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

Please take your medications as directed. It is best to start the pain medication before local anesthesia wears off. It is advisable to take pain medication with food to avoid an upset stomach or nausea.

As an alternative to prescription medications, some patients have found taking a combination of over-the-counter Ibuprofen or Tylenol to be effective. You may take the combination in either of the following dosages:

3 Advil (600 mg) Liquid-Gels or 2 Extra Strength Tylenol (1000 mg) every 4-6 hours as needed.

or 2 Aleve (440 mg) every eight hours.

Note: When taking any prescribed medication containing Acetaminophen (Tylenol, APAP), i.e.; Percocet, Hydrocodone, Vicoden or Tylenol with Codeine, you should not take additional Tylenol so as not to exceed the safety level of Acetaminophen (4000mg/day for adults). 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. Take the antibiotic as directed until gone. We recommend taking antibiotics with food to avoid upset stomach. For women taking birth control pills, be advised that antibiotics may interfere with their effectiveness.


Swelling may occur following your surgical procedure and will typically increase 2-3 days after the procedure. Swelling should begin to go down after the third day.  To minimize the swelling, place an ice pack over the outside cheek area for 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off. Continue using ice for two days following the procedure as often as possible. Avoid strenuous exercise for 48 hours.


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

  • Do not rinse your mouth.
  • Wipe out any blood clots with a gauze
  • Sit down with your head elevated.
  • Apply direct pressure with a moistened gauze to the area for 20 minutes; repeat if necessary.
  • Enclose a moistened tea bag in a gauze square and apply pressure for 20 minutes.
  • Apply ice pack to the affected side of the face.
  • Call the office if bleeding persists.


If a dressing (pink putty bandage) was used clean the area with warm saline rinses.  If the dressing comes off do not become alarmed.  Please call the office for direction.


Do not use a straw.  Do not chew on the side where surgery was completed. Avoid hot foods and liquids for 24 hours.  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.


Do not smoke for at least 2 weeks following your surgical procedure. Nicotine will constrict blood vessels and will significantly slow healing and can compromise results.


Do not drink alcohol while taking prescription pain medications.


Gently rinse after meals and at bedtime with dilute salt water.   Repeat as necessary to help keep the area clean.


Do not brush the surgical site. You may resume normal brushing/flossing in the untreated areas that evening.   Do not use an electric tooth brush as the vibrations may untie the sutures.

Suture Removal

We will usually see you for a two week post operative visit to assess healing and to remove sutures. If dissolving sutures were used they are usually gone after 5 to 10 days. Nylon or Teflon sutures will be removed at the two week visit.     If you are a patient for whom Antibiotic Pre-Medication is required, 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 Shady Grove Periodontal Associates Phone Number 301-869-5595.