Post-operative Instructions

These instructions apply to the surgical procedure just completed. They are designed to help you minimize post-surgical discomfort and inform you of any situation that may require special attention.

Pain Medications

It is not unusual to have discomfort for at least the first week following your surgical procedure. You will be given prescriptions for medication to help you tolerate the post-surgical recovery period. Please take your medications as directed.  It is advisable to not take pain medication on an empty stomach, as nausea/vomiting frequently results.

Note: When taking any prescribed medication containing Acetaminophen (Tylenol), i.e. Norco, Vicodin, Percocet, Hydrocodone, or Tylenol with Codeine, you should not take any additional Tylenol so as not to exceed the safety level of Acetaminophen. Excessive amounts of Acetominophen (Tylenol) can cause liver damage.  Please contact the office with any questions you may have.


Please alert the office of any allergies or sensitivities that you might have to antibiotics. An antibiotic will typically be prescribed following your surgical procedure. Take as directed until gone. It is advisable not to take these medications on an empty stomach, as nausea may result. For women taking birth control pills, Please be advised that antibiotics may interfere with their effectiveness.


Swelling frequently occurs following your surgical procedure and will usually increase 2-3 days after the procedure. To minimize the swelling, place an ice pack over the outside cheek area for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Continue using ice for 2-3 days following the procedure as often as possible.


After surgery a small amount of bleeding and blood mixed with your saliva is normal. If excessive or continuous bleeding occurs:

  • Do not rinse your mouth.
  • Minimize your activity and talking.
  • Elevate your head when lying down.
  • Apply a moistened tea bag in the area of bleeding and leave in place for at least 30 minutes.
  • Call the office if bleeding persists or contact Dr. Westbrook via cell phone if after hours.


The dressing (which acts as a bandage) is used to protect the surgical site and help reduce discomfort. If the dressing comes off or is uncomfortable, please call the office for direction.  Do your best to avoid the area when eating or brushing your teeth to not dislodge the dressing.  If the dressing feels loose, DO NOT Remove it.  Try to push it back in place and call the office.


Until after your post-operative appointment, avoid chewing on the side where surgery was completed. Avoid hot foods and liquids following the surgery so as not to soften the dressing. A soft diet is recommended. Foods such as cottage cheese, oatmeal, soup, eggs, yogurt, pasta, mashed potatoes, casseroles, and fruits are more easily eaten. Remember, adequate nutrition is essential for feeling better as well as for healing.


Do not smoke for at least 2 weeks following your surgical procedure. It will significantly slow healing and can compromise results.  Remember:  The less you smoke-The better you heal!


Do not drink alcohol while taking prescription pain medications.


Do not rinse your mouth the day/night of surgery.  The next morning, you will begin using the prescription mouth rinse: Peridex/Chlorhexidine.  You will be instructeed to use the rinse 3X per day until the post-operative appointment.


Do not brush the surgical area.  Avoid any contact with the periodontal dressing to prevent dislodging it.  You may resume normal brushing/flossing in other areas the following day.

Suture Removal

You may notice increased discomfort 3-4 days after the surgical procedure. As the tissues begin to heal, they may pull against the sutures and dressing.  Dr. Westbrook typically uses resorbable sutures for most surgeries.   At the post-operative appointment,  the sutures are pretty well dissolved and usually come out easily with removal of the dressing.

Contact Us

Should you have any questions or concerns during regular office hours, please do not hesitate to contact us at Daly City Phone Number 650-757-5700.  For after hours office emergencies, you can reach us by using the pager.  Please call 650-301-2100, Wait for the instructions and enter(punch in) your phone number and we will return you call soon.