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What to Expect from a Typical Gum Graft Procedure?  

Jun 01, 2022

What Is Gum Grafting?

It is a dental procedure in dentistry for repairing and restoring damaged gum tissue. Gum grafting in Ajax, ON, focuses on restoring receded gums, usually after severe infection. Many patients that need a gum graft procedure have severe periodontal disease that has significantly compromised the health of their soft tissues.

What Happens During a Gum Graft Procedure?

The first thing we inform patients at Dr. Patel Dentistry about gingival graft procedures is that they entail surgery. As such, you should expect the following dental protocols during your treatment:

  • Numbing and sedation – the goal is to numb your mouth, rendering the procedure painless. Sedation dentistry will help you remain calm and relaxed during your treatment. For many patients, sedation helps ensure they have no clear recollection of the intricate details of the surgery.
  • Graft extraction – a crucial part of any gum graft procedure is getting healthy soft tissue to restore the damaged tissues. Depending on the approach of surgery the dentist chooses, (s)he can take the gum graft directly from the roof of your mouth (palatal flap graft), the subepithelial connective tissue underneath the roof of your mouth (connective tissue graft), or near the gum portion needing repair (pedicle graft). The dentist uses the gingival graft to treat the damaged soft tissue in your gum line.
  • Stitching – the final step of a gum grafting procedure entails stitching. Your oral surgeon will connect the gum graft with your gum line stitching it down uniformly. The dentist will also stitch back down the other flap that is the source of the graft tissue.

If you are concerned about any of the steps in the procedure, liaise with your dentist. (S)he will tell you which method suits you best, depending on the severity of your infection, the general health of other soft tissues in your mouth, and the initial thickness or thinness of your gums.

Recovery from Gum Tissue Graft

Life after gum grafting surgery will be different for the first couple of weeks. You must be patient with your recovery process since you have an existing wound in your mouth. Patients heal at different paces. Therefore, like any other surgery, your oral surgeon will give you specific postoperative care tips and guidelines to aid quick recovery. For 7-14 weeks, you will need to adjust your life in the following ways:

  • Eat soft and cool foods – you must be cautious about heat and texture when picking your meals after surgery. Any slight abrasion in your gums will cause you to bleed, incur pain, or worse, undo a couple of the stitches that should hold your gum graft in place. Some foods to eat during the recovery period are yogurt, eggs, pasta, cottage cheese, ice cream, and well-cooked vegetables.
  • Do not floss or brush the gum line – even though oral hygiene is paramount during your recovery, you must not brush or floss your gum area near the wound. Instead, your dentist will recommend a special mouth rinse to flush any bacteria, disallowing any infections and plaque build-up around the wound.
  • Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication – your dentist should prescribe some medication to ease your pain and swelling for the first couple of days. However, you should not be in too much pain. If so, reach out to your dentist for new instructions for recovery.

Will You Need Another Gum Surgery Soon?

If you do not take care of your dental health well, it will not take long before you need another gum grafting surgery. Gums are delicate soft tissues that need extra care and attention, even while you focus on your teeth’ health. Some of the ways to proactively care for your gums and avoid future gum grafting surgeries are:

  • Eat healthily – provide your body will all the necessary nutrients to sustain a strong immune system that can adequately fight against bacteria that cause infections. Besides, healthy foods have lesser acids and sugars that can increase the risk of dental infections.
  • Quit smoking and all tobacco usage
  • Significantly cut down on your alcohol consumption.
  • Get professional dental cleanings periodically – preferably every three or six months.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for routine dental exams.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice every day and floss daily.

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