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Post-Operative Instructions:
Gum or Other Tissue Grafts

Post-operative instructions for gum or other tissue grafts

In addition to the general surgical instructions, keep these things in mind after your connective tissue graft:


Remember to follow all instructions and precautions regarding medications.

Avoid aspirin, alcohol, and smoking. All can delay healing, and alcohol and aspirin can be harmful when mixed with prescription painkillers.

Recuperation and healing

Rest quietly with your head elevated for the remainder of the day.

As soon as possible, place an ice pack on your face over the surgical area; 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off, for the first six hours following surgery.

Moist heat may be applied the day after surgery for added comfort.

Do not touch your surgical sites for the first week. You could dislodge the healing tissue and compromise the success of the graft.

Do not pull your lip away to view the graft site.

Stents and dressings

In most cases a plastic stent is kept in place with sutures or wires; it will be removed when appropriate. If a removable plastic stent was provided, wear it for two days, removing it to clean and re-apply Orabase® ointment.

Three days after surgery you can begin to leave the stent out, wearing it only when needed for comfort.

Approximately five days after surgery you may remove the stent completely.

If a dressing has been applied to your teeth covering the graft site, please do not disturb the dressing. Clean and rinse around it gently. It will be removed by our staff when the appropriate time has elapsed. If the dressing becomes loose or dislodged, do not panic, call our office for instructions

Oral care

Do not brush, floss, spit, or suck through a straw for 24 hours following surgery.

Begin rinsing gently with the prescription mouthwash (Peridex) 24 hours after your surgery. Do not use any other mouthwash or salt water, as they will irritate the palate and delay healing.

Do not rinse your mouth vigorously for two days. If you feel you must loosen food debris, you may rinse gently with weak salt water.

Begin to brush the NON-SURGICAL areas the day following surgery, remembering to rinse very gently.

You may begin to brush the surgical area two days after surgery. Before doing so, run your toothbrush under hot water to soften the bristles.

You may also gently floss the area after the post-operative appointment.

Give us a call with any questions or concerns at (805) 648-5121.

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