The Do’s and Don’ts After A Bone Graft Surgery
A bone graft is made up of several tiny small particles of bone. That explains why you may discover bone granules inside your mouth a few days or weeks after the graft procedure. This should not alarm you as it is part of the healing process. It is normal. Be particularly careful though with how you take care of yourself after the procedure. Observe the following tips.
- Do not touch or disturb the wound
- Avoid smoking as it increases chances of bone graft failure
- Avoid lifting or pulling your lips to examine sutures
- Avoid applying pressure with your fingers or tongue to the surgical site
- Avoid rigorous spitting or rinsing to allow stabilization of the bone graft and blood clot
You will also have to be careful if the bone graft procedure was performed in the sinus cavity. If that is the case, observe the following tips. Then remember at all times that patience plays a key role when it comes to recovery after a bone graft procedure.
- Do not blow your nose – wipe, sniff or dab if necessary. Then while sneezing, do not hold your nose or mouth closed. Sneeze with your mouth open.
- Discharge of bone graft particles through the nose is normal. Do not be surprised if this happens.
- Do not apply anything that causes pressure in your nasal cavities, mouth or sinuses. In other words, avoid playing musical instruments like the saxophone and the flute. Avoid scuba diving too as well as blowing up balloons.
- Consider using an over the counter decongestant as needed so as to reduce nasal congestion and sinuses.
Does Bone Graft Surgery Cause Bleeding?
Expect mild bleeding after a bone graft procedure. Blood tinged saliva or slight oozing is not uncommon especially for the first 12 to 24 hours after the procedure. Your dentist may ask you to keep a clean gauze pad over the surgical site with a firm biting pressure for at least one hour. You can then remove the gauze pad and discard it. You do not have to replace the gauze pad unless the bleed recurs or it continues after removing the gauze pad immediately after the procedure. Seek medical assistance if bleeding does not subside.
Does Bone Graft Surgery Cause Swelling?
Just like bleeding, swelling is normal after bone graft procedures. With bone graft procedures however, swelling is always proportional to the extent of surgery performed. Expect swelling around your cheeks, mouth, eyes and both sides of your face. Consider it as your body’s healthy and normal reaction to surgery. Note that in many cases, swelling is not usually apparent until 24 hours after surgery. Feel free to use ice packs to minimize swelling and discomfort.
Expect a Little Pain and Discomfort
The local anaesthesia used to numb pain during bone grafting will wear off after some time. Pain may then kick in for a while. This should not worry you though as your dentist will recommend pain killers. However, keep in mind that taking pain medication on an empty stomach is never a good idea. Such a move will most likely put you down with nausea. Take your painkillers with foot and drink.