The gum graft surgery procedure
- First, your periodontist will administer a local anesthesia to numb the affected area. He may also lift existing gum to expose and clean the root of a tooth. In some cases, general anesthesia will be given and the patient will sleep during the entire procedure.
- Next, he will perform the gum tissue graft process. There are three types that a periodontist will choose from, depending on a patient’s specific needs. These are the connective tissue graft, free gingival graft and pedicle graft. Your dentist in Toronto may prefer to use gum tissue from a tissue bank, instead of extracting it from the roof of a patient’s mouth.
- Finally, the periodontist will suture the graft and instruct you to rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash. He will advise you to stay on for an hour or two and observe for any issues that may arise after the procedure.
The gum graft healing stages
There are two gum graft healing stages that you will undergo for a complete and safe recovery.
Gum healing stage 1: healing of the gums
You will know that healing has begun when the soft tissues are shrinking and there is less swelling. The gum tissues gradually starts to bind to the root surface and nearby bone surface as well. New vessels will also start to form and the tissues will receive enough blood supply. This healing stage spans from four to six weeks after the surgery.
Gum healing stage 2: healing of the palate
The palate takes longer to heal than the gum graft and spans from six to eight weeks following the surgery. For the first few days you will experience a burning sensation and it will take about 14 days before the discomfort will stop. The healing period may last more than two months if there is swelling or if the tissue removal resulted to an exposed bone.
Your surgeon will give you instructions as you go through the post-operative phase. It’s vital that you follow them to prevent unwanted discomfort.
- Your periodontist will prescribe antibiotics as well as pain medication for you.
- Avoid physical activities like lifting heavy things for at least one day.
- If you experience bleeding, place gauze on each side of the site but not directly on top of it.
- Your dentist in Toronto will provide a palatal stent to protect your palate as it heals. It minimizes bleeding and keeps the site clear upon the removal of the stitches.
- Avoid brushing or rinsing your mouth after the surgery.
- Keep your tongue away from the surgical site and avoid brushing it too. Also, keep the dressing in place and refrain from lifting or pulling your lips to inspect the wound.
- Use a mouthwash to ward off germs after a few days from the surgery.
- Stick to cold and soft food while still recovering from the surgery. These are the ideal food to eat during the recovery period:
- Cottage cheese
- Ice cream
- Soft-boiled or scrambled eggs
- Vegetables that are cooked or boiled until it become soft
It could take a long while for some patients to go through the gum graft healing stages. Other patients take four to eight weeks before their gum tissues heal completely. The healing time will also depend on how much of the tissues were extracted from the roof of the patient’s mouth, as well as its thickness and area.
You should contact your periodontist immediately if you experience the following after the surgery:
- Non-stop bleeding even after applying pressure for 20 minutes
- You experience pain, bruising and swelling that is persistent and discomforting.
A nearby dentist in Toronto is ready to help you if you have concerns about the gum graft surgery.