Recovering After Gum Grafting

Gum recession is a common problem that can result from periodontal disease, certain medications, or even genetics. Fortunately, a simple outpatient procedure can be performed to restore receded gums. A gum graft can bring back comfort and ensure no further damage is done.

Your general dentist will likely refer you to a periodontist unless they have the tools and technology to perform a gum graft in their office. dayton Gum grafting is a relatively simple outpatient procedure that uses a healthy piece of tissue that is harvested from the roof of your mouth or perhaps taken from a cadaver donor. The new tissue is placed over the affected area and stitched into place. The new healthy tissue will integrate and your doctor will remove the stitches.

You will have some postoperative instructions to follow for a few weeks as you heal. Here, we will review what you can expect during recovery from gum graft surgery.

Recovering From Gum Graft Surgery

Diet and oral hygiene will need to be modified while you heal. Your doctor may also provide medications to prevent infection. Pain can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications, as long as they do not contain aspirin.

Post-surgery diet: for the first few days, it is beneficial to maintain a liquid diet. Soups and smoothies can be enjoyed with ease but it is important to allow hot soup to cool before consumption. Once you begin to integrate solid foods, you’ll want to be sure that they are soft so that your surgery site is not irritated. Some great options include eggs that are scrambled or soft boiled, yogurt, very soft cooked vegetables, well-done pasta, applesauce and cottage cheese, and of course ice cream!

Spicy, crunchy, or acidic foods should be avoided as well as foods that have small seeds that can become lodged in your surgery site. These foods will only serve to irritate the area and could damage your healing graft. Your doctor will let you know when you are sufficiently healed and can return to your normal dietary habits.

Post-surgery oral hygiene: while it is important to continue brushing and flossing regularly, it is vital that you avoid your surgery site until you are cleared by your doctor. To clean the area, a cotton swab can be used alongside a warm saltwater rinse and antimicrobial mouthwash. Make sure whatever mouthwash you use does not contain alcohol, it will dry out your surgery site.

Complications After Gum Graft Surgery

Infection is always a risk but is rare with a gum graft. It is important to take any antibiotics that your doctor prescribes as directed and in full. There is also always a risk of failure and if your gum graft fails, you may require a second surgery.

It can take up to two months for your surgery site to heal fully and your doctor will monitor your progress. After the first couple of weeks, your doctor will likely have you come back for a follow-up appointment to make sure the gum graft is integrating and that you are free of infection. At this appointment, you may be told it is safe to begin brushing and flossing and to begin eating your regular foods.

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