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What You Need to Know About Post-Op Periodontal Surgery Care

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When periodontal disease progresses from early to more advanced stages of the disease, individuals will often require periodontal surgery to help remove the bacterial buildup and prevent future damage.

Periodontal surgery in Toronto is generally an outpatient procedure; depending on the type of pain relief administered, many patients undergoing periodontal surgery in Toronto can even drive themselves home immediately afterward. However, while periodontal surgery in Toronto may not require an extended hospital stay, keeping to your surgeon’s post-op care plan is no less essential to your recovery.

To ensure a full, complications-free recovery, you’ll need to follow a few post-op periodontal surgery care instructions carefully.

Before Your Periodontal Surgery

Before diving into how to care for your mouth and gums post-op, let’s cover a few ways you can help prepare for surgery:

  • On the advice of your physician or surgeon, it may be recommended to avoid taking certain medications, like blood thinners and pain relievers, for several weeks before your scheduled periodontal surgery.
  • If you are prescribed antibiotics before surgery, make sure you take them according to the instructions
  • Avoid smoking or consuming alcohol for at least 24 before surgery
  • Certain pain relievers administered during periodontal surgery will affect your reaction times so ask your surgeon if you need to arrange post-op transportation.

Post Oral Surgery Care Instructions

After your periodontal surgery, your surgeon will review instructions on how to care for your mouth during the first 24 to 48 hours post-op. These instructions are not suggestions. Proper post-op care is crucial to a speedy recovery and avoiding surgical complications. Your specific recovery time will depend on the type of periodontal surgery you underwent, the severity of the infection, and your overall health, however, your surgeon will likely recommend the following:

  • Lots of rest
  • Regular icing
  • Foods to avoid
  • Not smoking for at least 24 hours

Get Lots of Rest

Even if you are feeling okay after your periodontal surgery, it is wise to give your body the time it needs to heal and that means getting enough rest. For the first few days after your surgery, avoid strenuous activity. Instead, settle into a comfortable position with your head elevated, this will support good blood flow and help to reduce swelling around your mouth and face.

Apply Ice

Apply ice to your face will help reduce swelling and promote healing. Your surgeon may recommend applying ice for 15 minutes intervals several times a day.

Take Your Medications as Directed

Following your surgeon’s directions for post-op medication is very important. If you have been prescribed antibiotics, continue taking them as prescribed. If you have been given painkillers, take them as instructed regardless of whether you are experiencing pain as it is easier to prevent pain than to relieve it.

Stick to a Soft Diet

While you should soon be able to resume eating all your favourite foods in no time, it’s advisable to stick to soft, easy-to-chew, or liquid foods for the first few days after your periodontal surgery. Food like yogurt, mashed potatoes, soups, and smoothies are all healthy options.

Take a Break from Brushing

This may be the only time your dental professional asks you to skip brushing your teeth, but it’s best to give your teeth and gums a 24-hour rest from brushing post-op. However, you will likely be instructed to rinse your mouth several times a day with a warm salt water mixture to remove any food debris that’s collected and keep your mouth clean.

Skip the Smoke

Refraining from smoking for at least 24 hours after your periodontal surgery is important. Even better would be to take this as an opportunity to improve your oral and overall health by quitting altogether, however, a day is a bare minimum.