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PERIODONTAL POSTOPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS
BLEEDING: A small amount of bleeding for several hours after surgery is normal. A very small amount will turn saliva in the mouth red. However, if excessive bleeding does occur, please call.
PAIN: If pain medications have been prescribed, they may be taken as soon as you arrive home. Because you have had surgery, some postoperative discomfort may be present, even with your prescription. Some pain medications may make you groggy and can slow down your reflexes. Suddenly sitting up or standing may make you feel dizzy. Driving, making important decisions, or operating machinery should be avoided while taking your pain prescription. You will be advised of the need to take these precautions if necessary. Pain medications should not be taken on an empty stomach.
SWELLING: Swelling following periodontal surgery is normal and may continue for several days. However, if fever develops, please call. To help control swelling, an icepack should be placed on the cheek for 15 minutes on, 10 minutes off, and then repeated for 3-4 hours. This is for the day of surgery only. Also, ibuprofen (e.g. Advil, Motrin) can be taken to prevent inflammation. 600-800mg (3-4 over-the-counter pills) can be taken 3 times a day, as long as you have no sensitivity to this medication.
ANTIBIOTICS: If you have been given a prescription for antibiotics, you must take all the tablets as prescribed.
DRESSING: The periodontal pack, if placed, should stay in place until you return. Small pieces often break off and sometimes the entire pack becomes dislodged. This loss is not a problem unless the surgical area is extremely sore. If so, call.
EATING: Do not drink any alcohol while taking pain medication. It is important that you continue to receive proper nourishment. Unless otherwise instructed, it is usually more comfortable to limit the diet to cool, soft foods during the first 24 hours. A blender or food processor can be helpful. Highly acidic or seasoned foods can cause burning sensations. Foods with sharp edges such as potato chips, popcorn and hard bread crusts should be avoided. It is extremely important to maintain your normal fluid intake. Resume a balanced, high protein diet as soon as it is comfortable. DO NOT MISS MEALS OR ALLOW YOURSELF TO BECOME DEHYDRATED. If needed, high calorie nutrition drinks such as Ensure can be purchased and supplemented as needed.
TOOTH SENSITIVITY: Occasionally, after surgery, teeth may become very sensitive, especially to cold. See the Oral Hygiene instructions below.
ORAL HYGIENE: Starting the evening of the day of the surgery, brush and floss in all areas except the surgical site, which may be cleaned with warm salt water rinses (1/2 teaspoon salt to a glass of warm water) 2-3 times a day. If you have been given a prescription for an antiplaque mouthwash (e.g. Peridex, Perioguard), rince in the morning (after eating) and evening with ½ ounce for 30 seconds and spit out. Do not eat or drink for ½ hour after rinsing.
SUTURES: Sutures will be removed at you postoperative appointment if necessary. These instructions will help to make you as comfortable as possible. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call.