Treatment and prevention of gum diseases


Periodontics (gum treatment)

Periodontics is the treatment and prevention of gum disease. Gum disease is reversible if caught while in the early stages (gingivitis). Treatment can include scaling the tooth to remove plaque and calculus, planing the tooth roots to smooth them and curettage of the gums to reduce inflammation. If the patient has an advanced case, the dentist may need to surgically trim the gums, remove the hardened tarter build-up, and re-contour the damaged bone.

Gum graft surgery

A gum graft is a surgery performed to correct the effects of gum recession. It is a quick, relatively simple surgery in which the gum tissue from the palate is used to build up the receded gum.

Periodontal (Gum) Surgery
Post Operative Instructions

Immediate Post Operative Steps

  • Apply ice to face over the surgical area (alternating 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off, 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off …) continue for 6 ‐12 hours to control swelling. The sooner and more you apply ice, the less swelling and pain you will have.
  • Fill prescriptions and begin taking medications as directed (see below)
  • Limit your activity to minimal conversation and limited telephone use, light dining and socializing and take it generally easy for 12 to 24 hours.
  • No exercise or aerobic activity for 24 to 48 hours. Get plenty of rest.
  • No smoking for 48 hours post surgery. Smoking can seriously delay the healing process and increase bleeding.

Care of Mouth – Diet, Rinsing, Brushing

  • Eat a liquid or a soft diet for the first week; chew only on the opposite side of the mouth (of the surgical site) all week.
  • Rinse your mouth, including the surgical area, with warm salt water three to four times daily except for the first day.
  • Do not chew on or brush at or near the surgical area. Clean around the surgical site gently with a few moist Q‐tips. You should brush your other teeth normally. Do not disturb the dressing or sutures.


  • Analgesics ‐ pain management: Both over the counter and prescribed analgesics should be used, separately, as and when needed. It is best to take pain medication before anesthesia (“novocaine”) wears off or when previously taken pain medication dosage seems to be wearing off.
  • Take non‐prescription pain medications for mild pain or discomfort (Advil and/or Tylenol) if ok medically for you.
  • Taking 3 Advil (600mg) or 2 Tylenol (650-1000mg) every 4‐6 hours usually gives very effective, non‐narcotic pain relief .
  • Take prescription pain medications (typically narcotic) as directed for pain that is more severe and not resolved by Advil and/or Tylenol.
  • These medications, i.e. codeine, are strong and will help especially during the first 24 to 48 hours if needed.
  • Antibiotics and/or Antibacterial Rinses: Sometimes prescribed to protect against infection and aid healing. Take antibiotics exactly as directed, if prescribed, until fully finished. Use prescriptions mouthwash (Peridex), if prescribed.

Periodontal Dressing

Following periodontal surgery, a medicated dressing or bandage may have been placed over your teeth and gums to protect the area as it heals. If it has been placed, do not brush or disturb it. Simply rinse around it with mouthwash or warm salt water. The dressing will be removed at your post operative appointment. Call if the dressing breaks or comes off sooner.

Post Operative Care

  • Your teeth may be sensitive to hot or cold after surgery and should feel better within a few weeks. Avoid cold liquids & foods.
  • Food accumulation around the dressing and/or in between teeth is possible and best controlled by not chewing near the surgical site and by frequent warm rinses.
  • Swelling typically peaks after 24 hours and subsides within another 48 hours. Bruising of the skin near the surgical site is sometimes seen.
  • Swelling and/or bruising, when seen, are typically localized and limited.

Follow Up

  • Return for a follow‐up exam as indicated, within a week. Healing will occur and dressing and/or sutures will be removed at this time.
  • Generally, mild to moderate pain for a few days (that responds to medication and tapers off), some light bleeding over the first 24 hours, limited swelling and bruising and possibly a low grade fever for 24 hours are not unusual or of concern. Please call if you have: fever, excessive pain not controlled by medication or pain that is not improving, swelling that spreads to or includes the eye or neck or throat or under the tongue, bruising that is extreme, or bleeding that is heavy.