Gum Graft: Procedure, Recovery, and more - Complete Smiles

Teeth are one such health asset for life, which are often neglected. If it’s not hurting, you will probably not book an appointment with a dentist.

But slow and gradual harm to your teeth can sometimes cause severe and irreparable losses. So be vigilant of all the gradual changes that are occurring inside your mouth.

Gum recession is one such process, which is gradual and slow. But eventually, it can create health concerns if left untreated.


What is gum recession?

Gum recession is the slow and gradual receding of gums, where the tissues surrounding the teeth move or pull away from a tooth and eventually expose the tooth or the tooth’s root.

The exposed tooth is an unpleasant sight while you smile. Other than that, it also creates teeth sensitivity, and if left untreated, it can damage the surrounding bones. Untreated gum recession can also lead to the loss of teeth.

What are the causes of the gum recession?

There is no one particular cause for it. There are several collective causes that lead to gum recession. Some are physiological, which include:

  •  Periodontal (gum) disease
  •  Diabetes
  •  Hormonal changes
  •  Genetics

Other reasons include bad habits, like:

  •   Improper oral hygiene
  •   Regular smoking
  •   Aggressive brushing


What is a gum graft?

A gum graft, also known as a gingival graft, can correct receding gums. A piece of tissue is removed from the roof of your mouth or nearby healthy gum tissue and attached to the area where your gums have worn away. Depending on the clinical conditions and individual needs, the method of gum grafting is decided.

There are three main types of methods commonly used for gum grafting, which include:

  • Connective tissue graft
  •  Free gingival graft
  •   Pedicle graft

How are gum grafts performed?

In a connective tissue graft, new tissue is added to cover the exposed tooth roots. It is one of the most commonly used methods for gum tissue grafting, where a flap of skin at the upper palate is cut open, and tissue is taken from beneath it. The healthy tissue is then stitched to the gums surrounding the exposed tooth.

In a free gingival graft, a small amount of tissue is taken directly from the upper palate of the mouth. There is no need to cut open the upper palate to get the underneath skin tissue. The tissue from the exposed palate is then grafted to the gum area, which has to be treated. Those who already have thin gums are given this type of graft as it provides additional tissue to check further recession.

In a pedicle graft, a flap of tissue is taken from an area next to the receded gum and the same tissue is used to cover the damaged area. This procedure is different from the other two as your dentist is using local tissues instead of other parts of your mouth to cure the gum recession. This procedure is the most suitable for patients with plenty of healthy gum tissues around the area of recession.

The most obvious advantage of this procedure is fewer stitches and cuts inside the mouth. The reason it is more successful is the fact that it doesn’t cut off blood flow in any part of your mouth.

What are the things you should keep in mind before the procedure?

As you will be given local anaesthesia to numb the area for the gum graft surgery, but in rare cases, general anaesthesia is also provided. So, you might have to remain unconscious during the procedure.

Once the procedure is done, you will be able to go home shortly. The periodontist prefers to keep the patient under observation for an hour or two.

As you are under anaesthesia’s influence, it is essential to have someone with you. Also, do not drive your way back home.

How long will it take to recover after gum graft surgery?

The word ‘surgery’ gives us goosebumps, but this is a quick and straightforward recovering surgery. It is seen that most of the patients are completely recovered and back to regular activities within 1-2 weeks.

As there are cuts and stitches inside the mouth, there may be some discomfort and soreness for 2-3 days. But one can start chewing after a week.

What are the precautions to be taken after gum graft?

The most important precaution that should be taken during the healing phase is maintaining good oral hygiene. Other precautions are:

  • After gum grafting, you have to avoid brushing for better recovery. The teeth and gums should be kept clean with the help of medicated mouth rinse.
  • Eat soft and cold food items to avoid damaging the graft. Hard or hot foods can burn or irritate the graft, so they must be avoided.
  • Use antimicrobial mouthwash regularly to prevent infections and plaque buildup around the graft.
  •  Do not floss, as you might damage the graft or wound the gum tissues, which can also cause infections.
  •  Do not do strenuous activities until you are fully recovered.

What are the benefits of a gum graft procedure?

  •  It is an effective method of controlling gum recession and bone loss.
  •  It reduces tooth sensitivity and protects the roots of your teeth from decay.
  •   It also improves looks. It is aesthetically pleasing to have an even gum line.

For more information, please get in touch with Complete Smiles today. Open seven days a week with flexible opening hours, Complete Smiles is a patient-centric dental centre offering 0% interest-free finance plans to the patients.

Why Choose Complete Smiles

  • We're open 7 days a week with flexible opening hours
  • Highly qualified & patient-focused team with experienced dentist.
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