5 Tips for a Healthy Recovery after Gum Grafting

If you are unhappy about how long or uneven your teeth look, you’re most likely a good candidate for soft tissue grafting. Also known as gum grafting, this procedure addresses these aesthetic concerns while also correcting functional issues such as sensitive or loose teeth and preventing decay and infection. Tissue grafting is a surgical procedure, so it’s important to understand the recovery process to ensure you’re healing properly. Dr. Anderson, our board-certified periodontist, discusses the best ways you can experience a healthy recovery after gum grafting.

 

  1. Start with a liquid diet. For the first few days after soft tissue surgery, your gums will need an optimal healing environment to jumpstart a healthy recovery. Stick to a vitamin-rich rotation of pureed soups, smoothies, or yogurt. Avoid eating until your meal has reached room temperature and refrain from using a straw. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
  2. Avoid brushing and flossing. Good oral hygiene is necessary, but after gum grafting, keep the toothbrush and floss away from the surgical site. Irritation or damage to the area can increase the risk of the gum graft failing. It’s often recommended that you put off brushing and flossing for at least a week after surgery after which you can gently use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  3. Use ice packs as directed. Swelling will occur after soft tissue surgery and often lasts about a week. To help minimize this and associated discomfort, apply an ice pack to the area for 20 minutes on and 10 minutes off, and repeat this for 2-3 hours. Be sure to cover the ice pack with a thin towel and never directly apply the ice pack to your face.
  4. Take time to rest and relax. For the first three days after surgery, refrain from strenuous exercise or other physical activities. This can cause unnecessary swelling and bleeding at the surgical site that can compromise the healing of the gum graft. Take a few days to let your body recover from surgery, especially if you received sedation during the procedure.
  5. Stay in contact with our periodontist. At any time during your recovery from gum grafting you experience complications, contact our periodontist immediately. Problems with the surgical site will need to be addressed as soon as possible to be properly evaluated and treated.

 

Minimally-Invasive Treatment from the Expert

If you are receiving soft tissue grafting at Anderson Periodontal Wellness, you’ll experience minimally invasive treatment from our expert periodontist, Dr. Anderson. Using specialized techniques and a personalized approach, she can restore optimal health to your gum tissues and provide you with a beautiful, functional smile once again. Before leaving our office, we will provide the post-operative instructions you’ll need to experience a comfortable recovery after surgery.

 

Concerned About Your Recovery?

If you’re worried about healing after gum grafting or need more questions answered, don’t wait to contact Anderson Periodontal Wellness! Dr. Anderson is here to ensure you have a safe and comfortable treatment—and a healthy recovery. Schedule an appointment online or call our Bloomfield Hills, MI office at (248) 480-4910 today.

Tissue Grafting with a Multi-Disciplinary Approach

Before and after gum recession comparison with gum grafting treatment in Bloomfield Hills, MI

Meet our patient AK. She presented to our office with the chief concern “My teeth are uneven, yellow and too long. I’m also losing my gum. Can you fix this?”

Dr. Anderson completed minimally invasive soft tissue grafting for AK in a single hour and a half appointment under IV conscious sedation. AK returned to her nursing job 2 days later and reported minimal downtime and discomfort. Note the more proportional tooth length and more esthetic gingival (gum) symmetry reached after her tissue was moved down to cover the roots.

Tissue is now thicker, stronger, and more resilient.

Dr. Anderson allowed 3 months for the tissue to mature before the general dentist placed conservative veneers to correct the shape and color of her teeth. AK loves her new healthier and more aesthetic smile!

Please see above for before and after photos for our patient AK!

As a diplomate and board certified periodontist, Dr. Lauren Anderson provides services involving dental implants, periodontics, tooth loss, implantology, crown lengthening, cosmetic dentistry, and plastic surgery in Birmingham, Troy, Bloomfield Hills, West Bloomfield, Troy, Ferndale, Royal Oak, and surrounding Oakland County, Michigan. To schedule your consult please call (248) 480-4910

What is a gingival or “gum” graft and where do they come from?

gingival
Please see above for our patient M.Y. before and after photos. Her roots are covered and tissue improved for a healthier and more aesthetic smile! Dr. Anderson used autogenous grafting with a tunneled approach.

Gingival grafts are used to cover exposed roots and create a stronger foundation for the teeth. Gum deficiencies can be corrected with tissue harvested from your mouth or from other sources. Depending on the presentation, there are 3 general graft materials. Please see below for grafting descriptions:

1. Autogenous “from self”.

These grafts are taken from the palate or roof of the mouth. Autogenous grafts can come from tissue on the surface of the palate (epithelium) or the layer below (connective tissue). Autogenous grafts are vital (living) and bring vascular (blood) supply and beneficial healing cells. Supply is limited to the anatomy of the patient and location/thickness of desired tissue on the palate.

2. Allograft “from another of the same species”.

Cadaver dermis or skin is sterilized to make it devoid of living cells, proteins, viruses, and bacteria. After treatment the graft slowly turns into your gingiva or gum and blends well with your tissue. Allografts are non-vital or non-living and do not provide vascular or blood supply. Supply is unlimited as it is custom ordered for each patient.

3. Xenograft “from another species”.

Much like the allograft, xenografts are sterilized and used in a similar manner. These grafts are derived from either bovine (cow) or porcine (pig) dermis (skin). Xenografts are non-vital (non-living) and do not provide a vascular supply. Supply is unlimited as it is custom ordered for each patient.


As a diplomate and board certified periodontist, Dr. Lauren Anderson provides services involving dental implants, periodontics, tooth loss, implantology, crown lengthening, cosmetic dentistry, and plastic surgery in Birmingham, Troy, Bloomfield Hills, West Bloomfield, Troy, Ferndale, Royal Oak, and surrounding Oakland County, Michigan. To schedule your consult please call (248) 480-4910

Case Presentation: KL Sub-Epithelial Connective Tissue Graft

Meet our patient KL. She is a systemically healthy 50 year old female who presented to our office with the chief concern to “Please cover my roots, they are yellow and make me look older than I am. They are also sensitive to temperature change and my dentist recommended you to re-grow the gum back”.

After verbal interview and clinical examination, Dr. Anderson determined that the etiology or “cause” of her recession was aggressive tooth brushing on thin gingiva or “gums” which are more prone to recession than thick gingiva. To regenerate KL’s soft tissue over the roots, Dr. Anderson used a minimally invasive technique to harvest KL’s tissues from her palate or “top of the mouth” and transferred this tissue to the teeth with roots exposed. This technique, known as a sub-epithelial connective tissue graft, was chosen and tailored for KL’s unique case presentation due to the high predictability, long-term success rate and superior esthetics. KL is happy with her results, enjoys her “more youthful smile” and reports the hot and cold sensitivity has gone away after Dr. Anderson regenerated the soft tissue. KL is now maintaining her results with proper brushing technique and a soft toothbrush.

Please see below for before and after photos of soft grafting of teeth in the upper right (#3-7) with Dr. Anderson.

Connective Tissue Graft Before and After

 

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