Sometimes, a gum graft is necessary to save teeth that have been damaged or weakened from periodontal disease. When we perform the surgery, you also need to know what steps to take to reach a full recovery. The following information gives you a basic overview of what to expect.
What Is Gum Graft Surgery?
A gum graft can be performed using one of three techniques. We often recommend a gum graft if the gums have receded and the roots of the teeth are exposed. Exposure can increase the possibility of tooth decay and sensitivity. A connective tissue graft is the most common procedure. During the process, we open a small flap in the roof of the mouth and extract some connective tissue beneath a top layer of tissue. We then stitch the tissue to the receded gum. A free gingival graft allows us to remove a piece of tissue from your mouth’s roof and stitch it to the area that has receded. We use this method when the gums are thin and require additional tissue to prevent recession. When we use a pedicle graft, we create a flap of tissue next to the receded area, using the flap to conceal the recession.
What Does Graft Rehabilitation Involve?
During recovery, do not brush or floss the surgery site until we give you the go-ahead to do so. It will take about three to four weeks to fully recover from the graft. During the first two weeks, you should avoid eating hot foods or any food that is crunchy or hard to prevent irritating or burning the graft site. Foods that help with recovery include scrambled or soft-boiled eggs, yogurt, softened (steamed) vegetables, cottage cheese, Jell-O, or sherbet. We often recommend that you use an antimicrobial mouth rinse to stave off infections or plaque build-up.
Do you believe a gum graft can improve your periodontal health? If so, call us today to arrange a comprehensive periodontal exam (CPE). We offer several treatment options, depending on the severity of your gum disease. Contact us now for an exam and consultation.