7 Gum Graft Surgery Survival Tips

7 Gum Graft Surgery Survival Tips I just had gum graft surgery (also called gingival graft surgery) for receding gums surrounding two of my back teeth. I didn’t realize how common the procedure is until I started talking about it. Most people delay gum graft surgery, probably because there are people online describing it as pain worse than childbirth. I disagree. If you have a good surgeon, you will be fine.

What Is Gum Graft Surgery?

If your gums are receding due to orthodontia, over brushing, genetics or bad luck, you’re likely to need a gum graft. I wish I hadn’t watched the presentation outlining the procedure as I would have been OK not knowing the details. Basically, they cut tissue off the roof of your mouth (the donor area), cut the gums off around your teeth, peel them down, stitch the donor tissue on and then stitch the gum tissue back over that. *Shiver*

I’ve Had Gum Graft Surgery So Here’s What I’d Suggest

1. Upgrade Your Drugs

I was given the option of being awake but numb, being consciously sedated with a drug called Halcion, or an IV drip that would knock me completely under. I still had awesome expatriate insurance, but I hear that in the US, the latter two options are not considered “customary or reasonable” by some US insurance companies, therefore, these gum graft surgery costs might not be covered. Halcion was a $250 upgrade. The IV sedation was $500 per hour and would involve not eating for a certain amount of time prior and all that. I was told the IV was totally not necessary (reserved for people with extreme dental fears), and in the end I agree. With Halcion (and a Valium topper, explained below), I had zero concept of time so if they had done my whole mouth, I would not have been the wiser. Go over your options with your Periodontist and get really comfortable with them.

2. Get The Modern Gum Graft Surgery

The modern version allows for the roof of your mouth to be stitched whereas the old school version left the donor site as a gaping hole. Ouch. I don’t like to look at stitches so I didn’t look, but was told there were about 13 small ones up there.

3. Get A Stent To Help Prevent Bleeding

This was another optional upgrade. My stent was like a retainer that covered most of the roof of my mouth. It puts pressure on the donor area to help prevent bleeding, your tongue from playing with the stitches, and food from getting caught in them. I wore it until my stitches were out and afterward for a few days, only while eating. The newly stitch-free area was tender.

4. Bring Your iPod

It was very helpful to listen to some music during the procedure. To be honest, I don’t remember it much but I took comfort in knowing that my earbuds were in.

5. Have Someone Else Also Listen To Post Care Instructions

I don’t remember them, because some were given after the gingival graft surgery when I was out if it.  And, I was out of it at home for a while. Plus, whoever is taking care of you is going to need to know what to do.

6. Eat Totally Pulverized Food For The First Few Days

Even small vegetable chunks in soups might be hard to deal with the first day or so. You need to get comfortable with your post-surgery mouth and a random chunk getting into that area is freaky. I ate soup like a dog at first, ladling it into my mouth with the spoon upside down on my tongue and then hoisting it into the back of my mouth to swallow. I drank a ton of smoothies.

7. Plan Nothing For About 3 Days After Gum Graft Surgery

You’ll eat less and, therefore, may feel weak. “Eat” a bunch of liquid meals throughout the day. When I made higher calorie and protein filled shakes, I felt noticeably better all around.  Also, if you are in pain, you may need to take a stronger pain killer like Vicodin. Obviously, you will not be able to work or care for children in that circumstance. Speaking of prescription medicines, I also took an antibiotic and used an antiseptic mouthwash.

Pain During Gum Graft Surgery

I had zero. The Halcion also has a slight amnesia effect. However, 40 minutes after I took the Halcion (it’s in pill form), I felt only a little tired. The surgeon’s assistant seemed  surprised and asked if I felt OK enough to have gum graft surgery. I said, no way. She consulted the Periodontist, gave me some Valium, and then all was fabulous. I felt little pinches when they numbed the roof of my mouth and cheek, but that was it. There were also no loud grinding noises, except for once when it felt like the surgeon was scraping my teeth. I was so chill, I did not care.

