What to Expect During a Gum Graft

What to Expect During a Gum Graft

When it comes to the treatment for pocket depth reduction in Portland, or team at Portland Periodontics offers the skill and experience our patients require to successfully treat the side effects of gum disease. When periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease, progresses without treatment, the disease attacks the gum tissue and underlying bone structure that holds our teeth into position. This can manifest in a number of ways, including gum tissue pulling away from the base of our teeth.

How Do You Treat for Pocket Depth Reduction in Portland?

When gums recede, they expose the delicate roots of our teeth to harmful bacteria that begins the process of destroying the foundation on which our teeth sit. In order to prevent permanent tooth loss, Dr. Goldwyn can treat this condition with the use of gum grafts.

A gum graft works to repair the damage done by gum disease by replacing the tissue that has receded away from the base of our teeth. During a gum graft, Dr. Goldwyn removes tissue from the roof of the mouth or from healthy gum tissue. Dr. Goldwyn will then attach the removed tissue to the area where your gums have receded away from the base of your teeth. This is a quick outpatient procedure that is completed during just one office visit.

How to Prepare for a Gum Graft?

There are three types of gum graft treatments Dr. Goldwyn may use when treating a patient’s receding gums. They include:

  • Free gingival graft
  • Connective tissue graft
  • Pedicle graft

Dr. Goldwyn will decide the type of graft to use depending on your individual treatment needs. Once you have elected to undergo the procedure recommended by Dr. Goldwyn, unlike other types of surgery, you won’t need to change your diet or stop eating and drinking before the procedure. All you need to do is schedule your appointment and show up.

To help manage any discomfort, Dr. Goldwyn may administer and prescribe pain medication. This will make it necessary to have someone accompany you to our office or schedule a ride home as you won’t be able to safely drive following the procedure.

What Should You Expect During Treatment?

To begin your treatment for pocket depth reduction in Portland, you’ll receive a local anesthetic to numb the area where the procedure will be done. Depending on the best treatment method for your individual case, Dr. Goldwyn will perform one of the following procedures:

  • Free gingival graft. During this procedure, Dr. Goldwyn will remove tissue from the roof of the mouth before suturing the tissue to the area that requires repair. Patients with thin gum tissue that need extra tissue to prevent further recession are the most likely candidates to receive this type of treatment.
  • Connective tissue graft. In this procedure, Dr. Goldwyn will open a small flap in the roof of the mouth and remove a piece of connective tissue from beneath the top layer of tissue. Dr. Goldwyn will then suture this tissue to the area that needs new gum tissue. This is the most commonly performed type of treatment.
  • Pedicle graft. Here, Dr. Goldwyn creates a flap of tissue from an area located next to your receding gum line and uses that flap to cover the area in need of repair. This differs from the other two procedures previously described, as instead of moving tissue from one part of the mouth to another, the tissue is simply moved slightly over from an adjacent area. This type of graft is usually the most successful because it doesn’t involve cutting off the blood flow from any other area of the mouth. However, to be a candidate for this type of treatment, you need plenty of healthy gum tissue for Dr. Goldwyn to work with.

What to Expect from Recovery?

During the first week or two of recovery, make an effort to eat only soft, cold foods to make sure you don’t disturb the graft. Avoid eating hot or hard foods that could irritate the graft as it tries to heal.

The best types of food to eat include:

  • Soft-boiled or scrambled eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Ice cream
  • Hard-cooked vegetables
  • Soups

You’ll need to avoid brushing or flossing the area surrounding your gum graft until Dr. Goldwyn says it safe to do so. Brushing or flossing this area before it has properly healed can cause your stiches to open and slow down the healing process.




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