Post Op Instructions

Instructions for Patients After Periodontal Surgery

You have just had Periodontal Surgery. Please use the following guidelines to help you feel as comfortable as possible during your initial healing process.


BLEEDING: It is usual to have some bleeding following periodontal surgery. A little blood in your saliva is absolutely normal, but if you should notice a large clot of blood within 24 hours, there could be reason for concern so please call the office.

FOR SOFT TISSUE GRAFTS ONLY: If the periodontal dressing covering the graft becomes loose within the first 3 days, call us; it may need to be replaced. If the dressing from the donor site becomes loose or completely falls off, do not be concerned unless you have excessive bleeding and become concerned yourself. (You may rinse with warm salt water if the donor site dressing should fall off as this may soothe the area during the healing process.)

PAIN MEDICATION: We will recommend you take an over the counter pain medication which we will provide prior to leaving the office and before the anesthetic has completely worn off. We will also provide you with a prescription for a narcotic pain medication, if indicated, to help control additional discomfort you may have. If you have been given a prescription for antibiotics you must take all the tablets as prescribed. Should you experience any type of reaction from the pain medications such as rash, itchiness, nausea or any other symptoms, please contact us immediately.


SWELLING: To reduce swelling and possible facial discoloration, place an ice pack on the outside of your face over the surgical site. For the ice pack to be effective it must be used for several hours immediately following surgery. If swelling does occur after the first 24 hours, then heat should be applied over the swollen area to aid in the healing process.

DIET RESTRICTIONS: After surgery we recommend patients eat a well balanced diet consisting of softer foods and encourage you to avoid the surgical area as much as possible.

ORAL HYGIENE INSTRUCTIONS: Brush and floss the rest of your teeth as you normally would, but avoid brushing and flossing the surgical areas until your next appointment. If you have been given a periodontal mouth rinse, use it as directed. During the initial healing process, it is normal to experience an unpleasant taste in your mouth. If this should happen, feel free to rinse with warm salt water rinses or any flavored mouth rinse.

  • Avoid smoking as this may irritate the healing tissues.
  • Avoid hot liquids until the anesthetic wears off.
  • If you have had an extraction, refrain from smoking or drinking from a straw for the remainder of the day.

For Tooth Extraction

DO NOT DISTURB THE AREA: For the next few days, and especially the first 24 hours, it is very important to allow your body to form a good clot and begin the healing process. Swishing, sucking through a straw, and smoking can all dislodge the clot and cause a dry socket. Be sure to chew on the opposite side for the first 24 hours.

BLEEDING: You have left our office biting on gauze for the next hour. After one hour remove the gauze and replace with new and bite for an additional 30 minutes, this should control your bleeding. If you should have any additional bleeding, use the remaining gauze and repeat. Small amounts of blood in the saliva is normal and may be noticed for the rest of the day.

SMOKING: Smoking should be avoided for the remainder of the day to avoid the possibility of a dry socket.

PAIN: Some discomfort is normal after surgery. To minimize pain, over the counter medications are quite effective in controlling the minor pain you may experience. If you have been given a prescription for a stronger pain medication and feel the need to use, do so as directed. However, if the pain persists and/or worsens with time, call the office immediately.

SWELLING: Applying ice over the extracted area will minimize swelling and possibly additional discomfort. Ice can be used for the first 24 hours after which time if discomfort still persists, apply heat.

NUMBNESS: The local anesthetic will cause you to be numb for up to several hours after you leave the office. Be very careful not to bite, chew or drink hot beverages until it is completely worn off.

BRUSHING & FLOSSING: Avoid the extraction site for the next several days.

SINUS: If your sinus was involved in the procedure, you should avoid blowing your nose. Use of decongestant medications might be recommended. Please call the office if you experience:

  • uncontrollable pain
  • excessive bleeding
  • marked fever
  • excessive warm swelling occurring a¬∑few days after the procedure
  • reactions to medications, especially rash, itching, or breathing problems

STITCHES: The stitches are placed at the time of surgery simply to assist with initial control of bleeding and clot formation. This suture material should dissolve within 4-7 days.

If you need to speak with us regarding your surgery after regular office hours,
please call 860-889-3889