Pain After The Gum Graft

I do not consider myself to have a sky high tolerance for pain, but found it to be pretty manageable.  It might be because I was expecting much worse. Don’t try to be a hero.  Take the pain medicine.  That sensation of eating a piece of pizza with cheese that’s much too hot, is what you’ll feel on the roof of your mouth sometimes.  I was also sore where they inserted the numbing (Novocaine?) injections on the inside of my mouth. My lips were a little bruised and so was the side of my face.

Anyway, the consequences of delaying gum graft surgery are much worse than the actual procedure.  I had my stitches removed 8 days after the surgery, and the area looked almost completely back to normal. I might need another gum graft on the other side of my mouth where gum receding looks to be occurring again, but next time I won’t be nearly as anxious.

Happy to answer questions if you have them.  Of course, I’m not a doctor, so consult yours first.


Photo credit: istockphoto/nyul

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Comments

  1. Thanks so much for this blog; it really helped me prepare for my graft last Saturday. I am 64 and have an unusual allergy to anything plastic or adhesives of any kind, plus I am hypersensitive to any type of anesthesia and have severe side effects. So, my periodontist had to use some “old school” techniques. The graft was just one molar on the lower right side. He used a novocaine-type local on the right side and on the palate. The injection on the roof of the mouth I thought would freak me out, but it was actually easier than the long injections in the right jaw line. The procedure itself took about an hour and was no worse than a crown or root canal, so I was pleasantly surprised. He used chromic gut stitches on the palate and graft site, and couldn’t use any putty or ‘band-aid’ on the palate due to my allergy. I had to use wet gauze and place pressure against the palate site every 10 minutes, for the first hour after surgery. That actually helped, and I surprisingly had no bleeding or seeping from the area. Two hours after the procedure and the local had almost worn off, it started to hurt, so I had a spoonful of applesauce and 2 Advil. Mistake! I got extremely dizzy, got a cold sweat, and nearly passed out. I started hyperventilating, and my husband eventually was able to get me to sit upright and slow down my breathing. Scary moment. Apparently I can’t handle even Advil when the local anesthesia is still in my system! Within the hour, the Advil started working, and no pain. I then had some soft foods and cold liquids, slept a little, and slept propped up all night. The day after surgery, I had no pain on the inside at all, but my jaw hurts a lot from the injections, so I continue to ice it and take my Advil. My periodontist’s post-op instruction sheet was VERY detailed, so I am following it to the letter. I am taking my Augmentin antibiotics, brushing only the left side, no spitting, and using a saltwater rinse (he does not allow any mouthwash, prescription or otherwise.) I am getting creative with puréed food (I am a cookbook author, so it is fun coming up with new combinations.) I do miss my exercise, though, especially my water aerobics that I would do twice a week. I can’t swim for 2 weeks after surgery. I am now in Day 3 post-surgery, and I go back in for a post-op check on Day 7. Fingers crossed that it all looks good. I live in the Central Coast area of California, so if anyone lives nearby, I would be happy to refer you to my periodontist. Because I am older and have these weird allergies and sensitivities, I thought I would contribute this post. Hope this helps!

  2. wendy peters says:

    Has anyone heard about pinhole surgery to correct recessed teeth/gums? I came across this website and considering the procedure. Any feedback regarding this procedure would be greatly appreciated. I have many teeth that would need to be grafted. I do not think I could get through the traditional grafting procedure.

    http://pinholesurgicaltechnique.cm/

    http://www.pinholesurgicaltechnique.com/pinhole-articles/

    • Wendy, a few weeks ago I had the two bottom, front teeth grafted using Alloderm. The doctor didn’t know if I had enough existing tissue for a blood supply but it worked fine. It covered over half the root and built up the tissue thickness. These teeth don’t hurt anymore. I would like to get some other teeth done also and would use Alloderm for this too. I knew I couldn’t do the procedure of taking tissue from the pallet, so I understand your fear. I had the Novocain only, and I didn’t feel a thing.

