How Long Does a Cosmetic Gum Graft Last?

How Long Does a Cosmetic Gum Graft Last?

May 01, 2022

If your gums have receded, your dentist might recommend a gum tissue graft. The roots of your teeth become exposed due to gum recession. The exposure can cause the root surface of your teeth to become prone to decay besides becoming sensitive and susceptible to abrasion.

A gum graft, also called a gingival graft, helps correct receding gums. Your dentist might refer you to a periodontist or a gum specialist for this relatively simple procedure.

When performing a cosmetic gum graft, your periodontist removes some tissue from your mouth’s roof or nearby healthy gum tissue. After that, they attach it to the area where your gums have receded. Gum grafting is a relatively quick procedure permitting you to leave as soon as it is completed. Please continue reading to learn more about preparing for gum grafting, what is involved in the process, and tips for your recovery.

Preparing for Gum Grafting

You can choose between three types of gum grafts. The dentist near you will discuss the options and make recommendations based on your specific needs. For example, you can have a free gingival graft, connective tissue graft, or pedicle graft.

After you have decided to undergo the procedure, you don’t have to indulge in any fasting or change your diet on the day before or the day of the procedure. You merely have to show at the dentist’s office who will confirm the type of graft. However, you must arrange for a ride to and from your appointment. You will receive medications for pain, making it unsafe for you to drive. Therefore you must arrange for a ride home with a friend or family member.

Expectations during the Gum Grafting Procedure

After you arrive for your appointment, the assistants will escort you to the procedure room, and local anesthesia will be administered to numb the area of the procedure. In some cases, your dentist may permit you to receive general anesthesia to render you unconscious during the process. However, general anesthesia isn’t recommended because of the risks.

Depending on your specific needs, the dentist in Surrey performs one of the following:

  • Free Gingival Graft: the dentist removes a tiny piece of tissue from your mouth’s roof and sutures it to the area needing the gum tissue. You will likely get a free gingival graft if your gums are thin and need additional tissue to prevent further recession.
  • Connective Tissue Graft: the dentist opens a small flap in your mouth’s roof to remove a piece of connective tissue from the top layer. They suture the tissue to the area needing gum tissue. Connective tissue grafts are the most common type of gum grafting.
  • Pedicle Graft: the dentist creates a flap of tissue from the area neighboring the gum recession to use the flap to cover the site of the receding gums. In pedicle grafts, the gum tissue is moved over the recession with local tissue instead of taking it from another part of the mouth. Pedicle tissue grafts are successful because they don’t cut off blood flow in any part of your mouth. However, for pedicle grafts to work, you need sufficient gum tissue in the area around the gum recession.

Gum grafting doesn’t take long, and after your dentist has completed stitching the graft, they will have you wash your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash.

After-Care for Gum Grafting Procedure

You can proceed home shortly after your procedure. However, your dentist might have you wait for a couple of hours if they want to observe you to ensure there aren’t any issues with the graft.

During the first couple of weeks, you must eat soft and cold foods to ensure you don’t damage the graft. Eating hard or hot foods can burn or irritate the site of the graft. You must refrain from exercise or other strenuous activities until your dentist confirms it is safe to indulge in them.

Your dentist will likely recommend using an antimicrobial mouthwash for a couple of weeks to prevent infections, plaque buildup on your teeth, or problems with the grafting. They suggest you don’t brush or floss the area until they confirm it is safe to do so. Brushing or flossing near the surgical site before healing can open the wound to cause infections. If you experience any pain or discomfort, over-the-counter pain medications can help provide relief.

You can recover from a gum grafting procedure in a couple of weeks. However, you must schedule an appointment with your dentist a week after the process to ensure that you are healing correctly and the graft is successful.

If you are dealing with gum recession and need to correct the situation, please contact Newton Dental Group to have the gum grafting procedure.