Lake Norman Oral & Facial Surgery • Dr. Raymond J. Haigney II • 9727 Northcross Center Ct. Huntersville, NC 28078 • (704) 987-3132
9727 Northcross Center Ct. Huntersville, NC 28078 • (704) 987-3132
How Long Does it Take Gum Grafting to Heal?
If you are experiencing sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, you may have some gum recession at the root of your teeth. Left untreated, gum recession can lead to bone deterioration, decay at the root of your teeth, and eventually, loss of teeth.
Fortunately, huntersville gum grafts are a quick and simple procedure that could restore the health of your gum tissue and teeth. Gum tissue does not regenerate on its own, so it is important to have treatment as soon as your dentist advises.
Recession can result from overly aggressive brushing, periodontal disease, certain prescription medications, and even genetics. If your dentist does not perform this procedure in their office, they can refer you to a trusted periodontist.
Gum grafts are completed by attaching new tissue to the affected area. It is an outpatient procedure and you will be able to go home after a couple of hours. Here, we will discuss what you can expect during the procedure and how to speed your recovery.
What to Expect During the Procedure
Upon arrival, you will be seated in the procedure room and a topical numbing agent will be administered prior to the local anesthetic, which will numb the area to be treated.
If your doctor deems it necessary, they may administer general anesthesia at which point you will be unconscious during the procedure. This is not always done because of the risks that a company general anesthesia. Prior to the procedure, your doctor will determine which of three types of grafts will best suit your individual case.
- With a free gingival graft, your doctor will harvest a small piece of tissue from the roof of your mouth and secure it with stitches over the receded area. This option is mostly used for patients with thin gum tissue to reinforce and prevent further recession.
- The most common type of graft is connective tissue graft. For this one, your doctor will remove a section of connective tissue from beneath the top layer of tissue at the roof of your mouth. The connective tissue is then secured with stitches to the affected area.
- The third and less common type of gum graft is the pedicle graft. For this procedure, there must be ample healthy gum tissue around the affected area. Your doctor will create a flap of tissue from a neighboring healthy area and reposition it over the receding gum tissue.
Once completed, your doctor may have you gently rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash and review your post-op instructions for at-home care.
What to Expect During Recovery
Your doctor may have you wait a couple of hours for observation immediately following your gum graft. This will ensure that you are leaving in the best condition possible.
A few modifications need to be made to your daily habits while you heal. Your diet will need to consist only of soft foods and your oral hygiene routine will need to be adapted for your surgery site.
For a couple of weeks, while you recover, it’s important to stay away from hot foods, foods that are crunchy or spicy, and foods that are high in acidity that could burn or irritate the surgery site. A few options to help you adhere to these dietary restrictions include:
- scrambled or soft boiled eggs
- soft cooked vegetables
- milkshakes and ice cream
- well-cooked pasta
You will also want to steer clear of any foods with seeds that could get trapped in your gums and the surgery site.
For your oral care, your doctor may have you rinse multiple times a day with antimicrobial mouthwash for a few weeks to prevent infection. You can also use a warm salt water solution which is especially beneficial after eating and will help soothe your surgery site.
When you brush and floss, it is important to avoid your surgery site until your doctor says that you are healed enough. Brushing and flossing before you are cleared can cause the surgery site to open and could lead to an infection.
For pain management, over-the-counter pain medications that do not contain aspirin can be taken as needed. If you feel that you are experiencing more pain than you can tolerate, let your doctor know and they may be able to prescribe you a stronger pain medication. Until you are cleared by your doctor, it is also important to refrain from any exercise or other strenuous activities.
Complications After Gum Graft
Gum graft or a simple procedure with a high success rate and do not often have complications. On a rare occasion, a patient may develop an infection so if you see bleeding or oozing fluid, notify your doctor right away so that they can begin to treat you for any possible infection. Another uncommon complication is the failure of the graft to integrate with the existing tissue. In the event that this should happen, you will likely require another surgery.
More on Gum Grafting : How Painful is Gum Grafting?