Healthy gum tissue surrounds the necks of your teeth and the bone supporting them. Your gums help keep your teeth firmly in place and seal out bacteria. When your gums recede or are damaged, a periodontist may recommend a gum graft. So, you may wonder what to expect. Are gum grafts painful?
Are Gum Grafts Painful?
Gum graft procedures are not painful. Your periodontist will use local anesthesia to numb your gums and teeth in the grafting areas. Also, if you have dental anxiety, your doctor will offer sedation to relax you and minimize your sensitivity to discomfort. During your initial consultation, your periodontist will explain sedation options and recommend a level that matches your anxiety and procedure. You will enjoy a comfortable, painless process.
How Painful Is Gum Graft Recovery?
After your procedure, you will experience slight bleeding, swelling, and discomfort as your body reacts to surgery and begins to heal. Still, you can maximize your comfort by following your doctor’s instructions in these ways:
- Take antibiotics as directed.
- Use over-the-counter medication to relieve soreness and discomfort.
- Use cold packs to minimize swelling.
- Eat soft foods that require minimal chewing for two weeks to avoid disturbing the grafts.
- Avoid hot foods because they can irritate the surgical sites.
- Avoid brushing or flossing around the grafts.
- Use antimicrobial mouthwash as prescribed.
What Can You Expect?
Each patient’s case is unique, so a periodontist will explain what you can expect with your procedure. The type of grafting technique that your doctor recommends depends on these factors:
- Degree of gum recession
- Areas of recession
- Amount of healthy gum tissue around the area of recession
Many patients who need gum grafts benefit from the scalpel-free, suture-free Pinhole Surgical Technique.
Why Choose a Periodontist for Your Gum Graft?
When you choose a periodontist for your gum graft instead of a general dentist or an oral surgeon, you receive treatment from a specialist in gum health. The American Academy of Periodontology states that periodontists are experts with gum procedures because, after dental school, they complete three years of specialized training in these areas:
- Periodontal (gums and bone supporting the teeth) health
- Gum surgery
- Using the appropriate sedation or anesthesia during treatment
You can get comfortable, precise treatment from a periodontist.
Request a Consultation
Schedule a consultation with a periodontist to discuss your oral health concerns and how a gum graft can improve them. The doctor will explain ways their team will ensure you are comfortable, have a painless procedure, and understand how to promote a smooth recovery.
Atlanta periodontist Dr. David Pumphrey sponsors this post. Dr. Pumphrey is a clinical professor of periodontics at the Augusta School of Dentistry. See Dr. Pumphrey’s smile gallery for pictures of gum grafting cases he completed.