Crown-lengthening Surgery / Gingivectomy Instructions

Brushing / Flossing

  • Gently brush and floss the treated area.
  • The area will be sore, tender and may slightly bleed during brushing and flossing, however, it is important to keep the area clean during cleaning.

Eating / Chewing

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Avoid crunchy, salty, spicy foods (pretzels, nuts, chips) for 1 week as they will irritate the treated area(s).


  • Once the anesthetic wears off, you may experience discomfort.
  • The treated area(s) could remain tender for 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.


  • It is normal to experience light 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) may or may not have been placed.
  • If sutures are in place, they 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 them with small scissors.


  • It is best not to return to work the day of the procedure due to possible discomfort and slight bleeding.
  • If you must return to work the same day, please be aware that the treated area may be sore, tender, and throb and may require biting on gauze to control bleeding.
  • 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

  • If a prescription mouth rinse has been prescribed, rinse twice daily (after breakfast and before bedtime) for 1 week.


  • If an antibiotic has been prescribed, 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 area(s) for healing.
  • At this time, your next follow-up appointment will be determined.

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