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Toronto, ON. M6S 4W3

8 Tips for Recovery After Gum Graft Surgery

8 Tips for Recovery After Gum Graft Surgery

Gum recession happens for many reasons, including illness, injury, eating habits and age. Gum graft offers a solution by grafting healthy gum to receding areas.

There are some common misconceptions about gum graft procedures and the number of teeth involved. While receding gums are more visible when you have all your teeth, it can also affect those with tooth implants and dentures.

As a leading dental clinic in Toronto, Bloor West Smiles works with families across the city, providing a range of services that include gum grafting. To help our clients protect their teeth and gums following gum graft surgery, here are 8 of our top tips:

1. Keep your lips zipped

Immediately following gum graft in Toronto, your gums will feel tender. Your periodontist will ask you to keep the gauze in place for the first 40 to 50 minutes, reducing the risk of bleeding. You should also refrain from speaking.

While you may feel up to chatting, it’s best to wait 2 or 3 days unless otherwise advised by a dentist. The idea of remaining silent for 3-days doesn’t mean you can’t communicate. Try using a whiteboard and dry erase marker to share your feelings until they can be spoken aloud once more.

2. Don’t let your tongue wander

After any kind of oral surgery, it’s natural to want to explore the area with your tongue. Unfortunately, poking and prodding with your tongue after a gum graft could lead to gauze displacement, stitch breakage and other issues.

Try to keep your mouth relaxed, follow your dentist’s instructions to minimize pain, and ensure the best results for your gum graft.

3. Use ice for swelling

Swelling and inflammation come with any sort of physical trauma. You can bring swelling down by holding ice to your lips and jaw. Ice reduces swelling, which in turn reduces pain.

Use ice for about 10 to 20 minutes at a time before giving your mouth a break in between treatments. Your periodontist may also recommend over-the-counter pain management, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

4. Brush gently

Oral hygiene is important, but following a gum graft in Toronto, you won’t be able to brush properly until your gums heal. Once healed, it’s still important to be gentle with your brushing. Gum graft tissue may be more sensitive and easily damaged than other areas in your mouth. If you brush too hard, it could agitate the transplanted tissue.

You can go even easier on your gums by selecting a soft-bristled brush until your gums feel strong enough for firmer bristles. At Bloor West Smiles, our team can help you select the right brush for your teeth and gums.

5. Eat ahead of time

Following your gum graft in Toronto, your periodontist isn’t likely to let you eat for a full 48 hours following surgery. This is because biting and chewing could tear the stitches or dislodge the graft.

When you can finally have a meal, think about the foods you’re putting into your mouth. You may want to avoid anything crunchy or hard, focusing instead on soft foods. Some examples of soft foods include:

  • Banana
  • Tofu
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Jello

Smoothies are another great option for post-surgery meals, as there’s no chewing involved, and you’re less likely to stain your teeth or gums. Avoid anything which makes you chew a lot, like salads, which are healthy but require a bit of extra tooth and gum work to break down.

6. Keep food temperature neutral

Not only do you have to be careful about choosing the right types of food to eat following a gum graft, but you should also monitor the temperature. Eating and drinking too hot or too cold foods could cause pain and discomfort. Your nerves will be on edge while healing.

You may also have the opposite effect, where your healing gums haven't regained sensation yet. In this instance, eating or drinking something too hot may not be noticeable at first on your gum line, but you’ll feel it later. Keeping food temperatures neutral, and testing hot foods to ensure they’ve cooled before eating, will reduce oral discomfort during healing.

7. Get some rest

It may not feel like it at first because the surgery was only in your mouth, but your entire body will feel the impact of a gum graft. You may feel sore, overwhelmed, tired and anxious. Getting plenty of rest will help ease these symptoms and get you back to feeling like yourself in no time.

If possible, take some time off from work and extracurricular activities to heal at home where you can be comfortable. Avoid long chats on the phone, rigorous exercise, and other activities that may jostle your mouth and stitches.

8. Be careful around pets and children

Our favourite little humans and their furry companions don’t always understand when adults aren’t feeling well. An overexcited pup could jump up and bang your mouth. Similarly, chasing young children around the house could cause trouble for unhealed stitches.

Pets and children require lots of love and attention, even when we’re not at our best. To ensure your loved ones are cared for when you need extra rest and healing, align child care, a pet walker or doggy daycare ahead of time.

It also helps to set aside a place to call your own during the healing process. Whether this is your bedroom, home office, den or another space. If a friend or loved one can help around the house to give you breaks when necessary, it goes a long way toward speeding up your recovery.

For more information about gum graft in Toronto, call Bloor West Smiles at 1-647-371-1407 or contact us here.

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