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Soft Tissue Graft Post-Operative Instructions

Sometimes the after-effects of oral surgery are quite minimal, not all of these instructions may apply. Common sense will often dictate what you should do. However, when in doubt, follow these guidelines or call our office any time for clarification.
Day Of Surgery
Limit physical activity during the first 24-48 hours after surgery. Overexertion may lead to postoperative bleeding, swelling and discomfort. Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24-48 hours. This bleeding/oozing may continue throughout the first 24 hours. When you lie down, keep your head elevated on a pillow.

After a few days of healing you may notice the grafted area turning whitish-grey in color. This is normal healing for this procedure.
Unfortunately most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort.

Pain medication – Take the first pill before the anesthetic has worn off. This will enable you to manage your discomfort more effectively. If you do not achieve adequate pain relief, you may supplement each pill with Advil/Motrin (ibuprofen). The effects of medicines vary widely among individuals. Please call the office if the pain is not controlled.

Please do not drink alcoholic beverages, drive a car or operate machinery while taking prescribed pain medication.

Antibiotics – Take antibiotics on the specified dosing schedule. Yogurt with active cultures and/or acidophilus may be taken while on antibiotics to help minimize gastrointestinal side effects. If you develop severe cramping and/or diarrhea please notify the office.

If you are on birth control pills, please be advised that antibiotics and other medications can and may neutralize the preventive effect of birth control pills, allowing for conception and pregnancy. Please consult your physician to initiate additional forms of birth control during the period of treatment.

Anti-swelling medication – If our team prescribed medication to help control swelling, please take the medication on the specified dosing schedule.

Prescription rinse – Rinse with the prescribed antibiotic rinse (Peridex) as directed.
To minimize swelling apply ice 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, throughout the first day. It is not uncommon to have a fair amount of swelling from this procedure. Swelling usually peaks between days two and three.
Sutures were placed to control bleeding and to aid in the healing process. Do not lift or pull up your lip to look at the stitches. The sutures will usually dissolve in 5-10 days.
Do not smoke. Smoking inhibits healing.
Nausea is an uncommon event after surgery; it is sometimes caused by stronger pain medications. Preceding each pill with a small amount of soft food and liquids may reduce nausea. Try to keep taking clear fluids and minimize the pain medication. If nausea is persistent please give the office a call.
Food selection is largely a matter of your choice. It is recommended that you confine the first day/week’s intake to soft foods (creamed soups, puddings, yogurt, milk shakes (no straw), macaroni and cheese, pasta, ice cream, etc.). Over the next several days you can progress to solid foods at your own pace. Eating a nutritious diet throughout your healing process will help you feel better.

If you are diabetic, maintain your normal eating habits as much as possible and follow instructions from us, or your physician regarding your insulin schedule. You may need to test your blood sugar more frequently during the first 48 hours post-operatively.
Brushing/Mouth Rinses
Do not brush the grafted site. It is important to use the prescribed antibiotic rinse. Begin your normal oral hygiene routine as soon as possible after surgery.

Do not rinse the day of surgery. Beginning the next day, mix ¼ teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water and gently rinse two or three times daily for the next week.
Palatal Stent
If you were given an appliance to wear following the grafting procedure please keep it in place for the first 24-48 hours. After the second day it can be removed, rinsed thoroughly and placed back into your mouth. Wearing this appliance will protect the donor site and provide comfort while eating.
Our team of Surgeons and their staff wish you a smooth and pleasant recovery. Following these instructions will assist in your post operative healing. If you have any questions please call the office during office hours for a faster response. A 24-hour answering service is available for after hours contact with the doctor.