      For three days after, the doctor had me take 800 mg of Ibuprofen three times a day, use a cold pack on the area immediately after the surgery and then off and on for about three days (I had no swelling or bruising), rinse with a prescription mouth rinse twice a day, and took an antibiotic twice a day. On the fifth day after the surgery I had a stabbing pain but I took two Ibuprofen and it went away. That was the only pain I had.

      I was told only cold liquids and cold soft foods the first 24 hours. Also don’t eat anything that can get under the graft like nuts and seeds or anything sharp like chips.

      Talk with your doctor about your fear of pain. It should make you feel more at ease if you know your doctor understands. We are not the only ones with this crazy fear. To me, this procedure was like getting a filling only it took a little longer (about an hour). After it’s over you will probably wish you had done it sooner without all the worry. Be sure to check back with an update.

    • I have been looking into the pinhole surgical technique, too. I want to know more about it. I don’t want a quick fix that does not last. I would like to know if it does compare to the results of grafting. I want long term results.

  3. I just had a gum graft done 2 days ago. No as bad as I expected. Advil is working fine for the minor pain. And I don’t feel anything at the donor site on the top palate. Starting to get swelling on the bottom where I have the graft placed. How long did it take for your donor site to heal?

    • Mine felt nearly normal in a week and a half. I’m assuming you have the putty on the donor site right now? My putty stayed on 6 days and I had very little discomfort during that time, then after it fell out I had a few days of very minor pain.

      • Thanks for this. I am on day 7 post graft and I suspect it’s the first day without the putty/gel on the roof of my mouth. It is feeling a little more sore (but nothing alarming). Nice to hear what might be going on. I actually have two donor sites on the roof of my mouth so I’m expecting to be in it for the long haul. 8 days until my followup!

        I’m surprised, though, that I seem to be having a harder time eating than others. I find it hard to chew with the stent and I always worry it will get food on the graft site. Do others feel that’s the case? I had the entire front of my lower teeth done. Maybe that’s a lot and in a weird spot for eating.

        I also was very tired for a few days post-op (with Valium and Versed). I do tend to take a while to bounce back from sedatives, though, so maybe that’s just me. It’s all been manageable.

    • I have been reading all the posts and appreciate the info. I need some advice. I just had 6 teeth pulled in Oct, and have full upper denture and partial lower denture. I have recovered relatively well.
      I have perio disease and am going for tissue graft on one of bottom teeth on Dec 10th.
      Question? Will I be able to work the following day? I am a massage therapist.
      I will be driving myself and doing local sedation,, I should be fine until I get home, I would assume.
      Any other suggestions/advice is welcome. Thanks
      Cindy

      • Yes you should be able to work the next day. I have had 3 of these procedures and have experienced very little pain, only discomfort while eating, and had only local anethesia. good luck. Carol

    • I had gum surgery eight days ago, and my chin and lower lip are still numb and swollen. I’m still feeling pain and taking regular doses of pain medicine. My doctor said immediately after surgery that it was a “textbook success,” but I am not so sure now. He’s out of the country for Christmas vacation, so I’m going in to have one of his colleagues check it today. Actually, I’m pretty concerned.

  4. Thank you so much for this. I’m having surgery tomorrow and this article is the most helpful thing I’ve read. Much appreciated.

    • Good luck. And *relax.* It won’t be that bad. Once he numbs you up you won’t feel a thing. Recovery might be a bit of a discomfort for a few days but it will get better each day. Have plenty of soft food in the house.

      I had my first surgery last fall done first thing in the morning, and that evening we ended up going to a friend’s house for dinner. They kindly made me a bowl of soup and some mashed potatoes. I didn’t feel too bad.

