• Let the surgery heal by leaving it alone.
  • Avoid hot foods and fluids for the first three days after the procedure.
  • Avoid looking at the area, pulling the lip, or trying to brush or clean the area until your follow-up appointment.
  • When applying an ice pack, do so when sitting still and with light pressure.
  • Cold fluids, foods, and crushed ice can be particularly soothing within the first 3 days after the surgery and is recommended between meals.
  • Avoid fluids dark in color (coffee, cola, soda-pop, red wine, tea, etc) as the food coloring will stain the area and prevent the graft to attach.
  • Avoid sugary foods and fluids, as the plaque will accumulate in the surgery area.

Gum grafts can change color during healing. Both the graft and the donor site sometimes turn white three to five days after the procedure. This is normal healing. Much like a scrape of the skin, the surface tissue peels away then regenerates. This happens with all grafts and does not represent an infection.

A small wound covering (dressing) may have been placed at the site your gum graft was taken from. The dressing is used to halt bleeding during the procedure and is left to remain or fall off on its own. Should the dressing come out, simply discard it. The dressing is harmless if swallowed and a little bleeding will usually occur if it falls out. The bleeding usually stops on its own, but light pressure with moist gauze or a black tea bag can be applied if necessary.

The gum graft is held in place with very delicate sutures and takes 5-7 days to attach firmly. Repeated pulling back of the cheek, lip or tongue to look at the graft, can cause the graft to move during the first 5-7 days after surgery, which can cause the graft to fail. It is best if you leave the area alone and do not pull back your cheek, lips or tongue to see how it is healing.

If you have stitches in the roof of your mouth where the gum graft was taken from, they can start to unwind as healing progresses. When this happens, it is normal although they can become annoying as the sutures unwind. The loops in the suture that are unwinding or the areas that are hanging can be cut back with clean manicure scissors if you feel comfortable, or you can contact the office to have the sutures removed earlier than scheduled. This early loosening usually means things are healing well and the sutures are no longer necessary.

If you were given an acrylic stent, keep it in the first 24 hours. After the first 24 hours, take it out and clean with soap and water then put it back in only before going to bed and waking in the morning. Continue this routine for at least 3 days, then, decide if you feel comfortable with it out or leaving it in.

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