Periodontal Homecare

Oral Hygiene

Avoid using mouth rinses the day of your procedure as this can delay healing and prolong bleeding. The day after surgery begin gently rinsing three times a day with a warm saltwater solution, or if indicated, a prescription mouth rinse. To make a saltwater solution, dissolve ½ teaspoon salt in ½ cup of lukewarm water. Continue with rinses for one week or until your stitches dissolve. It is normal for stitches to loosen over time; do not pull on them. Avoid brushing or flossing at the treatment site for one week or until your stitches dissolve. Continue normal oral hygiene in untreated areas. Avoid smoking as this can delay healing. Complete smoking cessation is highly recommended to improve periodontal disease maintenance.


Immediately following your procedure, and up to 48 hours after, a small amount of blood or redness in your saliva is normal. If bleeding persists, place a fresh, folded gauze pad over the area and apply firm pressure for 15-20 minutes.


Some post-operative discomfort can be expected. Take medication as directed by your doctor, and as needed to help manage pain. When taking oral medication, drink at least 1/2 cup of water or juice, to aid in absorption and reduce stomach irritation. Please inform your doctor if you experience unusual side effects from the medication. Warm oral rinses (see “oral hygiene”) will help reduce discomfort as well as improve hygiene.


Refrain from eating, drinking, and smoking for one hour following your procedure. This will allow a blood clot to form. After this time, you can drink fluids but do not use a straw. Water and juices are good choices. Soft foods such as ice cream, pudding, gelatin, soups, and applesauce should be eaten at mealtimes. After 48 hours add solid foods to your diet as it becomes more comfortable to chew. If possible, chew on the opposite side of where your procedure was performed. Avoid crunchy foods like popcorn, nuts, and chips for one week following surgery.


It is not unusual to experience some swelling for the first three to four days following your periodontal surgery. The day of your procedure, applying an ice pack for 10 minutes on then 10 minutes off, will reduce the amount of swelling but will not prevent it completely. If you have severe swelling, or swelling accompanied with a fever or significant discomfort, please contact our office.


Immediately following your procedure reduce your activity as directed. Too much chewing or talking can contribute to greater swelling. Rest is important to start you on a good recovery. After 24 hours and the few days following your procedure, you may increase your activity as tolerated, but avoid bending and heavy exercise through the first week.


Grafting Precautions

  • Do not pull on your lips or cheeks to look at the area as it may tear your stitches and delay healing. Avoid touching or putting tongue pressure on the surgical site.
  • With soft tissue grafting, the area may turn a white-yellow color as it heals, and this is normal.
  • With bone grafting, small bone particles may work their way through the gums and can be discarded.

Implant Precautions

Your implant is covered by a metal cap called a healing abutment. It is normal for this to be visible. If the healing cap loosens or comes off, please call our office, and bring the cap with you to your next appointment so it can be replaced.