      I have my re-surgery on Thursday. Not too worried.

      • Thank you, Shelly. I hope your re-surgery went well. My surgery was very easy. Thank heavens for the Halcion; the surgery was 2 hours but felt like about 45 minutes. I only had to take the vicodin the first day, and after that the ibuprofen has taken care of the pain. Almost no swelling, and no facial bruising. The hardest part is not being able to exercise, but I’m hoping that restriction will be lifted when I go back on Tuesday. I feel tremendously lucky. Either my periodontist is really good or he just stuck a bunch of putty and stitching material on my gums instead of doing the operation. And put the dressing on the roof of my mouth. How in the world does that stay there? I’m at almost 6 days and it’s still in place.

        A few recommendations for people looking at having this surgery:

        I agree with a previous poster; get at least a second opinion. The first periodontist I went to was very conservative and didn’t feel he could do much (boy, was THAT encouraging). The second was the opposite; he wanted to do the whole mouth ($11,000!). The third and final was a recommendation from a doctor friend, and I am very happy with him. I had about 8 of the bottom teeth done; cost about $3200. Before he would do the surgery, he had me take several months to change my flossing technique and dental care routine; that, plus the salt-water rinses every night, brought my gum level up in most areas, giving him more to work with and much healthier tissue to connect to. This is one of the things I REALLY liked about him; he looked for what was aggravating the gum recession rather than just doing the surgery right away.

        Definitely helps to take the iPod! No idea what I was listening to, but it was nice to have music.

        I highly recommend the Halcion; that prescription only cost me a few dollars (I don’t have prescription coverage) and was very much worth it.

        Recovery foods: yogurt is great. Don’t forget about smooth nut butters like tahini; they’re a great source of protein, also soft goat cheese and cheese spreads. Scrambled eggs! Popsicles, definitely.

        And thanks to La Jolla Mom and all of the previous posters. It was so helpful to have all of this info.

  5. I posted here last Oct that I had a graft done on a tooth that had a lot of recession that had been there for many years. The graft went ok but did not end up covering much of the exposed area but it did thicken the gumline and my perio was not too concerned about it at the time. I guess the new gum doesn’t stick to tooth that has been exposed for a long long time, and I think my cheek muscles pull the gum down a bit too.

    At my 6 month check on it in June the perio said he wanted to do a “refinement” on it. I’m not exactly sure what that is. I heard the word “alloderm” used so I assume it is a similar graft procedure. He will do this in mid-Aug. I expect it will be the same sort of surgery and recovery experience for me. He will not be charging extra for this.

    • Here’s my update.

      I had my second gum surgery done nearly 2 weeks ago. I’m not exactly sure just what he did but my guess is that he made a deep horizontal incision (he pushed down pretty hard on my jaw a couple of times) well below my gumline and pushed the whole gumline up and packed a wad of Alloderm below the gum material and put several stitches in to hold it all in place. Hopefully it will end up covering at least part of the large exposure I’ve had for a long time. He told me to come back in 2 weeks to check it.

      The whole area is still quite swelled up just at the surgery site, and a little tender, and I’ve just been rinsing it with salt water and leaving it alone and trying not to worry about it. Last time I was worried about localized swelling in the first couple of weeks and went into his office to have it looked at and he said it was fine. So trying not to worry this time.

      He gave me a bottle of Peridex to rinse with for the first few days. I used this stuff last year with no problems, but this time it made my mouth quite irritated after a few days. Reading up online, other people has also had issues using Peridex. So salt water for now.

      Much of the surface tissue on my surgery site is quite white now and will probably slough off in a couple of days (yuck). My last surgery took a good 6 weeks to completely heal so I’m just being patient here.

    • As far as I understand, Alloderm is donated cadaver tissue (rather than using your own tissue from a donor site). Hope that helps a little!

