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.

Pain Medications

It is not unusual to have discomfort for the first week following your surgical procedure. You may be given a prescription for medication to help you tolerate the post-surgical recovery period. Please take your medications as directed. If necessary, you may take your pain medication more frequently than every 4-6 hours to stay ahead of the soreness for the first 24 hours. It is advisable to not take pain medication on an empty stomach, as nausea may result. Avoid chewing while numb to avoid biting the tongue or cheeks.  Plain ice cream or something similar (with protein, fat and sugar) can be a good food to eat while numb or sore prior to taking narcotic pain medication to avoid nausea.

As an alternative to prescription medications, a combination of over-the-counter ibuprofen and Tylenol can be effective treating discomfort depending on the procedure and individual. You may take the following dosages: 1000 mg of Tylenol/acetaminophen (max dose=4000mg per day) and 800 mg of Motrin/ibuprofen/Advil (max dose=2400 mg per day) every six hours as needed.

Note: When taking any prescribed medication containing acetaminophen (Tylenol), i.e.; Percocet, Hydrocodone, Vicodin or Tylenol with Codeine, you should not take additional Tylenol so as not to exceed the safety level of acetaminophen. Please contact the office with any questions you may have.


Please alert the office to any allergies or sensitivities that you might have to antibiotics. You may be prescribed an antibiotic if it is necessary for the various procedures. Take as directed until gone.  For women taking birth control pills, be advised that antibiotics may interfere with their effectiveness.


Swelling may occur following your surgical procedure and will may increase for two days after the procedure. To minimize the swelling, place an ice pack over the outside cheek area for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Continue using ice for 2-3 days following the procedure as often as possible.  In most cases involving grafting it is NOT advisable to ice the area as movement and pressure on the site may disturb the healing process and cause failure of the graft to “take.”


  •    Swishing
  •    Spitting
  •    Suction (ie. sucking a milkshake through a straw)
  •    Straining
  •    Smoking
  •    Blowing pressures (ie. blowing up a balloon, playing a tuba…)
  •    Stretching the cheeks or healing area (frequently the area feels tight as healing occurs)


A small amount of bleeding is normal. If excessive or continuous bleeding occurs:

  •    Do not rinse your mouth for 12 hours.
  •    Elevate your head when lying down.
  •    Apply moistened gauze to the immediate area with moderate pressure for 20 minutes; repeat if necessary.
  •    Enclose a moistened tea bag in a gauze square and apply pressure for 20 minutes.
  •    Call the office if bleeding persists.


The dressing (which acts as a bandage) is used to protect the surgical site and help reduce discomfort. The dressing typically comes off as the area heals.  If discomfort from parts of the dressing not coming off begins around 5-10 days post-surgery, please call the office for direction.


Until comfortable, avoid chewing on the side where surgery was completed. Avoid hot foods and liquids for approximately one hour following the surgery. A soft diet is recommended. Foods such as cottage cheese, oatmeal, soup, eggs, yogurt, pasta, mashed potatoes, casseroles, and fruits are more easily eaten. Remember, adequate nutrition is essential for feeling better as well as for healing. Gradually advance your diet as tolerated during healing.


Ideally, do not smoke for at least two weeks following your surgical procedure. Doing so can significantly slow healing and can compromise results.


Do not drink alcohol while taking prescription pain medications as the interactions can cause serious medical issues and nausea.  Alcohol can increase the chances of bleeding significantly. 


Do not vigorously swish or spit for the first 2-3 days. You may use a mild, diluted mouthwash or a combination of mouthwash/hydrogen peroxide/water (about equal parts) and/or salt water rinses (a teaspoon in a small lukewarm glass of water) several times per day to as necessary to help keep the dressing clean.


Do not brush the surgical site. You may resume normal brushing/flossing in other areas the following day.

Suture Removal

If sutures/dressing remain until follow-up visit, it will be removed.  If you take a pre-medication antibiotic, then pre-medication is required, so take the prescribed antibiotics one hour prior to your suture removal appointment.

Contact Us

Should you have any questions or concerns during regular office hours, please do not hesitate to contact us at Davidson Office Phone Number 704-892-0644.