The area where the graft was taken (the palate) may cause you the most problem. Since you do not form a "scab" in the mouth, the area in the palate will appear ulcerated. Do not become concerned. This is normal healing.
Be careful not to dislodge the dressing. If the dressing comes off, this is not an emergency. It should usually be replaced, especially if you are uncomfortable on the palate or if it occurs on the graft site during the first 5 days.
The most common problem associated with the palate is bleeding. The slightest trauma during eating, etc. may start profuse bleeding. DON'T PANIC. Using gauze or a tea bag, apply enough pressure to cut off circulation. Apply this pressure for a minimum of 15 minutes. Always remove all large, loose clots before applying pressure. This type of bleeding may occur from time to time up to a week after surgery.
The palate will be much more comfortable and heal more rapidly if you avoid salt, spicy and acid foods. Poor healing will result if you do not maintain proper nutrition. Soft foods should be eaten for several days. An adequate, nutritious diet is very important for healing.
Smoking appears to affect the circulation to the graft and may cause the graft to slough. It is very important, therefore, that you cut back or, preferably, stop smoking during the healing phase.
Keep an ice pack over the grafted site for 4 to 6 hours after surgery. The ice pack should be applied for 20 minutes on and 10 minutes off. This will help prevent swelling, and will prevent some discomfort.
The area where the gingival graft was placed will appear to have a cut in the side of the cheek when the lip is pulled out. This is normal and will disappear during healing. If the dressing comes off, the graft will appear gray. This is normal.