If you’ve been brushing aggressively, or not brushing enough to the point of plaque build-up and gum disease, as well as if you smoke or have certain genetic factors, these may cause your gums to recede over time. And while it’s not easily noticeable, gum recession is often detected when you start to experience tooth sensitivity or see that your smile has become “toothy”.
Periodontists perform soft tissue grafting to treat gum recession and keep your gums healthy long-term. Soft tissue grafting is a fast and relatively simple procedure that involves removing healthy gum tissue from other parts of your mouth and grafting it onto the area with receded gums. Without timely treatment, gum recession can lead to infection in the roots of affected teeth and eventual loss. But aside from recession, soft tissue grafting can also be performed for cosmetic reasons to enhance your smile.
Did your periodontist recently recommend soft tissue grafting to restore your receded gums? Whether you’re worried about post-op pain or you want to know what you can eat after surgery, follow these recovery tips to ensure proper healing from soft tissue grafting.
Top Recovery Tips for Soft Tissue Grafting
From managing pain and discomfort to following a soft-food diet, there’s a lot you can do to prevent complications and ensure the success of your soft tissue grafting procedure. Know what to expect after gum surgery and follow these tips from our periodontists.
1. Know what type of graft you are receiving
Depending on the severity of gum recession and the location of the affected area, your periodontist will apply different types of soft tissue grafts. While the premise is the same—removing healthy tissue from another part of your mouth and grafting it where your gums have receded—the procedure can vary.
- Connective-tissue graft: Uses connective tissue from the roof of the mouth
- Free gingival graft: Uses tissue directly from the roof of the mouth
- Pedicle graft: Uses healthy gum tissue from adjacent teeth.
Depending on the type of soft tissue graft you receive, the recovery time and pain level can also vary.
2. Does gum grafting hurt? Managing post-op pain
Your periodontist will administer an anesthetic, making the actual gum surgery painless. If your periodontist uses only a local anesthetic to numb the surgical area, you may feel slight movement or pressure.
However, as with any procedure, it is common to experience some discomfort after soft tissue grafting. Symptoms such as a tingling sensation and pain happen as the anesthetic wears off after a few hours. You may be prescribed some antibiotics, or you can take pain medication to ease your discomfort.
3. Prepare for the day of
To avoid immediate complications and discomfort after your soft tissue grafting procedure, it’s important to make arrangements for your ride, taking time off work, and resting at home. This helps ensure a smooth recovery and fast healing, and avoid complications.
Make sure that a family member or friend is available to drive you to and from your periodontist’s clinic in Mississauga. Due to the anesthetic and pain medication, it is unsafe for you to drive or try to make it home by yourself. Take the day off so you can spend the rest of the day resting and taking it easy, without any strenuous activity.
4. Maintain good oral hygiene habits
Just because you had oral surgery doesn’t mean you can skip out on the basics of good oral hygiene. It’s quite the opposite—it’s even more important to properly care for your teeth and gums after soft tissue grafting.
While it’s not advisable to floss and brush the treatment area, you can still clean the rest of your mouth. As well, use a special mouthwash prescribed by your periodontist to prevent plaque build-up, cavities, and gum disease.
5. Eat soft foods
After your soft tissue grafting procedure, it’s important to take it easy and prevent disturbing the graft. One of the best ways to do this is to follow a soft food diet. This minimizes the effort it takes to bite and chew, which can disturb the treatment area.
During the first few days of recovery, stick to soft, cool foods such as eggs, yogurt, ice cream, pasta, and soft cheeses. Avoid drinking using a straw, and taking extremely hot or cold beverages. As well, it’s quite important to avoid smoking. Finally, keep in mind that it’s normal to experience mild tooth sensitivity during this time.
6. Call your periodontist in case of complication
Soft tissue grafting is a highly safe and successful procedure—when performed by a qualified and experienced periodontist in Mississauga. However, even with a smooth procedure and post-op care, complications outside of pain and discomfort can still occur.
Common complications include:
- Bleeding and swollen gums
- Teeth feeling loose and spaces appearing between them
- Sensitive teeth
- Fever and pus, common signs of infection.
In some cases, the graft may not attach properly to the treatment site. If this happens, your periodontist may need to perform a repeat soft tissue grafting to effectively treat gum recession.
7. Visit your periodontist for a follow-up appointment
Your periodontist will schedule a follow-up appointment a week or two after your soft tissue grafting procedure. During this check-up, they will remove the stitches and inspect the treatment site to ensure that it is healing properly and receded gums are fully restored.
Follow Recovery Tips from Our Periodontists in Mississauga
Are you scheduled for soft tissue grafting? Our periodontists in Mississauga are here to ensure a smooth and successful recovery, and the success of your gum recession treatment. At Periodontal Associates, we specialize in treating gum recession with soft tissue grafting, and restoring your smile with healthy gums. We’re here for you at every stage of recovery to avoid post-op complications and ensure that your gum graft heals well. Follow the tips above, and don’t hesitate to check in with our periodontists anytime!
Going in for your soft tissue grafting procedure? Say goodbye to receding gums, and make sure your newly grafted healthy gums stay that way. Contact Periodontal Associates in Mississauga for more post-op care and recovery tips.