Post-operative Instructions

Drs. Morgan & Lemke are here to help you achieve the best possible results from your procedure. To do this, we’ve prepared these instructions to guide you on the path to a successful recovery. By becoming familiar with our post-operative instructions, you’ll also be aware of situations that might require special or immediate attention.

Pain Medications

You may feel some level of discomfort in the days following your procedure. Most patients find a combination of over-the-counter ibuprofen (Motrin®) and acetaminophen (Tylenol®) is effective in managing pain. In addition, we may also prescribe pain medication. Do not take prescription pain medications if you do not feel the need for it and if the discomfort is bearable. Overall, it’s best to avoid taking pain medication on an empty stomach to avoid nausea or an upset stomach.


An antibiotic may be prescribed following your surgical procedure; it’s extremely important you complete the entire course of this medication. Please let our office know if you have any allergies or sensitivities to antibiotics. To avoid nausea or upset stomach, it’s best to avoid taking antibiotics on an empty stomach. For women taking birth control pills, be advised antibiotics may interfere with their effectiveness.


You may experience swelling or bruising in the days immediately following your surgical procedure. To minimize swelling, apply an ice pack to the outside of your cheek for 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off. Continue using an ice pack as often as possible for two to three days following your procedure.


It’s normal to experience a small amount of bleeding following your surgery. If excessive or continuous bleeding occurs, please contact our office promptly. In addition, please follow these guidelines:

  • Do not rinse your mouth.
  • Elevate your head when lying down.
  • Apply moistened gauze to the immediate area with moderate pressure for 20 minutes, repeating if necessary. If you don’t have gauze available, place a moistened tea bag in the area and apply pressure.
  • Do not spit forcefully for 24 hours after your surgery. This may dislodge a blood clot and trigger bleeding.
  • Do not drink through a straw.
  • Call our office if the bleeding persists.


We will apply a periodontal dressing (which acts as a bandage) to protect the surgical site and help reduce discomfort. If the dressing comes off before your post-op appointment or you find it too uncomfortable, please contact our office for additional direction.


You should avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where your surgery was performed, and not consume hot foods or liquids immediately following your surgery. To help your healing process, we recommend a soft, nutritious diet, which may include:

  • cottage cheese
  • oatmeal
  • soup
  • eggs
  • yogurt
  • pasta
  • mashed potatoes
  • casseroles
  • canned or soft fruits

Physical Activity

Now is the time to take it easy. Avoid strenuous exercise for one week following your procedure, and make sure to rest and sleep with your head elevated.


Smoking can significantly delay the healing process and compromise the results of your surgery. Do not smoke for at least two weeks following your procedure. If a bone graft was placed, we recommend to quit smoking for at least six weeks following the procedure.


Do not drink alcohol while you are taking prescription pain medications.


Do not rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours following your procedure. After that, you may use warm saltwater or a mild, diluted mouthwash.


Do not brush around the surgical site. You may resume normal brushing/flossing in other areas on the day following your procedure. You should be able to resume gentle brushing of the surgical site one to two weeks after your surgery. Avoid flossing in this area until after you have completed a follow-up visit with your doctor.

Suture Removal

Depending on your procedure, you may have an appointment for suture removal one to two weeks following your surgery. If your doctor used self-dissolving sutures, these will typically dissolve in four to five days and up to three weeks in some instances.

When to Contact Us

Contact our office immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Excessive bleeding that cannot be controlled.
  • Your discomfort cannot be controlled.
  • You experience excessive nausea.
  • Swelling is excessive, spreading or continuing to expand after 60 hours.
  • You experience a generalized rash or excessive itching, which may signal an allergic reaction to your medication.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact our office.
For your own copy of these instructions, download here.

Post-operative Instructions