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What to do after your Gum Grafting Surgery

We have put together a list of post-operative instructions for those who have recently undergone gum grafting surgery or are looking to have it. In this guide, we outline what to do after surgery.

  1. Keep biting on the gauze immediately after surgery for 20-30 minutes to stop the bleeding. If bleeding persists place another gauze pad and bite down for an additional 30 minutes. Change the gauze as required.

  2. If treatment has been completed under sedation or you have taken anti-anxiolytic medication, a responsible adult will need to drive you home and accompany you for the rest of the day until you are fully recovered from the effects of the medication.

  3. If your lip, tongue, or cheek is numb, please take care not to bite it.

  4. Use of ice packs; this can assist in reducing swelling and discomfort.

  5. After 12 hours you may brush very gently with a soft toothbrush and rinse with Savacol mouthwash twice a day for 2 minutes diluted half with water for 5 days.

  6. If excessive bleeding, pain, fever, or severe swelling occurs in the days following your appointment please call us on (08) 9226 2135.

  7. A post-operative appointment will be booked for you approximately 6 to 12 weeks following your surgery.

What to expect?

  1. Swelling will occur and may involve the cheeks or even the entire face. This will gradually increase over the next few days before slowly subsiding.

  2. Bruising of the cheeks and face may occur. It will appear purple/blue, then turn yellow before disappearing.

  3. For pain relief, analgesics and anti-inflammatory medication can be prescribed by your dental professional. Certain medications will cause drowsiness and it is important not to drive or operate heavy machinery until fully recovered from the effects.

  4. Sutures are normally removed from the palate after 1 week and after 2-3 weeks from the operated areas.

What not to do?

  1. For the rest of the day following the bone grafting surgery, do not eat or drink anything that is too hot or too hard. Maintain a soft food / liquid diet for a week and then slowly re-introduce hard foods as you feel more comfortable (eg. scrambled eggs, soup, and yoghurt).

  2. Do not rinse, spit or drink through a straw for at least 12 hours.

  3. If you have a denture to wear, do NOT place it in your mouth until advised by your dental professional.

  4. If you are a smoker, do NOT smoke for at least 48 hours following surgery as it may increase the risk of post-operative complications and result in delayed healing or worse. It is preferable to avoid smoking for 4 weeks.

  5. Avoid alcohol and strenuous physical activity for 24 hours or while you are on medication (if prescribed).

  6. Avoid brushing in the operated area for 3-4 weeks after surgery. Instead, gently rinse with Chlorhexidine twice daily (0.1%, 0.12% or 0.2%) to control plaque in that area.

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