Robert L. Friess DMD
3295 Triangle Drive SE : Ste 242 : Salem, OR 97302
: 503.585.0101

Post Gum Surgery Tips

Your gum surgery should be a fairly standard procedure, but there are several considerations you will want to take after the fact in order to promote best possible healing.


Be sure to avoid eating for approximately three hours after your surgery. The anesthesia should have worn off so that you will avoid biting your cheeks, tongue, or lip. After this time, consume a liquid or soft diet for 2-3 days, including instant breakfast and warm soup. Avoid soda, alcohol, and foods that are hard and brittle that might aggravate or injure the surgical site. Be sure to eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids for optimal health during your recovery.

Bleeding Control

It is normal to experience slight oozing or bleeding after gum surgery, and this may continue for 24-48 hours after the procedure. Try not to rinse your mouth for the first four hours, as aggressive rinsing can disrupt the clotting process. If you notice that the bleeding has continued beyond that 48 hour window:

  • Apply a moist gauze pad and hold it over the bleeding site for up to 20 minutes.
  • Stay quiet and calm. Lie down and keep your head elevated on two or three pillows.
  • Call our office if bleeding persists despite your efforts to control it.


As the anesthesia begins to wear off, you may experience moderate pain and discomfort. A non-aspirin analgesic like Tylenol or Aleve might be recommended to relieve discomfort and tenderness, and it may be taken in the first hour after gum surgery. You will likely be prescribed an antibiotic to assist with the healing process, and it is important that you begin taking it as prescribed. Call our office immediately if you notice that a medication is causing a reaction like nausea or a skin rash.

Swelling Post Gum Surgery

Slight swelling is common during the healing process, but excessive swelling can be problematic. To keep it at bay, place a cold compress or a bag of ice and place it on the site for intervals of 10-20 minutes. Repeat this process several times as you feel necessary for the first 48 hours after your procedure. If swelling or discomfort increases, please contact our office.

Oral Hygiene

Keeping your teeth, gums, and mouth clean after gum surgery is an important post-surgery care step. This can help you to achieve optimal results and can help your gum tissue to heal as fast as possible. The first evening following your gum surgery, brush your teeth lightly, and resume your flossing routine the next day. Take care to touch the gums around the surgical site very lightly, as vigorous flossing can prevent new attachments from developing in a normal manner. Also avoid using a Water Pick or other irrigation device.

Once you have completed your brushing and flossing routine, apply chlorhexidine gluconate, or Peridex, if it has been prescribed. Use a cotton swab to apply it to the area by dabbing lightly and then swishing a capful in your mouth gently for 30 seconds. Avoid rinsing with strong mouthwashes containing alcohol.

Avoid Smoking

Smoking can seriously disrupt the healing process, so don’t smoke for at least 48 hours following surgery.

If you have any other problems or questions, please contact our office.