Advice after gum graft

What to do to reduce the discomfort after a gum graft:

  • Take the medicine that was prescribed to you by the dentist. If medication was not prescribed, you may take analgesics such as Advil or Tylenol in case of pain.
  • For the first 48 hours, you should avoid rinsing your mouth, using a straw, exercising, smoking or eating any hard, hot or spicy food. Drink lots of liquids.
  • Avoid brushing the teeth in the treated region before your next check-up in 2 weeks. You can clean them with a cotton swab without touching the gums. Gently brush your teeth after meals excluding operated regions.
  • If you have bleeding you can apply a cloth or cotton dampened with cold water for 20 minutes with light pressure to the bleeding site, if that is not enough after two repetitions you can use cold wet tea bag to apply the pressure.
  • To control the swelling, apply ice on the cheek for 20 minutes every hour and repeat again. Do this only for the first 24 hours. After 24 hours use dry heat compresses.
  • The graft is fragile and therefore you should avoid chewing on the treated teeth during the first 2 weeks. Also avoid foods that require chewing a lot or that are too hard or crunchy like potato chips, nuts, gums, steaks, crusts of bread, raw vegetables. Encourage rather soft foods and chew on the other side if possible.
  • Should you have any problems or questions, call us or our 24 hour emergency dental service hot line.

What to expect as complications:

  • Bleeding (abnormal after 24 hours if abundant).
  • Pain of mild to moderate intensity is normal during the first few days, take medications that have been prescribed.
  • Infection (swelling that worsens after the first 24 hours following surgery).
  • Swelling (normal, maximum after 48 hours, then should reduce).
  • Limited mouth opening (can last 3 to 6 weeks).
  • Ecchymosis or a “bruise” is normal and will disappear within a few days.