A graft is a surgical procedure that replaces soft tissue or bone. A soft tissue graft is often used to replace missing gum tissue due to gum recession. A bone graft is done to replace missing bone in the jaw.
This particular graft is usually done prior to dental implants, to provide the jaw with the bone mass needed to hold the implants firmly in place. No matter which type of graft you have undergone, you will need time to heal. And some pain is to be expected during this time. Here is how to handle it.
Medication Most over the counter pain medications are sufficient to handle pain from a graft procedure. However, you should avoid using any medications that contain aspirin, as these thin the blood and can promote bleeding.
Pain is usually the worst 6 hours following the procedure after the anesthesia has worn off, so to prevent severe pain, take a dose of medication before the anesthesia completely wears away. Your dentist may also prescribe you stronger pain medication if over the counter ones aren't enough. Only take these as directed.
Limit Activity Rest is important. Not only does it help to prevent pain after a graft, it helps you to heal. Avoid doing any type of strenuous activities for at least the first few days after your procedure. Sit or lie down with your head elevated. Do not do anything that requires you to bend over or do any heavy lifting. This will also limit swelling, which can otherwise lead to more pain.
Eat Soft Foods After a Tissue Graft
Eating a well-balanced diet is imperative for proper healing, but the texture of your food is just as important. Stay away from foods that are hard or crunchy, as these can irritate the graft site and cause severe pain.
Instead, opt for softer foods. You may even want to have only liquids for the first day. Smoothies, yogurt, mashed sweet potatoes, and well-cooked vegetables are all excellent options.
Pain after a graft is to be expected, but it can be managed at home. But, if you experience unbearable pain that cannot be managed even by prescription pain medication, uncontrollable bleeding, excessive swelling or a fever, contact our office right away.
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