Oral skin grafts are very fragile for the first week following surgery. You will need to take special care to protect the site so that the graft is not displaced. The following instructions will help ensure proper healing:
You may have some swelling following surgery. Place an ice pack on your cheek over the surgical site for 30 minutes off. This will minimize swelling and is effective for the first 12 hours following surgery.
You may experience some discomfort when the anesthesia wears off. Please take the prescribed analgesics as directed. Do not drink any alcohol after taking your pain medications if they are narcotics.
A soft diet is recommended for the first week. This does not mean all liquids, but avoid hard foods such as French bread, apples, carrots, etc., which may dislodge the graft. Try to chew on those teeth not involved with the grafting procedure.
Slight bleeding may taint your saliva pink during the first few days. It is normal and usually comes from the palatal donor site. Moderate pressure with a piece of damp gauze should control any bleeding. Please call our office if the bleeding persists. Please try to avoid anything really hot either liquids or food today.
A periodontal dressing may have been placed over the surgical wound to protect it and hold the graft in place. Little pieces may break off, or the entire dressing may come off, but it should not cause alarm. If you were given a plastic retainer for your upper teeth and palate, please wear it to protect the donor site. It is for your comfort and is especially effective during meals. Clean it with a mild detergent and always store it in water if not worn. If the dressing comes loose and won't easily go back into position, it is best to remove it.
If you have been prescribed an oral rinse, brush the surgical site gently with the rinse and the brush provided twice per day. It is important to clean your remaining teeth as you normally do, but don't mix toothpaste with the prescription rinse. Use the rinse 1/2 hour either before or after using toothpaste.
If you have any questions or concerns about your surgery or post-operative care, please contact our office