Instructions Following Soft Tissue Graft
- Some pain, bleeding, swelling, and seeping are normal following oral surgery. Please do not try to view the site by pulling on your lip and do not probe the area with your tongue or fingers.
- Avoid forcefully rinsing or spitting or drinking through a straw. Biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the wound for 30 minutes will help reduce bleeding. Some bleeding is normal for the first 24 hours. If bleeding continues please call our office.
- Please take all medications, including mouth rinses, as prescribed.
- After 24 hours, warm salt water rinses (one-half teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) can be used 4-5 times a day after meals.
- After 24 hours, brush your teeth with a soft manual toothbrush. Be gentle with brushing the surgical areas.
- Sutures may be placed after the surgery, and most sutures dissolve on their own.
- Swelling and bruising may occur and may become more noticeable two to three days following surgery. Applying a cold compress to the face near the surgical site will help minimize swelling.
- If using an ice pack, please do not apply ice directly to your skin but place a cloth between the ice and your skin at all times. You may apply the cold compress for up to 20 minutes on and at least 20 minutes off as needed. After 36 hours the cold compress will have no further impact on swelling. After this period, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face can help reduce swelling.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Stay away from spicy or acidic foods. Also avoid sharp and crunchy foods like tacos, chips and nuts. Tobacco and alcohol should not be used. Alcohol should not be used in combination with pain medications nor antibiotics.
- Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. Avoid strenuous activity for 2-3 days.
- If a surgical bandage was used, it will ideally remain in place for 24 hours. There is no need for you to remove it; it will come off when ready. Once it does, you can begin cleaning the wound gently with a cotton swab dipped in a mouth rinse.