After Crown Lengthening and Gum Surgery

What to expect and what to do:

Discomfort

    • You will experience discomfort associated with swelling and healing which takes place after the procedure. This is normal and is to be expected.
    • You may feel tooth sensitivity after surgery, especially to cold. Sensitivity usually decreases within several weeks after surgery and can be minimised by keeping the area as free of plaque as possible.

What to do:

  1. If you’re not allergic to the medication, take Ibuprofen 400mg (Nurofen) after the procedure before the numbness wears off and repeat every 4-6 hours. This will help with the discomfort and reduces inflammation of the area.
  2. If this is inadequate, take paracetamol 2x500mg (Panadol) in between ibuprofen to avoid overdosing on any particular medication.
  3. Do this for 2 days then continue to take as needed.

Swelling

  • Expect some swelling around the surgical site, which will peak 1-2 days after the procedure and then it will subside.
  • What to do:
  1. Avoid touching or lifting the lip to see the area
  2. Apply a cold pack or ice bag to the face over the area for the first 6 hours, 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off. Then apply cold pack periodically over the next 2 days.

Bleeding

  • “Pink” saliva is normal for the next few days
  • What to do:
  1. Avoid strenuous exercise for the first 7 days. This can cause post operative bleeding, swelling and pain.
  2. If you get any bleeding, apply gentle pressure for 15 minutes with a wet piece of gauze or a wet black tea bag.

Stitches

  • Stitches were placed to stabilise your gum and surgical sites.
  • If the stitches are dissolvable, they should fall out in 7 days.
  • If the stitches are not dissolvable, they will need to be removed in 7-10 days.

Smoking

  • Smoking is highly discouraged. Pain rates are higher and healing will be slowed if you smoke within the first 3 weeks.

Oral hygiene

  • Avoid brushing and flossing around the surgical area for the first 2 weeks to prevent damage to the gum.
  • Carry out cleaning as normal in other areas of the mouth.
  • Rinse with chlorhexidine mouthwash (Colgate Savacol) twice a day, morning and night for 1 week. Swish gently around the mouth starting from the day after the procedure.
  • Rinse with salt-water (1/2 tsp salt in a glass of warm water) 4-5 times / day starting from the day after the procedure.

Diet

  • Soft foods should be eaten during the first 5-7 days.
  • For examples: eggs (omelettes, quiche, custard, etc.), wet/soft cereal, pancakes, pasta, noodle casseroles, meat loaf, baked fish, chicken and dumplings, soft breads and ice cream.
  • Avoid sticky, hard (such as ice cubes, nuts, popcorn, chips, seeds), brittle, spicy, highly seasoned, or acidic foods in your diet.

Dressing

  • There may be a periodontal dressing to protect the surgical site and keep you comfortable. The dressing will harden in a few hours. In most cases the dressing is left in the mouth for a period of 7-14 days and may be changed once or more by the doctor during this time.
  • What to do:
  1. If the dressing becomes loose or comes off, please call our office as soon as possible to notify the doctor and receive further instructions.
  2. In areas where there is dressing, lightly brush only the biting surfaces of the teeth.
  3. Please chew on the opposite side of your mouth and try to avoid the dressing as much as possible

Clear stent

  • If you are instructed to wear a clear stent or an upper denture that covers up the roof of the mouth, DO NOT REMOVE it for 24 hours. It may pool with blood. Leave it in there and swish with Chlorhexidine rinse or lukewarm salt water.
  • After 24 hours you are to wear it as much as you can, especially while you’re eating for your comfort.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call the clinic at (03) 9908 2138

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