  6. I had gum graft surgery 6 days ago. I’m in the US / Ohio. I Had four teeth done and grafts were taken from my pallet. I chose the novacaine…because the cost of of anything more was a minimum of $350 extra…and they did have to give me a couple extra shots about 45 minutes into the surgery because it started to wear off. The hardest thing about the procedure was keeping my mouth open wide and the uncomofortable way my head had to be tilted in order for the doctor to do the surgery. I’ve had severe reactions to stitches in the past so a synthetic hyperallergenic material had to be used. My swelling and bruising has been pretty excessive and an ice pack was my best friend for the first 3 days. That’s probably just me though, as I bruise very easily I have an orthodontic retainer that I’ve been wearing 24/7 so that the stitches in the roof of my mouth are not exposed but my tongue keeps drifting to the stitches in the inside of my mouth. The outside portion, next to my cheek, is covered in the putty, which is absolutely fantastic. I don’t feel any discomfort on the main surgical site. I’m still sleeping propped up. When I lay flat, it starts throbbing still. The doctor will remove the stitches 2 weeks from the surgery date. Since my insurance isn’t very good, I could only get one side done this year and I’ll get 4 teeth on the other side done next year. The total cost, including consultation, was $2,200. Overall, I will say that if this saves me from losing any teeth, any healing discomfort for a few weeks is well worth it!

  7. La Jolla Mom, may I ask you for the name of the periodontist that did your surgery? Or if anyone has any recommendations for someone in San Diego??

  8. C. Cowan says:

    Thank you so much for this very informative post on gum graft surgery. It was a great comfort to me before my surgery (which I had yesterday), and I found everything you wrote to be accurate. I had the halcion, and remember bits and pieces of the procedure, but no pain whatsoever. I also had the retainer-like thing on the roof of my mouth, and that is the only area that seems a little sensitive. I find that 2-4 Advil work for that level of pain. So, for those of you who are getting ready for this procedure, chill! It’s not nearly as bad as you have worked it up to be.

  9. Pomponette says:

    I am now three weeks out from my graft surgery. DDS has planned to do 7 teeth but did 8 (one was “free” – he had enough tissue and “went for it”). Was it painful? Surgery was not bad AT ALL. Recovery was very painful. I am still somewhat sore where the graft was on roof of mouth (When I eat cold or acidic stuff – getting little better every day).

    Would I do it again? Absolutely!
    I really had to do it to save my mouth.
    I have to tell you the truth here and not gloss over.
    Advice:
    1. Get a 2nd OPINION.
    2. Don’t under estimate how difficult recovery may be. It laid me low for 2 weeks.
    3. Face the fear and do it anyway. With the right DDS, a good attitude, drugs (thank goodness for modern meds like antibiotics and Motrin and Vicodin), support, self care, a fat wallet and determination – You can do it! In other words, be prepared.

    Namaste.

  10. How many did you have done at once? I need 4 :(

  11. I really appreciate your post. I just found out that I need the surgery for gum recession and am rather scared about the whole thing. It’s also quite costly so I’m debating getting a second opinion. Your post corresponded to much of the info I received today and makes me feel a lot better knowing others have gone through it with a positive experience. I live in San Diego, I’m wondering what oral surgeon you went to? Thanks again!

  12. Don’t have them take it from your palate. Find someone who uses synthetic skin. It is not painful and looks awesome!

  13. Oh Elena, poor girl… ok everyone,, I think we have to get all these perodontists onboard with the least painless way of doing this surgery. My guy uses “dental crazyglue” on both sites and covers up the grafted area only with putty as well. That’s it.. very little pain. I’m sure he didn’t invent this technique so sounds like some of these guys are not up to speed with this surgery technique. Other than that, I would recommend you seek my periodontist in Guelph, near Toronto, Canada and get him to do it. He’s the best! Carol

    • Hi Carol,

      I am in Toronto and looking for a good periodontist. Can you tell me his name? Also, was any of the surgery covered by OHIP or personal insurance? If not, how much approximately does this surgery cost? Thanks!

