What to Do Before and After Gum Surgery , ToothHQ Dental Clinic, Dallas Fort Worth

Getting the Most Out of Your Gum Surgery

The attractiveness of your smile is affected by the way your gums look. If they are receding, it will make your teeth look longer and you will look older. One way to restore your smile and a more youthful look is by getting gum grafts. A gum graft will replace the tissue that was lost.

When having a gum graft to repair your receding gums, you will be given some instructions that need to be followed before and after the surgery. Following these tips from the periodontist will help your gums to heal faster and avoid unnecessary pain – and the possibility of having to repeat the surgery. 

The Causes of Receding Gums

Gum disease is the main cause of gum recession. Once it gets into the gums – periodontitis – the bacteria and inflammation start eroding the tissue that supports your teeth and the jawbone. Because it is in your gums, you cannot stop it without the help of a dentist. Over time, if it is not treated, your teeth will become loose and may even fall out. 

Why Your Gums Are Important

Your gums, also called gingiva, are part of your body’s natural defense. They protect you in two different ways. First, they cover the roots of your teeth which do not have the enamel covering that the crowns of your teeth have on them. When your gums recede, it exposes the roots of your teeth and they will likely develop cavities soon afterward.

The second protection that your gums offer is that they keep the bacteria in your mouth out of your body. Once the gums start receding, you are apt to develop gum disease soon. It also opens the door for the bacteria to get into your bloodstream and cause all kinds of serious health issues. These health problems include cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, stroke, dementia, cancer, diabetes, and many more. 

What to Do Before Surgery

Before the gum graft, you need to prepare by doing several things. You must tell the periodontist before the gum surgery about any medical needs that may be a concern, as well as any medications and supplements that you are taking, which may need to be stopped several days before the dental procedure. You will need to inform the office if you are on blood thinners (which may or may not alter the plans), and if you are diabetic (set your appointment after a meal) to avoid low blood sugar.

If you are going to be sedated during the surgery, there are also some things you need to know to prepare for it. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight before the day of the surgery. If you need to take medicine, only take it with just a sip of water. You also need to make arrangements to get home after the surgery, since you will not be allowed to drive. Once you are at home, you will need someone to stay with you for the next 24 hours. 

You also want to prepare the food in advance that you are going to eat after gum graft surgery. You want to avoid eating hard, crunchy, or chewy foods because they can dislodge blood clots and delay healing. Staying away from hot or spicy foods and drinks is also important. You will only be allowed to eat soft foods afterward for several days – possibly longer. Soft foods may include applesauce, pasta, scrambled eggs, soups and broth, mashed potatoes, mashed vegetables and soft fruit, smoothies, ice cream, yogurt, sherbet, milkshakes, cheesecake, pancakes, and many more. 

What to Do After the Surgery

In most cases, the gums will have healed within one to two weeks of your soft tissue graft. Sometimes, three weeks may be necessary. Most patients that have this procedure can go back to work the next day.  Some pain can be expected. Pain should be minimal if donor tissue is used. Prescription medication may be needed for a couple of days, but over-the-counter pain relievers should work well after that. 

A follow-up appointment will be necessary later to ensure that the healing is going as expected. Stitches may also be removed at the same time. 

After the surgery, patients need to avoid hot foods and foods that require a lot of chewing or are crunchy. The diet should consist only of soft foods for as long as the dentist may suggest. This includes such foods as applesauce, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, yogurt, ice cream, soups, mashed vegetables, pasta, and many more. 

Once your gums have healed, your teeth and smile will be restored. You will look younger. In some cases, the gums may need to be surgically corrected. 

Preventing Gum Recession 

The best way to avoid gum surgery is to take good care of your teeth and gums. This requires brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time. Flossing daily is also necessary for good oral care.

If you need gum recession surgery to repair your gums and smile, Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, MS, MBA, FDSRCS, a Board Certified Periodontist, can help you. He provides periodontal treatment and gum grafts in his Carrollton, Cedar Hill, Mockingbird/SMU and Grapevine, TX offices. Most dental insurance plans are accepted. To set up a consultation or to get more information about this gum graft procedure, you can contact his ToothHQ  office today