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Bone graft surgery is a beneficial treatment that restores your oral health after you have lost jaw bone due to tooth loss and gum disease. Gum grafting can also help build up bone in areas of the mouth to allow the placement of dental implants.

However, the bone grafting treatment is only beneficial if you recover properly, and our Valerie A. Foster, DMD, PC team is happy to help you do so! For a full and complete recovery, Dr. Valerie Foster and our team recommend doing the following things:

-Stop the bleeding: You can expect some bleeding after your bone graft surgery. It’s not uncommon to bleed for the first 12 to 24 hours. To help the situation, keep a gauze pad over the surgical site and bite firmly for about one hour. After the time has passed, remove and discard the pad. If the bleeding begins again, repeat this process.

-Reduce swelling: You may experience some swelling in the mouth, cheeks, eyes, and sides of the face. This is not uncommon and it can be reduced by placing an ice pack outside the surgical area. Cool the area in 30-minute intervals for the first 24 to 48 hours.

-Take medications: Typically, your dentist will prescribe pain medication and antibiotics to you to help relieve pain and prevent infection. Do your best to follow the instructions for each product and don’t stop taking the antibiotics until they are gone. Also, please do not take the pain medication on an empty stomach.

-Watch your diet: For the first 24 hours, drink plenty of liquids, like water, milk, and juice, and eat soft, cool foods. Try to chew away from the surgical area so you don’t affect the incision or stitches. It’s also best to avoid using straws. Straws tend to dislodge the clot and encourage bleeding. You can return to a normal diet once you are further along in the recovery process.

-Get plenty of rest: Rest is greatly needed for the recovery period. It’s best to avoid strenuous activity for the first few days because your caloric intake may be reduced and you may also be severely dehydrated after your surgery. Exercise will only weaken you further.

If you have any questions or concerns, please remember that you can always call 503.649.7011 and talk to your dentist or a member of our dental team. We are here to give you the tips and information you need to completely take advantage of bone graft surgery!