Periodontal Flap Surgery Instructions

Brushing / Flossing

  • Do not brush the gum line of the treated area(s)
  • Brush only the chewing surfaces (tops) of the treated teeth for 1 week.
  • Do not floss the treated teeth for 1 week.
  • Brush and floss all other teeth normally.


  • Avoid hot temperature food/drinks the day of the surgery (coffee, tea, soup).
  • Soft foods (fish, pasta, etc.) will be desired for the first few days.
  • Avoid crunchy, salty, spicy foods (pretzels, nuts, chips) for 1 week as they will irritate the treated area(s).
  • Avoid drinking with a straw for 3 days as it can create bleeding.


  • Do not chew with teeth that have been treated (chew on the other side of the mouth) for 1 week.
  • If both sides of the mouth have been treated, chew lightly.


  • Once the numbness wears off, you may experience discomfort.
  • The treated area(s) could remain tender up to one week.
  • “Delayed discomfort” is possible. This means that you may feel little to no discomfort the 1st week but do experience some the 2nd week.
  • A cold pack can be gently placed on the outside of the cheek for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 4 hours. This is most effective the first 24 to 72 hours following the surgery.


  • It is normal to experience slight bleeding for the first 2-3 days.
  • Gauze will be sent home with you to bite on if the area bleeds. Fold a piece of lightly moistened gauze into a small square; place it in the area that is bleeding and bite. Change the gauze about every 5 minutes until you no longer see any blood.
  • Some medications can increase the amount of bleeding such as aspirin, Plavix, Coumadin.
  • If the area continues to bleed with the gauze in place, remove the gauze and replace with a moist small tea bag. The tannic acid in the tea will help to control the bleeding. Unfortunately the taste is not pleasant.
  • If excessive bleeding occurs after attempting the above procedures, call the office number (317) 844-2792 or after hours emergency number (317) 691-4169.


  • Sutures (stitches) are absorbable and will come out within 5-10 days. They may untie and become loose. Do NOT attempt to pull or remove the sutures. If they are long and bothersome, you can trim with small scissors.


  • It is not advised to return to work the same day of surgery due to possible discomfort and bleeding.
  • You likely will be able to return to work the following day.
  • If you elect to be sedated for the procedure, you are NOT to return to work the same day but may return the following day.


  • Avoid exercising or heavy lifting for 2 days.


  • It is best not to smoke during the 1st week following the surgery as it will delay the healing process.

Prescription Mouth Rinse

  • Rinse twice daily (after breakfast and before bedtime) for 1 week.


  • Take as directed until gone.

Pain Medication

  • Take as needed: Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Advil, or prescribed medication.

1 Week Follow-Up Appointment

  • An appointment will be scheduled for you to return 7-10 days following the surgery to evaluate the treated area(s) for healing.
  • At this time, your next follow-up appointment will be determined.

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