  14. I had this surgery done on Monday (it’s now Thursday) but I am in Ireland and I guess they only do it the “old skool” way here.. The “gaping hole” way// The actual gum and where I have the stitches is ok. Really not that bad.
    But the “donor site” aka gaping hole has been hurting like HELL since Monday and I feel I wasn’t perscribed a strong enough painkiller.. I think today is the worst day, I have been in agony all day long..
    Don’t want to put anyone off having the procedure, it just sounds alot more pleasant the modern way, with the flap. Go for that.

    Also, Carol, my surgery was 500 euros.

    • Did they cover the donor site with a putty like substance? That’s what they did with mine and it didn’t hurt at all. You might want to call the perio and ask him about it.

  15. Pomponette says:

    I had my SECOND gum graft surgery two days ago. The first time (2010) was a total failure How I wish I had gotten a 2nd opinion.! My dentist had recommended 2010 periodontist and I like my dentist so I just “went with the recommendation. First guy used conscious sedation and alloderm (cadaver tissue)for graft material. He had a huge office beehive where he worked on four a patients at once. He offered no financial aid or grace period (I have no dental insurance). I didn’t like him.
    Two year later, professionals looking in my mouth could not even tell I had had ANYTHING DONE on receding gum problem. In fact it was much worse than before, with more recession and more sensitivity and looseness of teeth.
    I found a second periodontist who couldn’t be more different than first guy. # 2 dentist said that alloderm should not have been used on my front bottom teeth. He told me that alloderm is controversial, (although it apparently does have a place – but not in MY mouth). #2 uses tissue from the palate for the graft material. I took an Ativan; no needles in arm and overall out-of it sedation. Ativan worked fine!
    He is letting me pay in installments. He is Sooooo much better in every way than first guy. Just the feel of his office, his staff, and his attitude are much better. And he works on one person at a time. I wish I had trusted my instincts on the first dentist.
    I am out tons of money becasue I had to have a redo. My advice:
    Get as second opinion if you are considering this procedure.
    And by the way, the roof of my mouth (where tissue was taken) does hurt but it’s worth it because this time I think it is going to WORK!

    • I’m curious to know how much people pay for their surgeries. Mine surgery was only $800 and my periodontist is the best…

      • Christina Slavonik says:

        I believe it depends on how many teeth are involved. I am having 5 done tomorrow (yay for me), and the cost with insurance is about $2K

    • I see you mentioned “loose teeth”. Did the graft address this completely? Did you also get a dental splint? Did you need a bone graft? I am asking all of this b/c I have a few loose teeth bottom front. They are only loose when examined..not much at all. The periodontist offered a gum graft & dental splint but seems to think that since I am only 47, I should just let her pull out all 4 teeth and go for implants. Well, I hate to pull out 4 teeth! And only so much is covered under insurance – implants are not. So we are looking at $8,000 possibly for implants! I am hoping to get the gum graft & splint instead. I am trying to find out the success rate for that but everyone is different so??? I do have a good amount of bone loss, which is probably the big difference. That causes teeth to loosen.

    • Such a bummer about the failed surgery! I also didn’t get a second opinion, but I had better luck. His Yelp reviews were amazing and he really seems to take good care of his patients. He spent so much time explaining every detail to me of all the decisions he was making — about which teeth needed it and which could wait, whether to use my own tissue or donor tissue, various methods of sedation, etc. He didn’t rush any of the decisions and had me try some things like extra cleaning to see if the gums would come back at all on their own.

      On the day of the surgery, I was the only one in the office, the assistant spent a long time with my husband and I explaining post-op procedures, then the periodontist went out to the waiting area to spend some time talking to my husband before we got started. They even got my a blanket because they said people often get cold. I’m glad I got lucky with him, though, because so many people have recommended second opinions and I didn’t get one. Of course, I’m still mid-recovery, so keeping my fingers crossed for a good outcome!

