Gum Grafting: What It Is, Procedure, and Recovery

by | May 20, 2023

Your gums should naturally cover the roots of your teeth entirely, providing protection and preventing pain and sensitivity. However, a variety of causes can lead to roots becoming exposed. Gum grafting surgery offers an effective solution to restore the gumline and provide lasting protection. Here is everything you need to know about this highly beneficial procedure provided by Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester.

What Is Gum Graft Surgery

Gum grafting is a soft tissue graft that transplants soft tissue from the roof of your mouth to a part of your gumline that requires restoration or augmentation. The tissue heals and integrates, blending the appearance of the different tissues and protecting your tooth roots.

Gum grafting is a relatively minor oral surgery carried out by your periodontist. The procedure is fast and comfortable, and most patients experience little to no symptoms during the brief recovery period.

Who Is Gum Graft Surgery Right For?

Gum grafting serves as a solution for a variety of different cases. Gum recession due to advanced gum disease is one of the most common reasons for the procedure. About 9% of US adults are affected by severe gum disease.[1]

In other cases, you may have exposed tooth roots or gum recession naturally due to genetics. Other potential causes include poor oral health habits, orthodontics, aggressive tooth brushing, and the effects of other dental procedures. In any case, gum grafting provides a solution for both the appearance of your smile and your long-term oral health.

Your Gum Graft Surgery Procedure

The first step is determining whether gum grafting is appropriate for your case. You can speak with a periodontist to determine whether gum grafting or other procedures are necessary for your treatment plan.

Depending on the specific type of gum graft and your unique needs, you’ll receive a local anesthetic or sedation if you need it for anxiety. The periodontist will carefully remove the donor tissue from the roof of your mouth. The donor tissue can be taken from several different layers of tissue, depending on the specific case.

The donor tissue is then grafted to the appropriate location along your gum line to cover exposed roots. Gum grafting procedures are generally fast and straightforward when carried out by an experienced periodontist.

Gum Graft Surgery Recovery

After your gum graft, you’ll have simple instructions to follow during recovery. Your periodontist will review these in detail and any potential prescriptions you may need.

Brushing and flossing in the graft area must be avoided during healing, as both can open the sutures and increase your risk of infection. You’ll still need to clean other areas of your mouth as usual and will receive a special mouthwash.

Sticking to softer foods for between one and two weeks is best. Mashed potatoes, yogurt, soup (not too hot), eggs, and pasta are all good choices. Avoid chewing food around the graft area.

You should only experience mild soreness during the first few days of recovery. Depending on the specific type of graft used, you may be provided with a custom-made mouthguard to protect the roof of your mouth until it heals. This will help with comfort too. Contact your periodontist immediately if you experience severe pain, swelling, or bleeding.

Achieve a Beautiful and Healthy Smile with Gum Grafting

The experienced team at Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester provides a variety of gum surgeries, including gum grafting, for both aesthetics and health. Our board-certified periodontist uses the most advanced techniques and technology to provide you with care beyond your expectations. Schedule a consultation today for more about your gum surgery options. Give us a call at 585-685-2005.




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