(Closed) Anyone had a gingival graft?

posted 8 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
4137 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

i had this! i hate the dentist and always request the laughing gas when i’m having a procedure, but i didn’t even have the gas when i had this done! i was extremely nervous about it, but it really was no big deal. it took maybe half an hour from start to finish. i felt no pain whatsoever. they gave me tylenol w/codeine and i maybe took one.

don’t google! that always makes the anxiety so much worse!

Post # 4
1641 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

How is this actually done? I can myself needing one in the very near future. :-/

Post # 6
46653 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I have had this done on each side of my lower jaw. They numb up the area and the donor area on the inside of the upper gum.

They remove a strip of healthy gum from the palate and suture it in place on the lower gum where it is needed. They mix up and apply a dental dressing- reminds me of putty. It protects the area for a few days until it falls off on its own.

I never needed anything more than Ibuprofen and was back at work  the next day and I work on the phone.

There was no swelling and only restrictions were avoiding scratchy food for the first few days.

Post # 7
28 posts
  • Wedding: September 2010

I have had gum grafting on ten of my lower teeth (three surgeries in all!).  They numb up the donor area (for me it was the roof of my mouth) and the area where the graft will take place.  The periodonist removes a strip of gum from the donor area and sews it in place where the graft is needed.  The periodontist also sews up the donor area.  Once the periodontist is done, they apply a pack over the donor area and the graft area to protect them.  A week later, I returned to the periodontist to have the packs removed and the donor area and graft checked.

Here are the things I did and experienced:

1. I had to take antibiotics (tetracycline) the day before the surgery and for several days afterwards until I was done with all the pills.  What really sucked about the antibiotics was that they had to be taken on an empty stomach four times a day (an hour before eating or two hours after eating).  Also, I couldn’t have any dairy products when taking the pills.  Not being able to eat ice cream was torture!

2. I experienced swelling in the lower jaw area on the side where the graft took place.  It wasn’t very visible, but I could tell that one side of my face looked a little bigger.  Also, I did have some bruising but it wasn’t very visible either.  They both went away after a week.

3. The periodontist recommended having surgery on a Thursday or Friday so I could spend the weekend recovering.  I followed this advice, and I wouldn’t have done it any other way.  I can’t imagine having to go back to work the next day!  It was good to be able to relax for a couple of days and have my body recover a little bit before going back to work.

4. I was given a prescription of codeine to manage the pain.  The strongest pain occurred during the day immediately after the surgery, but it wasn’t excrutiating or debilitating.  I would describe the pain as throbbing pain in my mouth.  The pain is the worst the first two days afterwards then gets better as the week goes on.  Codeine certainly helped me manage it, and I only took it the first two days.  The action that caused the most pain was trying to spit.

5. The sutures dissolve in your gums and don’t need to be removed by the periodontist.  After my pack was removed, I could feel and see the ends of the sutures.  My biggest problem was that I kept playing with the sutures at the roof of my mouth with my tongue.  Sometimes a suture would annoy me (not from pain but it’s presence in my mouth would bother me), but I didn’t want to pull it out since I didn’t want to damage the graft or the roof of my mouth.  Towards the end of the week, I eventually pulled out a few sutures that looked like they were about to come out but were stuck.

Overall, don’t be scared of oral surgery.  It’s not fun, but it has to be done to maintain your gums and teeth.

Post # 8
30 posts
  • Wedding: November 2010

You may be OK to go to work the next day, but if you can swing it, try to get the procedure done on a Friday.  I had this done a while back, and it wasn’t the pain that kept me out of work, but the meds that I was taking for the pain made me a little loopy/not able to drive :). I’m a dentist, and I knew that using the donor site on the palate would take longer to heal. I was lucky enough to have extra tissue in another area of my mouth that would take less time to heal, so we used that as donor.  For my patients, some people heal from oral surgery in a matter of weeks, some people take longer, it just depends.

Do yourself a favor and take everything you read online about medical/dental procedures with a grain of salt. Typically people with the worst experiences or complications write about it, the other 99% don’t. So even though it seems like everyone who has had this done has had an awful time, remember that you are only hearing from a small sample size. This is a fairly common procedure that usually achieves great results.  Hope this helps!

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