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Things to Avoid in the First 24 Hours After a Soft Tissue Graft

Posted on 3/27/2017 by Dr. Ryan
Three smoothie shakes beside each other.
A soft tissue graft is a surgical procedure that takes tissue from one area of your body and places it in an area of your mouth that needs new tissue.

One of the most common types of soft tissue grafts for your mouth is a gum graft, used to repair a receding gum line, although soft tissue grafts can also be used after an oral injury.

Like any other surgical procedure, a soft tissue graft requires time to heal. The first 24 hours are important and there are a few things you should avoid during this time.

Strenuous Activity
Rest should be your priority following a soft tissue graft. You should avoid doing too much, especially anything strenuous. Don't bend over or do any heavy lifting. Stay seated or lying down with your head elevated. This will help to limit pain, swelling and bleeding.

Hard, Crunchy Foods
Eating a well-balanced diet is important to promote healing, however, there are certain foods that should be avoided. Stay away from anything hard or crunchy, as these types of foods can irritate sensitive surgical sites and lead to pain and bleeding.

You should also avoid foods that are tough, like certain cuts of meat. Instead, stick to soft foods, even liquids. Clear soups that are not too hot, smoothies, milkshakes, mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables are all good options. Do not drink through a straw, as the suction can dislodge clots.

Brushing and Spitting

Oral hygiene is important to keep bacteria at bay and prevent infection. And while you should continue to brush your teeth, you should avoid brushing around the surgical site.

Rinsing your mouth out with a prescription mouthwash or salt water solution will help to keep the surgical site clean instead. But you should not swish the mouthwash too vigorously or spit it out. Instead, roll the mouthwash or solution in your mouth and open your mouth over the sink.

Avoiding certain things during the first 24 hours will help greatly in the healing process. If you have any questions or concerns, or you notice unmanageable pain, excessive bleeding or a fever that won't go away, contact our office.


Robert Cory Ryan, DDS, MD
Mountain Oral Surgery
& Dental Implant Center

7991 Vance Drive, Suite A
Arvada CO 80003-2105
p: 720-740-0281

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