Post-Op Instructions


After Root Planing

  • Use the prescribed mouth rinse as directed.
  • Brush the gums gently the first night after your procedure.
  • Wait 24 hours before using dental floss or a proxabrush.
  • Your level of oral hygiene will affect the healing that occurs.
  • Tenderness to brushing and flossing may last several days.

After Surgery

  • Use the prescribed mouth rinse as directed.
  • It is important to complete careful brushing and flossing in all areas of the mouth EXCEPT the area of surgery.
  • If you had a Connective Tissue Graft do NOT brush the grafted area until after your post-op phone call (about 10 days after surgery).
  • If you were given an ultra soft surgical toothbrush resume brushing and flossing the surgery site once the sutures have been dissolved. Brush and floss the rest of your mouth normally.
  • If you were not given an ultra soft surgical toothbrush, you are not to begin brushing the surgery site until we check for healing at your first follow-up visit.
  • Brush and floss the rest of your mouth normally.


  • Avoid strenuous physical activity, i.e. contact sports, weight lifting, running, swimming, pickle-ball, etc. for 48 hours following your procedure.
  • Get plenty of rest and water, resume normal activity as you are comfortable.


  • To optimize healing, please stop smoking for the 48 hours before and 48 hours after your surgery.  Smoking irritates the gums and will delay healing.
  • Try to reduce the amount of smoking for 4 weeks following your surgery.

Eating and Nutrition

  • Do not eat any foods that require chewing until anesthesia has completely worn off.
  • Maintaining an adequate diet after your procedure is important for proper healing. Chew on the opposite side of your mouth and avoid extremely hard, hot, and spicy foods. You will be more comfortable eating soft foods for the next week. Foods that minimize the need for chewing before swallowing will be best.


  • An antibiotic may have been prescribed depending on your surgical procedure. It is very important to take antibiotics as directed.


  • A slight amount of bleeding 24 - 48 hours following your procedure is normal.
  • Do NOT rinse your mouth vigorously, suck through a straw, eat or drink extremely hot foods or use carbonated beverages for the first week following your surgery as these can disrupt the blood clotting and cause delayed healing.
  • If excessive bleeding occurs, take a moist tea bag or gauze and hold with firm pressure over the bleeding site for 20 minutes. Drinking ice water or sucking on ice cubes will also help slow bleeding.
  • If bleeding persists please call our office.


  • You may experience increased sensitivity to cold or hot liquids, air, and foods.
  • Your teeth may also feel more sensitive when you brush, floss, or while chewing.
  • It is important to clean your teeth as directed, avoid tartar control and whitening toothpaste and use the sensitivity toothpaste provided.
  • This sensitivity may last a few weeks and then subside. If your teeth remain sensitive please let us know.


  • Some discomfort may be present once the local anesthesia wears off. If pain medications have been prescribed, take as directed.
  • Do NOT drink alcohol while taking pain medications.
  • You may experience increased soreness 3-4 days following your procedure.
  • Take pain medications as needed. If your prescriptions are not keeping you comfortable please call our office.

Bruising and Swelling

  • It is important to eat and drink ice cold foods and beverages for the first 24 hours to minimize bruising and swelling.
  • Slight swelling and bruising of your gums and sometimes face is normal.
  • If your gums change color from whitish gray to bluish purple this is a normal part of healing and should not be a concern.
  • If you experience swelling accompanied by fever, a bad odor, or pain that intensifies and is not relieved by pain medications please call our office.


  • If sutures (stitches) were used for your procedure they will generally dissolve on their own. This can take from 1 to 3 weeks depending on your individual case. (Different types of suture are used for different procedures and surgical locations.) It is important to see us for follow-up visits to ensure proper healing.
  • Do not remove your own sutures as removing them too early can compromise healing.
  • Rinse with warm salt water to remove debris. (1/2 teaspoon salt to 8 ounces of warm water.)
  • Resist touching the sutures and/or pulling your cheek or lips out, as this can cause bleeding and movement of the sutures.


If you have an after hours emergency please call the office and follow the instructions. 

Dr. Nygaard or Dr. Poovey will return your call.