Gingivectomies are performed to heal the effects of periodontal disease. During your gingivectomy, your gum tissue will be removed with a surgical scalpel. After your gingivectomy, you will have certain post-op protocols to follow.
Post-Op Protocols for Gingivectomy:
What should I expect after my Gingivectomy?
After your gingivectomy, you will likely experience swelling and bleeding, as well as possible bruising or chapped lips. To manage the swelling, you will want to use an ice pack within the first two days for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off. After the third day, you can switch to a hot pack for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Additionally, keeping your help elevated will keep the swelling down.
You may also notice your saliva is a pink color for about 48 hours after your gingivectomy. To alleviate bleeding, you will want to avoid hot foods and rinsing your mouth. Both hot foods and rinsing your mouth will cause the bleeding to continue.
When and what can I eat?
You can eat as soon as your mouth regains feeling. After your gingivectomy, we recommend eating soft foods such as soup, pasta, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, yogurt, steamed veggies, fish (without bones), and other soft foods. You should avoid eating anything sticky and hard such as ice cubes, nuts, or popcorn, as well as anything spicy, acidic, or highly seasoned.
How do I manage my pain?
To manage your pain after a gingivectomy, you can take 600mg of Advil and 500mg of Tylenol every six hours as needed. You may also be prescribed a stronger pain medication. If this is the case, take this medication as directed and avoid driving or drinking alcohol while taking this medication.
How do I care for my gums after a Gingivectomy?
After your gingivectomy, it is extremely important that you DO NOT DISTURB the area. This means no touching the area with your fingers or tongue, and no pulling down or lips or cheeks to look at it. You will also want to avoid drinking from a straw, sucking, or smoking for the first week.
For the first 24 hours, you will need to avoid brushing, flossing, and rinsing your mouth altogether.
Then you can continue your usual dental routine in the areas of your mouth not affected by the gingivectomy, but do not touch the surgical area. After 48 hours, you can use a salt water rinse to help keep your gums clean and help them heal faster. A warm salt water rinse is composed of one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. You will want to gently swish this mixture around inside your mouth, over your gums, then spit.