doctor an opportunity to evaluate for proper healing or to modify treatment as required. To make or change a postoperative appointment call (303) 595-4994 during work hours.
10. DO NOT HESITATE…to call our 24-hour emergency number (303) 595-4994 if bleeding should reoccur or if other questions or problems arise.

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