When you think of your oral health, you may focus on your teeth and gums, but don’t forget about the underlying support for your teeth: your jaw bone. Without a healthy jaw bone, your teeth would not sit firmly in place; instead, they would loosen and eventually fall out! If you suffer from untreated gum disease, also known as periodontitis, you may experience jaw bone loss. In this situation, your dentist may recommend bone grafting to help regenerate the lost bone. During the procedure, a section of bone or bone-grafting material will be transplanted onto your jaw bone. Afterward, you’ll need to follow your dentist’s instructions to ensure the site heals well and doesn’t cause pain or discomfort. Use the tips and tricks below during your dental bone grafting recovery.
Dental Bone Grafting Recovery
Apply an ice pack.
Immediately after the surgery, apply an ice pack to the side of your face where the surgery was performed. If you don’t have an ice pack, you could substitute a plastic bag filled with ice or a bag of frozen veggies. Keep the ice pack on for 15 minutes, then off for 15 minutes, and repeat for 24-48 hours. This will reduce swelling. Keep in mind that swelling doesn’t typically reach its peak until two to three days after surgery.
Rinse with warm salt water.
To clean the surgical site, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water. To create the solution, place one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water and stir them together. Swirl the solution around your mouth and then let it fall into the sink. Avoid spitting, which can dislodge the blood clot.
Use pain relievers if needed.
To reduce pain, alternate between ibuprofen and Tylenol, following the instructions on the bottles. If pain persists, contact your dentist.
Brush your teeth carefully.
When you brush your teeth, avoid brushing the surgical site. This could agitate the tissue and prolong your dental bone grafting recovery. In addition, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and low-abrasion toothpaste.
Avoid water jets and waterpiks.
Water jets and waterpiks can also disrupt your healing, so avoid using them for about two weeks following the procedure.
Stick to a soft diet.
Try to avoid chewing for two weeks after your surgery. Instead, stick to a diet of soft foods like the following:
- Blended soups
- Greek yogurt
- Mashed potatoes
- Scrambled eggs
- Mashed bananas
- Ice cream
- Cottage cheese
- Instant oatmeal
- Mashed pumpkin
It is especially important that you avoid foods with small particles that could get stuck beneath the tissue in the surgical site, such as nuts, popcorn, sunflower seeds, raspberries, pretzels, and chips. In addition, beware of spicy, chewy, crumbly, and very hot foods.
Finally, don’t drink with a straw! The suction could dislodge the blood clot.
For four to six months after your surgery, it’s also important that you don’t have periodontal subgingival scaling around the adjacent natural teeth. Your dentist and dental hygienist will be aware of this. If you suddenly switch dentists after your surgery, however, be sure to notify your new dentist that you’ve had bone grafting surgery.
If you have further questions about your dental bone grafting recovery, give your dentist a call for personalized advice.
Have you experienced bone loss in your jaw? Do your teeth lack support? Are you planning to get dental implants but your jaw bone can’t support them? You may need a dental bone graft. If you live in Springfield, Missouri, please contact Wilkinson Dental today. You can request an appointment online or give us a call at 417-882-8222. We would be happy to help!