Post-Operative Gingival Graft Instructions

You will always be given verbal and written aftercare instructions when you have surgery at Pure Dental Health, however, should you forget what you’ve been told or lose your written instructions you can check that you’re doing all that you can to ensure a speedy and comfortable recovery by following the advice below.

  • Take care to only have cold drinks and do not eat until the local anaesthetic has worn off. Avoid hot drinks or hot food for the first couple of days and do not ‘swill’ liquid over the area. Try not to disturb the area with your tongue or fingers.
  • A soft food and high protein diet for the first week after surgery will help with the healing process.
  • Do not undertake strenuous exercise for the first week after surgery (running/gym).
  • You may have some swelling and/or bruising following your treatment - this usually reaches a peak 2 to 3 days later. This is quite normal and both will subside naturally after a few days. Swelling can be reduced with ice packs (or a bag of frozen peas) wrapped in a towel. Hold on the cheek area for a maximum of 10 minutes at a time with 20 minutes break. After 24 hours gentle heat is more beneficial. Sleeping propped up slightly on 2-3 pillows may also help.
  • Pain should not be a big problem. Although you may be sore for a few days after any surgery in your mouth, this can be easily managed with simple analgesics (pain killers). You should take these regularly at the maximum stated dose for the first 2 days after your surgery. Take whatever painkillers you normally take for headaches, aches and sprains (ibuprofen and paracetamol make a good combination), and take your first dose before the local anaesthetic has completely worn off.
  • If after a few days you experience increasing pain and swelling, you must return to Pure Dental Health as soon as possible so that we can ensure you are not beginning to develop an infection.
  • If you have a denture that covers the surgical area please wear it as little as possible or preferably not at all for the first week to protect the surgical site during its initial healing period. You should always leave the denture out at night.
  • The stitches are dissolvable but often remain for around 2-3 weeks. We will see you for an review a week after surgery, we may remove some or all the sutures at this appointment.
  • Graft taken from the palate: Some minor bleeding after surgery in the mouth is normal. If this persists, apply pressure by biting firmly down over the area on a dampened gauze swab or clean handkerchief for 60 minutes whilst sitting upright. Do not keep checking or changing the gauze. You should contact us if bleeding persists for any reason after applying pressure in this way.
  • If you have been given a course of antibiotics to take after your surgery, please ensure that you complete the course.

Cleaning Advice

  • Successful oral surgery depends on keeping the mouth as clean as possible.
  • Please start to use the mouthwash you have been given 24hours after your surgery and continue for 1 week. This is very important. You should gently bathe
    the surgical site by holding approximately 15ml over the site (the equivalent of half a cap-full) for at least 1 minute, 3 times a day, for 7 days.
  • You should also start cleaning your other teeth as normal with a toothbrush, starting on the evening of your surgery. Avoid the surgical site until you see the dentist for your suture removal appointment, roughly a week after surgery.
  • Warm salty mouthwash (a cup of lukewarm water with a teaspoon of salt) is very beneficial for healing in the first week but tastes awful. You can start salty mouthwash 24 hours after surgery.
  • Try to keep food away from the surgical area for as long as possible. Rinse following eating to keep the area clean.
  • You are advised not to smoke until the wound has healed as this severely limits healing in the mouth.
  • We want your recovery to be as smooth and pleasant as possible. It is vital to follow these instructions very carefully - if you have any concerns or questions regarding your progress, please do not hesitate to contact us. An out of hours contact number is always available on our answer phone.

If you have any queries or concerns, please contact Pure Dental Health on 01872 22240.