  16. Nancy Parsons says:

    I just had gum grafts for 3 bottom left and one bottom right teeth. I had IV sedation which was awesome. I have had virtually no pain, I’m on day 4 of recovery. I have, however, felt sore, so have taken the recommended regimen of 3 Ibuprofen (600 mg) every 6 hours, until today, when I just took 400 mg this am. I have not taken any of the narcotic pain meds (Lortab) prescribed – recommended to take every 6 hours alternating with the Ibuprofen. I iced my gums frequently, and kept popsicles on the roof of my mouth VERY frequently. I wore the thin plastic upper mouth guard they made for me (“stent”) constantly. IN fact, the worst part of the whole surgery was making the mold for the stent – they put a large contraption with the cement needed to make the mold in my mouth, and kept it on for about 60 seconds – I had to use every anti-panic attack strategy I know to stay calm; despite KNOWING it would be ok, I was sure I’d swallow cement and it would get stuck in my throat! Wearing the stent is very soothing, but the end of the plastic (the device ends at the soft palate) feels sharp on m tongue when I swallow. So overall, fairly uncomfortable but certainly not painful. I plan to take one more day off, working at home, and will return to the clinic to get packing removed Tuesday morning and go to work (seeing therapy patients, which means lots of talking) for the rest of the day Tuesday. Hope it works!
    Bottom line – get it done, it’s pretty darn easy, just take 4-5 days of R and R where you don’t have to talk! The most activity for me was walking my dogs on day 3.

  17. Just wanted to share my experience and let you know what a great blog post this is about the gum graft experience. I had an unusually good outcome with this–I needed only one tooth done at the corner of my mouth (lower-left canine), so my surgeon was able to harvest tissue from the back of my mouth rather than the roof. As a result I’ve had WAY fewer stitches and got back to solid food the next day (although carefully). I also haven’t had any real “pain”, just some soreness around the graft area–I didn’t even need any pain killers save for a couple ibuprofen when I got home from the procedure. Honestly the worst part was worrying ahead of time over how bad I thought it would be.

    I got this done about three months after my dentist first recommended it. So maybe the bottom line here is that if you get the operation done early you can have a much easier experience as less work needs to be done.

    • I had my second painless graft last week. I am wondering if periodontists in Canada use a different technique. the only stitches are on the graft and both the graft and the harvest site is covered with a substance much like crazy glue… and then overtop of the crazy glue stuff is a dental putty. I cannot feel the wounds, just the putty and the crazy glue on the roof of my mouth which is like a scab. The result is no painful areas and I pretty much eat whatever I want. The putty and the crazy glue stuff falls off after about 10 days. I have no pain, took only 2 painkillers on the day of and eat soft food for a day. that’s it.

  18. 2BlondieGirl says:

    I had a gum graft a week ago and today is the day when we go back to the dentist to have the stiches taken off, but yesterday the band-aid fell off and it really freaked me out, also the band-aid has been sort of shifting around for a few days, but i tried not to panic and just placed it back on the spot and pressed it down so it would reattach. but then today it keeps falling off and i keep reattaching it. but other than that i’ve been fine. actually from the first day when the numbness wore off the pain wasn’t too bad it was maybe as bad as a bruise, and the part that hurt would switch randomly between the part they took the gums from and the part they put it onto, or sometimes both at once. but it was never so bad i couldn’t handle it. actually since the numbness wore off i haven’t had anything to ease the pain, and since yesterday it hasn’t started hurting as often and when it does hurt it doesn’t hurt as much. although on that first day when the numbness wore off thats when it hurt the most, but even then it wasn’t that bad that i need to take something to ease the pain.

