Has your dentist told you that you need gum grafting surgery? The thought of gum surgery can be scary. But the truth is that it’s a safe, effective procedure to improve your oral health.

You might need gum grafting to treat receding gums, tooth sensitivity, or periodontal disease. At a high level, grafting involves adding new tissue onto your gums to add volume and strength, and there are several different ways to do it.

J. Paul Fuentes, DDS, DABP, Andrew Peterson, DMD, MS, and our oral surgery team at Arcadia Perio specialize in gum health. We’re experienced in gum and tissue grafting, and we’re here to answer all your questions. 

What to expect during a gum grafting procedure

We do gum grafts on an outpatient basis, and there’s nothing special you need to do to prepare. On the day of your appointment, we begin by numbing your teeth and gums. If you’re nervous, we offer different levels of dental sedation to help you relax.

Once you’re numb, we thoroughly clean your teeth, teeth roots, and gums. We prepare your gums, then use one of three methods to perform the gum grafting.

The three most common types of gum grafts are:

Connective tissue graft

We use connective tissue gum grafts most of the time. This method involves cutting a small flap in the skin on the roof of your mouth. We remove tissue from under the flap and attach it to your gums.

Free gingival graft

Free gingival grafts are similar to connective tissue grafts, but there’s no flap. We take a small amount of skin and tissue from the roof of your mouth and move it to your gums. This might be a good option if you have very thin gums.

Pedicle graft

Pedicle grafts don’t use tissue from elsewhere in your mouth. With this method, we make a flap of tissue near the gum that needs repair, then stretch it over the exposed tooth root. You may be a candidate for this method if you have plenty of healthy gum tissue.

We might use materials from a donor source for your gum graft if you don’t have enough healthy tissue in your mouth.

No matter the technique, we carefully position the new tissue over your gums where they’ve been damaged or worn away. We close the wounds with small stitches and move you into recovery for a short time.

Once your sedative begins wearing off, you’re free to have someone drive you home. Plan to rest for the remainder of the day, and follow our instructions for recovery.

What to expect with gum grafting recovery

As you recover, the grafted tissue grows into your existing gum tissue. Gums generally heal quickly, and you can expect to fully heal in just a week or two.

Depending on the type of grafting method we used, we might recommend that you eat a diet of soft foods for several days after your procedure. Come in for your follow-up appointments, and let us know if you have any issues with pain or bleeding.

Gum grafting might sound scary, but it’s a routine procedure to repair common oral health issues. Learn more about your grafting options with a consultation at Arcadia Perio in Arcadia, California. Contact us online or call to schedule an appointment.

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