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 Painful is Gum Grafting?
Gum recession happens to a large number of patients. This could be caused by brushing too aggressively, periodontal disease, clenching or grinding your teeth (also called bruxism), certain medications, or even genetics. Recession leads to sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures and can eventually lead to loss of bone structure or even tooth loss.
The only solution for gum recession is a gum graft. While it is not painless, the benefits of receiving treatment far outweigh the consequences of leaving recession untreated. Here, we will discuss the types of gum graphs available and the postoperative care and pain management after treatment.
Types of Gum Grafts
- Connective tissue graft is a common treatment option that uses an underlying piece of connective tissue which is taken from a flap made at the roof of your mouth which is then pulled over the exposed root and stitched in place.
- Free gingival graft typically uses donor tissue which is harvested from cadavers and used to reinforce thin gum tissue. A piece of tissue from the roof of your mouth may also be used.
- Pedicle graft can only be performed if the gum tissue of adjacent teeth is thick and healthy. A small section of this healthy tissue is cut away and stitched into position over the exposed roots next to it.
To ensure your comfort during treatment, your doctor will administer a local anesthetic so that you do not feel anything. Once the anesthesia has worn off, you are likely to experience a certain level of discomfort and swelling for a few days. Your doctor will likely prescribe pain medication and an antibiotic which should both be taken as directed, the antibiotic taken in full and the pain medication taken only as needed.
Post-Op Care and Pain Management
to ensure the best results it is important to follow the following steps:
- Avoid strenuous and physical activities for at least 24 hours
- If you notice bleeding, place a moist gauze around the surgery site but not directly over it.
- Try to keep from inspecting your wound and touching your tongue to the stitches.
- Rinse with warm salt water after eating to remove any food particles.
- Avoid brushing the surgery site for about a month or as directed.
- For at least a few days, stay away from hot foods and drinks and allow at least a week of healing on a soft foods diet. Biting into foods will only serve to irritate the area and prolong healing.
Why You Should You Receive Gum Graft Treatment
Receding gum tissue does not regrow on its own. Exposed roots can cause sensitivity to temperatures and other extremes. Our route surfaces are softer than the enamel of the tooth surface so if they are not protected by the government issue, the risk of decay increases. Recession will only get worse over time and can easily lead to a loss of bone structure which would then cause you to lose a tooth and require an implant or a bridge.
Mild discomfort is a small price to pay for a healthy, beautiful smile. Discussed treatment options with your dentist and if they do not perform gum grafting in their office, they will be able to refer you to a periodontist, a dental professional who specializes in the treatment of gums.
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