Do you have receding gums? It’s a common oral health problem, and it puts you at risk of tooth decay, sensitivity, and an unsightly smile.
The good news is that gum recession is treatable, and the procedure isn’t as scary as you might think. J. Paul Fuentes, DDS, and Andrew Peterson, DMD, perform gum and tissue grafting procedures at Arcadia Perio.
Grafting is a simple, effective procedure to treat receding gums and improve your oral health. If you’re bothered by a receding gumline or your dentist has recommended grafting surgery, here’s what you can expect after your gum grafting procedure.
Immediately after your grafting surgery
At Arcadia Perio, gum and tissue grafting is an outpatient surgery. There’s no hospital stay required, and you can leave as soon as your procedure is over. Although some people go back to work after grafting surgery, we recommend going home to rest for the remainder of the day.
If we use local anesthesia to numb you during the procedure, you can drive yourself home from the office. Most local anesthesia wears off in about 4-8 hours.
If you requested stronger anesthetic medication, like IV or oral sedation, you need someone else to drive you home after the procedure. These medications can take longer to wear off and make you feel groggy for the rest of the day.
Recovering from grafting surgery at home
Before you leave the office, we apply a soft periodontal dressing. The dressing may be sterile gauze or a bubble gum-like material. The purpose of these dressings is to protect any sutures and limit bleeding immediately after surgery.
Soft tissue grafts typically take a week or two to fully heal. We give you specific instructions for recovery, including dental hygiene modifications and foods to avoid.
You shouldn’t brush or floss your teeth immediately after grafting surgery, because you could reopen a healing wound. We give you antimicrobial mouthwash to clean your teeth and help prevent infections.
You should make modifications to your diet to avoid damaging the grafts. Eat soft, cold foods like eggs, yogurt, and cooked and cooled vegetables. Avoid hard or hot foods, as these can irritate grafts.
Finally, avoid strenuous activities and vigorous exercise until we tell you it’s OK.
Attending your follow-up appointments
You have at least one follow-up appointment after your grafting surgery. At your appointment, Dr. Fuentes or Dr. Peterson examines your mouth and gums to ensure the graft is healing as it should.
As your mouth heals, your gums absorb the grafted tissue. Any sutures either dissolve on their own or we remove them within about two weeks after surgery.
Most people find that recovering from gum and tissue grafting is a simple process, with few side effects. But contact our office right away if you notice worsening pain, swelling, or bleeding during recovery.
Once your mouth has healed, your graft is permanent. Maintain regular dental cleaning appointments to keep your gums and your teeth healthy over time.
Do you have more questions about gum grafting surgery? We’re here to help. Book an appointment at our office in Arcadia, California, by calling 626-662-1084 or using the online booking tool today.