How Long Does it Take Gum Grafting To Heal?

Sensitivity to temperatures can be excruciating and cause you to avoid some of your favorite foods and beverages. Sometimes, sensitivity along the gumline can be treated with a gum graft. Gum recession leads to exposed root surface and can eventually cause loss of underlying bone structure and even tooth loss.

Gum recession is when the tissue at the base of your teeth begins to shrink and can be very irritating and painful. This can be caused by overly aggressive brushing, periodontal disease, medications, or genetics. Gum tissue cannot grow back on his own but a gum graft can help repair lost gum tissue. It is important to treat receded gum tissue as soon as possible so that there is a minimized risk of bone deterioration.

Your general dentist may have the technology to perform a gum graft or may have a periodontist in-house but if they do not, they can refer you to the periodontist they work with most closely. The doctor will harvest gum tissue from either the roof of your mouth or use donated cadaver tissue and stitch it into place over the affected area.

How is a gum graft performed?

A gum graft dayton oh is an outpatient procedure performed in the doctor's office. A topical numbing agent will be applied to the area before a local anesthetic is injected so that you are sufficiently numb during the procedure. On a rare occasion, a patient may require general anesthesia and will be unconscious for the procedure. There are a few different types of gum grafts that can be performed and your doctor will determine which is best for you. They include:

  • Free gingival graft: For this graft, your doctor uses a small piece of tissue harvested from the roof of your mouth. The healthy tissue is secured in place with stitches over the affected area.
  • Connective tissue graft: The most common type of graft, this involves harvesting a small piece of underlying connective tissue, again from the roof of your mouth. The connective tissue is stitched in place over the affected area.
  • Pedicle graft: this graft is the least common as it requires significant healthy gum tissue surrounding the affected area. For this graft, your doctor cuts a flap of tissue from the neighboring healthy tissue and repositions it over the affected area.

Recovery From Gum Graft Surgery

Your doctor will send you home with a list of postoperative instructions that it is very important to follow. There will be some necessary adjustments to your diet and home oral care routine to allow your surgery site to heal.

While you heal, it is very important to avoid brushing and flossing around your surgery site until you get the go-ahead from your doctor. Brushing and flossing can cause the site to re-open and lead to infection. Your doctor may have you rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash a few times a day for a few weeks to help kill any bacteria. A warm salt water rinse is also nice to help clear food particles after eating.

As for your diet, you will want to avoid foods that are spicy, crunchy, acidic, or too hot in temperature. Foods with small seeds, like poppy seeds or sesame seeds, should also be left out of your diet until you are fully healed because the seeds can become lodged in your surgery site and cause irritation or infection.

Soft foods high in fiber and protein will help you stay satiated during your recovery. Some options include: scrambled or soft boiled eggs, well-done pasta, soups, soft cooked vegetables, Jell-O and ice cream.

While you heal, pain can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medications that do not contain aspirin. These can be taken as needed but if you feel that you’re experiencing an abnormally high level of pain, your doctor may be able to prescribe something for you.

Are there risks of complications after a gum graft?

A gum graft is a highly successful procedure that does not usually lead to complications. Rarely, a patient may develop an infection or the graft will fail to integrate with the existing gum tissue. If you notice any bleeding or other fluid oozing from your surgery site, let your doctor know right away so they can begin treatment for a possible infection. If your graft fails, you may require re-treatment.

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