Home Care Instructions Following Periodontal (“GUM”) Surgery

After any surgery, minor discomfort, bleeding and swelling is normal. The following instructions have been reviewed with you by your doctor and are for your reference.



After any surgical procedure a certain amount of discomfort is expected. By taking the prescribed medications as directed, your discomfort should be reduced. Under no circumstances should you take Aspirin for pain, since it encourages bleeding.


The roots of the teeth that were treated may become more mobile or sensitive to hot, cold and brushing. These problems are usually temporary but please inform your doctor if it becomes problematic.



Expect some pink fluid in your mouth.  This is simply saliva mixing with the blood clot, and it is of no significance.  You may want to place a towel over your pillow the night after surgery to protect your bed-linen.  Slight oozing from the area of surgery is normal on the first day of surgery.  Because blood mixes with saliva, it may appear to be a greater volume than it really is.


To manage post-operative bleeding you should:

  1. Avoid vigorous rinsing, spitting or using a straw for 24 hours
  2. Avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours
  3. Avoid smoking for at least 24 hours
  4. Avoid vigorous exercise for 48 hours
  5. Avoid eating hard or sharp foods that may further traumatize the wound


***If bleeding does occur, apply pressure to area for twenty minutes with a piece of DAMP gauze. If bleeding continues apply pressure for an additional twenty minutes with a DAMP tea bag (regular tea, not herbal).  If bleeding is severe and does not stop, please contact your doctor.



Swelling usually occurs 2-3 days after surgery. To minimize swelling apply ice for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for the first 24 hours. Sleep with an extra pillow under your head for the first night and take the anti-inflammatory medications recommended by your doctor. Some bruising may occur and should not alarm you. You may also experience stiffness of the jaw which can be relieved by gentle opening and stretching on the 2nd and 3rd day after surgery.



Following surgery you may experience mild tooth discomfort, and as such, maintaining a softer diet is strongly recommended.

Suggested foods may include:

overcooked pasta, cut up chicken, fish, mashed potatoes, eggs, yogurts (without seeds), apple sauces, pudding and soups are a part of a well balanced diet.  Avoid foods:

  1. With small pieces, such as nuts, fruits with seeds, chips etc. can be trapped in the surgical area
  2. That are too hot, too cold or too spicy
  3. With alcohol as it may interact with medications you are taking


It is important to eat a full but modified diet as your body needs proteins, vitamins, minerals and calories to heal and fight infection. 500mg of vitamin C a day may also help healing.




Temperature (Fever)

A mild temperature up to 380C is considered normal following surgery, and is a part of the healing process.  It should respond to Tylenol.  If your temperature is above 380C, or does not lower with Tylenol please contact your doctor.


Oral Hygiene

It is very important to keep your mouth as clean as possible to reduce the chance of infection.

First day after surgery: occasional GENTLE rinsing with salt water, avoid brushing of teeth

Starting 2nd day after surgery:

  1. Brush at least twice a day, avoiding the area of surgery
  2. Avoid flossing in the surgical area until asked to resume by your doctor
  3. Use peridex mouthrinse or salt water rinse twice a day as indicated by your doctor. Make sure to brush before using the rinse and rinse for a full minute (60 seconds). Remember not to eat or drink 30 minutes following rinsing with peridex. Do not use for longer than 2 weeks unless otherwise directed.


You may resume normal regular oral hygiene practices such as brushing, flossing after your 1-2 week post-operative appointment with your doctor.


Periodontal Pack/Sutures

Your doctor may choose to place a periodontal pack. The pack will usually be left in place for one week. It is expected that particles may chip off during the week, or the entire pack may fall off.  Should this happen do not be concerned.  Sutures that are placed are typically dissolve on their own and normally become loose during the healing phase. Do not pull your lip to see what we have done.



Do not blow your nose.

Sneeze with your mouth open.

Take a decongestant if you feel stuffed up.

Do not bend over, keep your head above your shoulders.



After surgery, you should rest as much as possible for 1-2 days to allow your body to heal.


Your post-operative comfort is very important to us. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your doctor at 416.929.9009 during business hours; and after 5pm attempt email yair.lenga@utoronto.ca, cell: 416.898.8603