Gum Grafting: What to Know Before, During, and After the Procedure

Gum Grafting: What to Know Before, During, and After the Procedure

October 1, 2020
A gum grafting procedure involves placing small amounts of new tissues in areas with little to no gum tissue. It aims at preventing further gum recession or covering your exposed teeth roots. Because gum recession exposes your teeth roots, the root surface will become more susceptible to decay, abrasion as well as sensitivity. The gum graft procedure is performed by a periodontist or gum specialist. During this procedure, the dentist extracts a thin tissue from your mouth roof or surrounding gum tissue. Next, they attach the tissue to places with little or no gum tissue. It won’t take long and you can go home as soon as it is over.

Preparing For Gum Grafts

Gum grafts are categorized into three groups:
  • Connective tissue graft
  • Gingival graft
  • Pedicle graft
Prior to the procedure, the periodontist discusses the options with you then makes a recommendation depending on your specific needs. Once you get booked in for the procedure, there is no special preparation. You need not alter your diet or fast in anticipation of the D-day. You only need to show up. However, you will have to arrange with someone to drive you to and from the dentist’s office. This is because you may be given pain medications after the procedure and it is possible you may experience drowsiness.

What to Expect During Grafting

As soon as you arrive at the dental office, you will be taken to the procedure room. Here, local anesthesia will be administered to you. Though rarely, the periodontist may sometimes allow administration of general anesthesia to render you unconscious throughout the whole procedure. The periodontist will perform any of these depending on your needs: Free Gingival Graft: The periodontist removes a tiny tissue from your mouth roof then stitches it to the region requiring gum tissue. This procedure is recommended for thin gums in need of extra tissue to avoid further recession. Connective Tissue Graft: After removing a piece of connective tissue from the roof of the mouth, your periodontist stitches it to the region needing gum tissue. The connective tissue graft id the most prevalent type of graft. Pedicle/ Lateral Graft: From an area next to the gum recession, the periodontist creates a flap of tissue. They then use this flap to cover the region of receding gum tissue. Unlike the other procedures that use tissues from other parts of the mouth, this uses local tissue. Because it doesn’t cut off blood flow in your mouth parts, the pedicle graft is the most successful type of graft. However, you need to have a lot of gum tissues in regions around the gum recession for this to be successful. Usually, the grafting procedure takes a short time. Once the periodontist sutures up the graft, they wash out your mouth using an antibacterial mouthwash. They will also discuss tips to take care of the graft until it heals completely.

What to Expect During the Recovery Period

Shortly after the grafting is complete, you will be free to leave. The doctor may put you under observation for about one hour to see if the graft has any issues. Within the first few weeks, eat cold and soft foods to avoid damaging the graft. Hot and hard foods can irritate or burn the graft. The following foods are recommended during this period:
  • Soft-boiled or scrambled eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Soft vegetables
  • Ice cream
  • Cottage cheese
  • Gelatin
The periodontist may recommend using mouthwash to prevent the buildup of plaque on the teeth, infections, or graft issues. Avoid brushing or flossing in the affected area until your doctor tells you to as doing this before complete healing could cause infections or open the wound. It is common to experience some pain and discomfort. You can get over-the-counter medications for the pain. You should also avoid strenuous activities until you get word from your doctor.

Finding the Right Dentist near You

We at Drummond Dental Care not only care about your oral health but also your general body health. That is why we are committed to offering you high-quality dental services at our dentist’s office. Are you looking for gum grafting services in Fairfax, VA? Visit our dentist in Fairfax, VA today. Our dentist near you can’t wait to meet you. Call us today and book an appointment.
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