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Tips for Recovery After Gum Graft Surgery

Posted on May 25, 2024

gum graft surgery periodontist

Gum grafting surgery is a procedure offered by periodontists to address gum recession or exposed tooth roots, which typically occurs as a result of periodontitis or gum disease. When performed by certified and reputable periodontists, this periodontal treatment not only helps restore health to your smile but also helps minimize the risk of gum disease, cavities, infections, and sensitivity in the future while also improving the appearance and comfort of your smile. At The Perio Centre, our team of specialists and Dr. Adam Ohayon, a trusted periodontist in Whitby, Oshawa, and the GTA, provide tailored solutions and periodontal treatments for gum disease that improve your quality of life. 

What to Expect from Gum Grafting

Like any surgery, gum grafting can result in some sensitivity, swelling, and bruising in the days following the procedure. However, at The Perio Centre, we take the appropriate action to minimize these aftereffects so you can be as comfortable as possible. 
Gum grafting procedures are periodontal treatments in which a periodontist uses either tissue from elsewhere in your mouth or approved-donor tissue to replace gums that have worn away or receded and resulted in exposed tooth roots. This procedure can help prevent the progression of gum disease and reduce your chances of tooth loss. 
After your gum graft is completed, the gums in the treatment area may appear white and different than what you’re used to seeing. This change in colour and appearance is normal post-gum graft surgery.

Here's what you need to know about recovering from gum grafting procedures. 


To facilitate healing, it's a good idea to spend the first few days post-op resting, avoiding any strenuous activities, for at least 24-72 hours. Your periodontist will provide personal recommendations based on your procedure, current health, and lifestyle. Avoiding strenuous or moderate to intense physical activity will help minimize swelling and unnecessary blood flow to the surgical site. 

Oral Care

Following a periodontal treatment, you need to be extra careful when brushing your teeth. Do not brush or floss around the grafted area until your periodontist gives you the go-ahead to do so. Some periodontists in Whitby and Oshawa may prescribe an antibacterial mouthwash to help maintain a healthy oral environment. During this time and even afterward, you must avoid smoking in all forms because it can hinder the healing process. 

Soft Food Diet

Because your mouth and gums may be sensitive after gum grafting, you should avoid hard, crunchy, or sharp foods. Soft, non-irritating foods are ideal in the first few days of the healing process, such as scrambled eggs, soup, and yogurt. Hot and spicy foods can cause irritation in the area where you've had the gum graft, affecting healing and comfort. Staying hydrated by drinking water consistently throughout the day is a good idea. When consuming any liquids, you must avoid using a straw during the healing process. The suction motion of smoking and using a straw can interrupt clotting and slow the healing process.

Pain Management

If you're in pain following a gum graft, your periodontist may prescribe pain medication to be used according to their instructions. You can also mitigate swelling by icing the outside of the affected area and keeping your head up or elevated when possible. 

Check-In with Your Periodontist in Whitby & Oshawa at The Perio Centre

Gum grafting is a highly effective and rewarding periodontal treatment for gum recession. To ensure your healing process goes smoothly, follow the direction of your periodontist. Dr. Adam Ohayon and our team at The Perio Centre will provide you with personalized care and aftercare options to address your unique gum needs. We will also check in on your progress and healing through promptly scheduled follow-up appointments. Contact us today to learn more about gum grafting for gum recession and periodontitis. 

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