After Frenectomy & Soft Tissue Surgery
PAIN: Some degree of pain is normal for all patients after the procedure. Unless contraindicated, we generally recommend over the counter strength ibuprofen (advil, motrin) and acetaminophen (tylenol). Simply follow the instructions on the label. If your pain is severe after this procedure and refractory to these medications, please inform our office, and we can discuss additional pain control methods.
BLEEDING: Slight oozing of blood from your surgical sites is normal for the first day or so after surgery. In the event of excessive bleeding that cannot be controlled; wet a plain black tea bag and place it over the site then apply firm constant pressure. If it doesn’t stop, inform your doctor or report to the nearest emergency room.
Remember, slight bleeding is acceptable, and the saliva in your mouth mixed with a small amount of blood may create a more drastic appearance than is actually the case (like a drop of food coloring in a glass of water). Do NOT spit, smoke, or drink from a straw: these will dislodge the necessary and protective embedded blood clots in the surgery site. When dislodged; bleeding, pain, and delay in healing can result.
STITCHES/SUTURES: Sutures are placed to help facilitate closure of the gums, reduce bleeding and swelling, and prevent food from seeping into the surgery site. Most stitches are dissolvable and supposed to unravel or fall out on their own (typically around 5 days after surgery). Some stitches are black-silk and need to be removed at your follow up visit. However, if any of these sutures fall out or unravel before your follow up visit, it is not an issue and usually of no consequence. The only two instances where early loss of stitches is concerning is in the presence of excessive bleeding or if you had a bone grafting procedure performed in conjunction with your extraction: in either case, you should inform the doctor on call.
SWELLING: Some swelling is also quite normal after this surgery; swelling will peak at about day 3 after surgery and then should gradually resolve on its own. In order to lessen the amount of swelling, please use Ibuprofen (unless you are unable to take it), sleep with your head elevated using many pillows, and apply ice packs to your face on/off every 20 minutes for the first 2-3 days.
---DIET: For the next week you should only be eating food that is soft, cool, and easy to chew. Do NOT eat anything spicy, hot, crunchy, tough to chew, or anything through a straw.
- Sharp/Crunchy foods can poke your surgery site and break stitches causing pain and bleeding.
- Hot temperature, carbonated, and Spicy items cause blood vessels to open and cause bleeding.
- Using straws will cause bleeding.
Foods that are safe to eat include yogurts, shakes/smoothies, ice cream/sorbet, pasta, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, etc. Almost anything you can put into a blender is acceptable as well.
Given your procedure; we would recommend avoiding chewing directly over your surgery site as much as possible for the first week or so. We know that it not entirely possible, but try your best.
** Always remember to rinse your mouth out gently with water after every meal.
HYGIENE: Beginning tomorrow, you may gently rinse your mouth out with warm water/salt solution every meal. After one day, resume your regular brushing routine, just be gentle near the site of surgery. You may use mouthwash as long as it is alcohol-free and as long as you do NOT spit ( just lean over the sink and let the fluid fall out of your mouth).
ACTIVITY: In order to reduce the likelihood of tissue re-attachment, you should mobilize your tongue and lips. Wiggle and massage your lips. Lift and swing your tongue from side to side; do this maneuvers gently and often.
You should avoid the gym and/or any strenuous activity or exercise for the next 2-3 days. Light out-of-bed activity (walking, shopping, etc) starting the day of your surgery is mandatory to prevent blood clots and other pulmonary issues. Most patients who undergo this procedure are able to return to work/school after one day. Remember, a gradual return to your normal daily activity is the most sensible approach. Smoking is strictly prohibited; smoking will jeopardize the success of your case and can result in delayed healing, infections, and pain.
FOLLOW UP: Please make sure to schedule and present to your follow up appointments, in order to optimize your outcome and monitor the site.
WARNING SIGNS OF COMPLICATIONS: Please be aware of these possible complications and inform your doctor if you encounter them. In the event of a life-threatening emergency, or if you can not reach your doctor, please call 911 and report to the nearest hospital emergency room.
- Prolonged numbness or tingling sensation 8+ hours after your procedure (Call ASAP).
- Excessive bleeding not controllable by constant pressure over the site (Call ASAP).
- Pus or foul odor/taste from surgical sites.
- Fevers/Chills (Although can be normal up to 2 days after general anesthesia).
- Progressive severe pain and/or swelling after the first day of surgery.
- Nausea/diarrhea (especially while taking antibiotics)
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing liquids (Call ASAP)
Feel well, and if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us at any time.