Post-operative Instructions

These instructions apply to the surgical procedure just completed. They are designed to help you minimize post-surgical discomfort and inform you of any situation that may require special attention.

Physical Activity

After leaving the office, relax as much as possible for the remainder of the day. No strenuous activity for the next few day. Take it easy and let your body begin the healing process.


Periodontal surgery, like other surgical procedures, may be associated with varying degrees of discomfort depending on the procedure involved and individual differences. Discomfort is usually most severe during the first 6-8 hours following surgery. Many patients are able to manage the discomfort with Motrin 800mg (or four 200mg Advil tablets) every 6 hours. Motrin works best if it is take before the numbness wears away. If you have been given another prescription pain reliever please take as directed. Any prescription pain medication can cause nausea or vomiting. It is important that you have some food in your stomach before you take them.


If you have been given an antibiotic, it is imperative that you use the entire prescription. If you have any problems with the antibiotic (hives, itching, skin rash, diarrhea, etc.), please discontinue the medication and call the office.


Make an ice pack using a small plastic bag filled with ice and wrapped with a towel. Apply the ice pack to the outside of the face for approximately 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off immediately following the surgery. This is suggested for the first day only and should minimize swelling. When you lie down, keep your head elevated with a pillow. If swelling occurs, it usually disappears after several days with peak swelling occurring 48 hours post-surgically. Any unusual or large swelling or marked rise in the temperature should be reported to our office immediately.


Expect minor bleeding or oozing from the operative site. This bleeding may continue throughout the first day. If active or excessive bleeding occurs, rinse your mouth gently with cold water and apply a moist gauze square or tea bag over the bleeding area and apply light pressure for 15-30 minutes (tea has an ingredient that promotes blood clotting). Repeat procedure if needed.


A periodontal dressing is often placed around the teeth to protect the surgical area and should not be disturbed. A soft diet will help prevent dislodgement of the dressing. Do not chew in the surgical areas or where dressing is places. Often times, only one side of the mouth has been treated and you can cut food into small pieces and chew on the opposite side. If small pieces are lost, and you have no discomfort, there is no reason for concern. If large pieces break off or if the entire dressing becomes loose in the first two days, please contact our offices.

Oral Hygiene

Continue to brush and floss the untreated teeth as usual. The surgical area should not be disturbed during the first post-operative week. Please rinse with the prescription mouthwash you have been given as directed. You can also rinse with warm salt water after the first surgical day.


Following periodontal surgery, it is necessary to follow a soft diet for your comfort and to protect the surgical area. Soft, cool foods that require little or no chewing are tolerated best immediately following surgery. Avoid food or liquids that are hot in temperature on the first day.It is important to maintain a diet with a normal caloric intake level that is high in protein, minerals and vitamins to support healing. Food supplements such as Carnation Instant Breakfast and Ensure provide excellent nutrition and are highly recommended during the first week. Other suggested foods include soups eggs, yogurt, fruits, cooked vegetables, broiled fish, stewed chicken, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese. Foods can be placed in a blender if necessary and reduced to a soft consistency. Avoid nuts, corn chips, popcorn and pretzels. It is important to drink plenty of fluids during this period.


Please do not smoke during the post-surgical period. Wound healing will be delayed and can compromise the success of the treatment.


Avoid all alcohol until after your one week post-operative visit.

Do Not’s

For the next several days, do not spit, rinse vigorously, drink through a straw, create a “sucking” action in your mouth or use an oral irrigating device.

Contact Us

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at Atlanta Periodontal Group Phone Number 770-994-5678.