  19. LorenzoQ says:

    So I am 2 days post-op with my own gum graft of 4 front teeth. I had read all the horror stories as well and was scared to death when I went to the surgeon. She calmed my fears and…I PROMISE–it was a piece of cake! No pain during surgery. Very very little pain for the first 8 hours after surgery and today feeling like going shopping and a movie. Used no pain pills either. Ibuprofen only. Feel great. Just want people to know it may not be as bad as you think!

  20. We live in the hill country, and we moved back out here from Houston because we actually expect some serious problems if the dollar collapses and people cannot buy food. That can definitely happen. We like the hill country because it affords a pretty good opportunity to survive if the worst does come to pass.

  21. Heather Brooks says:

    I just had my 5th Gum Graft procedure on April 24. It doesnt get any easier but I am more then happy that I did it. 3 Grafts were done using my own tissue & 2 were donor tissue. I personally do better with the donor tissue. My tissue was just too thin on the roof of my mouth to use anymore. My advice is to just follow Dr’s instructions. Take it easy for a few days. Take your medication & antibiotics. I do the procedure cold turkey. No sedations, just novacaine. No problems. Never felt anything except pressure. Good luck to everyone. It sucks but it is well worth it :)

  22. Cassandra says:

    Hello everyone,

    So I had my surgery back in August 2012. I had my 6-7 month check up with my periodontist as she is very happy as the gums are stable and not receeding again. I am happy too! But I make sure I floss carefully but not hard around the graft areas. I am so glad I had the surgery.

  23. Thank you so much for this site! I found it a couple of weeks before I had my gum graft and frenectomy and it made me feel much calmer knowing so many people had gotten it done without having a terrible experience. Thought I’d share my experience:

    First of all, I am super afraid of pain. I was told 8 years ago I needed this done (two bottom front teeth). I got the consultation and after finding out what the procedure was, I told them heck NO! I finally gave in when the dentist told me it was getting worse. (I have genetically thin gums.) I spent weeks searching for a periodontist until I found one who would use IV sedation.

    I got it done last Friday and the only thing that hurt during the procedure were the numbing shots. Only a second for each one, and I was so out of it I was still relaxed. After they were done, they had me swallow a couple of pills (I’m assuming they were Ibuprofen). The doc told me to go to McDonalds immediately and get a large glass of water filled with ice and drink it on the way home… I’m not sure why.

    I was shocked that I really wasn’t in any pain. As soon as I got home, I took Vicodin before the numbing could wear off. I switched off Vicodin with 800 mg Ibuprofen so I was taking a pill every 3 hours (per doc’s instructions). Worked perfectly. The only time I felt any pain is if I moved my mouth too much in any direction. I have the putty on the roof of my mouth and it is completely painless. I believe I had the “free” graft which is where they take a slice from the surface and don’t use stitches. I had read that hurts more, but that has not been my experience so far. I also don’t feel the stitches at the graft site at all even though there is no putty there.

    Days 1-4 I did basically nothing. Took my meds (including an antibiotic) and ate and slept. I was able to eat soft food from day one (very small bites put in the back right side). I was told not to have any warm or hot liquids so I have chosen to be safe and only eat cold foods (cottage cheese, egg salad, macaroni salad with eggs and chicken from a can, milkshakes). I have not had any swelling or bruising or bleeding. I have not iced my face or anything. I did lay and sleep with my head elevated.

    Today is Day 5 (Tuesday) and I am back to work. I could have come in yesterday, but I chose not to. I’m a little worried that the roof of my mouth is going to hurt when the putty falls off; I’m thankful it is still on so far. I get my stitches out Friday.

    The worst part is I cannot brush my bottom teeth at all per doc’s orders (shhh, don’t tell anyone at work, lol, gross!). I rinse with Listerine 4-5 times a day. I’m glad I was told to use that instead of the stuff that stains your teeth.

    All in all, it seems I did a lot of worrying for nothing! I can’t say I’d want to run out and do it again, but so far, it hasn’t been too bad! I just hope it “took”. Good luck! :-)

    Krysti

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