Bone Graft

Control of Bleeding

Change gauze every 45-60 minutes until active bleeding stops (usually within 2-3 hours). Slight bleeding is expected, normal, and may last for up to 48 hours. Moisten and roll or fold 2-3 pieces of gauze and place so biting pressure is applied directly over the surgical site. Bite firmly, applying constant biting pressure. Keep your fingers and tongue away from the surgical site(s) if at all possible. Avoid pulling out your lip or cheek to see the area.

Assume a semi-upright position (a reclining chair, or in bed with at least 2 pillows). Avoid spitting, drinking through a straw, smoking and chewing tobacco. Avoid excessive physical activity.

If bleeding is excessive the day of your surgery or continues the day after surgery, please call our office.

Control of Swelling

Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice pack, or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice, on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, as much as possible, for the first 48 hours. Place a barrier between the ice pack and the skin. After 48 hours, if you still have swelling, place moist warm packs to the outside of the face. The peak days for pain and swelling can occur 3-4 days after surgery.


Drink plenty of fluids, especially the first day. Avoid hot liquids or food while you are numb. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed. Avoid chewing directly over the surgical sites. Avoid sharp, hard or sticky foods such as chips, nuts, sunflower seeds, and popcorn that may lodge in the surgical site(s). Avoid smoking and chewing tobacco for 5-7 days following surgery.


Sutures (stitches) may have been used to close the surgical wound. If so, the sutures will usually dissolve within 2 weeks following surgery.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. Do not rinse with anything in an effort to cleanse or freshen your mouth for 12 hours following surgery. Starting the day after surgery warm salt water rinses (one-half teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) can be used at least 4-5 times a day as well, especially after meals, for at least one week. Brush your teeth carefully – – be gentle initially with brushing around the surgical areas. Avoid flossing for 2 weeks following your procedure.


Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.

Wearing your Prosthesis

Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery, unless otherwise directed by your surgeon.

Unusual Conditions

If you experience any of the following conditions during the post-operative period, please call the office where your surgery was performed:

  • Continued numbness of the lip, chin, or tongue persisting beyond the day after surgery
  • Prolonged severe pain that is not relieved after several doses of pain medications
  • Fever 101 degrees or higher
  • Significant hard swelling near the surgical site
  • Severe, bright red bleeding that cannot be controlled per the directions above
  • A rash, difficulty breathing, or severe vomiting