Instructions For Patients After Periodontal Surgery
These instructions will help you care for yourself after periodontal surgery. If followed carefully, they will greatly help in minimizing any discomfort you may experience.
1. It is important for you to remain as quiet as possible for the remainder of the day of the operation. Some swelling may occur and is normal following such an operation. This swelling can be minimized by the use of an ice bag or pack applied to your face: on ten minutes, off ten minutes, repeating for 3 or 4 hours. Lying quietly, with your head slightly elevated during this time is also beneficial. If some swelling has occurred by the second day, warm salt-water rinses several times a day is helpful.
2. Take any medication specifically prescribed for you, carefully following directions. Even if you are not experiencing any great discomfort, take your pain medication as directed the day of surgery and especially before retiring to assure a good night's rest. If you have been given an antibiotic to prevent infection, be sure to take it until all the medication is used up. If fever, nausea, or a rash develops, call the office.
3. You may see a surgical dressing around your teeth that is comparable to the dressing used in other types of operations. It serves a beneficial purpose and should not be disturbed until you return to the office. It can withstand some the forces of light chewing without breaking loose; however, if a large portion comes off and there is much bleeding or pain, please call the office.
4. It is desirable that you maintain an adequate diet, rich in protein. Soft foods will be easiest for you to chew and should not dislodge your dressing. Avoid vigorous chewing of hard or tough foods. A light meal the evening of your surgery will generally make you feel much better. Eggs, milk, cheese, soup, jello, custard, cooked cereal, and so-called "Instant Breakfasts" are usually easy to eat during the first few days after surgery.
5. You may use your toothbrush as usual in the areas not covered by dressing and with a gentle stroke on the chewing surface of those teeth covered with dressing. Beginning tomorrow, if you mouth does not feel clean, you may rinse every two hours with solution of half teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water.
6. There may be occasional blood stains in the saliva for the first four or five hours after the operation. This is not unusual and will correct itself. It there is considerable bleeding beyond this, take a piece of sterile gauze, form it into the shape of a "U", hold it in the thumb and index finger, apply it to both sides of the dressing, and hold it under gentle pressure for twenty minutes, if the bleeding does not stop at the end of the twenty minutes, please contact the office. Rinsing should not be used to stop the bleeding.
7. If intravenous medications have been given during your surgery, you may remove the band aid covering the injection site the day after the surgery. It is not uncommon for a bruise to form at the injection site. If you have any persistent pain in your hand or arm, or if a red line appears on your arm, please contact the office.
8. If any other problems arise, do not hesitate to call the office, day or night.
9. NO RINSING FOR 24 HOURS. You may drink fluids or expectorate (spit), but do not swish.