after Gum Grafting

Optimal healing following periodontal surgery is dependent on proper post-operative care. It is very important to follow these post-operative instructions to facilitate optimal healing after periodontal surgery.

After all surgeries, the most important factor that promotes healing is stabilization of the surgical site. Thus, the surgical site must remain undisturbed for at least 10 days, this includes NOT pulling your lip out to see it.


Keep ice on your face (15 min on/15 min off) to prevent discomfort and future swelling. Take regular dosages of Ibuprofen (600mg-800mg  every 4- 6 hours) for 3-5 days post operative.


If donor tissue was taken from the palate, a stent may be placed to cover the roof of the mouth. Please be sure to wear this stent as much as possible for the first 24 hours (including bedtime). It will help with sensitivity and prevent oozing. After the first day, wear it whenever you need the comfort and security. Please wear when eating. Note: If you received a free epithelialized graft (FEG), continue to wear your stent as much as possible until your first post-treatment appointment and always while eating. It is suggested you remove the stent to clean it following meals and prior to bed.


Occasionally, bleeding may occur from the donor site in the palate, especially during the first two days. Wearing the stent during the first day will help. Repeated rinsing will make the problem worse. Usually bleeding can be controlled by applying direct pressure on the palate with some moistened gauze or a moistened tea bag. If bleeding persists, call me.


For 2 weeks, you should avoid foods that require you to bite off or bite into food with the front teeth (hamburgers, com on the cob, hard bread, etc.). Cut meat and vegetables into small bites (as for a young child) and place the food carefully in the mouth with a fork or spoon. Cold liquid type foods are the best for the first couple of days after surgery (malt or shake, pudding desert, jello, etc.) DO NOT USE A STRAW. Avoid hard and crunchy foods, chips, popcorn, and snack foods. Avoid carbonated drinks and alcohol for one week. Avoid spicy foods.


DO NOT SMOKE FOR AT LEAST 5 DAYS AFTER SURGERY. Thereafter, limit smoking as much as possible until your postoperative visit. Remember, the more smoking, the more likelihood for failure of the graft to take.


Exercise such as jogging, swimming, and tennis should be discontinued for 48 hours after surgery. This is to reduce the risk of postoperative bleeding that might interfere with proper healing of the graft tissue. Pressure and movement on the lips and cheeks should be avoided during the first 7 to 10 days after surgery (blowing up balloons, playing wind instruments, etc.)

Problems and Questions:

Don’t hesitate to call us if you have a question or think you may be having a problem. Please contact our office, (503) 222-2844, or Dr. Hovey’s cell number (503) 805-9319 or Dr. Corning’s cell number (520) 289-5961.