Evie Sparkes is a published novelist, content writer and company director from the UK.
How Long Will It Take to Recover From Gum Graft Surgery?
Healing times very much depend on the person and the extent of the gum graft. How much gum has been grafted and whether or not a bone graft was also performed will be key to how long your mouth takes to recover completely.
In all honesty, I have to say that it took around six months for me to feel healed from my pretty full-on graft procedure. I say full-on as I also had some bone grafted. My surgery was extensive, and I was prepared for the long road to full recovery.
The worst part for me was the temporary bridge I had to endure for a few months before I was able to have a proper one fitted. Your gum has to be stable before your dentist will even consider messing about with that area.
How Much Pain Will You Feel at the Graft Site?
This is not the most painful part to heal. The discomfort for me came mainly from the roof of my mouth, where the gum was taken to be placed over my front tooth.
This was irritating for at least eight weeks and tender for a further few months. I’d say it took a whole year to get most of the feeling back too. The grafted site was not very painful and healed very quickly.
By week six, my gum-line was perfectly stable and it looked as if it had always been there. I was thrilled and it made the discomfort worth it.
How to Help the Roof of Your Mouth and The Graft Site to Heal Faster
The best thing that you can do for your healing gum is to swish lots of warm salty water around it. You will be prescribed some mouth- wash but nothing compares to saltwater when it comes to healing.
I did this a few times a day every day for six weeks.
Don’t poke at your gum, rub it or keep checking it particularly if it’s your front tooth. The more you lift your lip the more chance there is of moving the graft (disturbing it).
What Can I Eat After a Gum Graft?
Eating will be tricky for a week or so. Your mouth will feel very sore and it will not appreciate you shoving food into it. But you have to eat right? Stick to soup and anything else that you don’t need to chew. I found even drinking anything hot was uncomfortable. I gave up on tea and coffee during the first week of the healing process.
Can I Get a Gum Graft on the NHS?
I wasn’t able to get mine on the NHS. If you have an NHS dentist, then this may, of course, be possible but only if you are having the graft out of necessity and not for aesthetic reasons. Gum grafting is generally an opted-for procedure. You can live without one if you have to.
You are looking at a cost of around £1,500 for extensive grafting procedures but this may be lower of your own dentist is performing the graft surgery rather than a periodontist.
Are You Sedated Before a Gum Graft?
I was. You don’t have to be. It’s a personal choice issue. I was freaking out due to the fact that I also had to have my front tooth removed. I had a failing root filling, so I had no other choice. I had been putting the whole procedure off for months.
For me, it was not an option to go through all of that fully aware. In fact, I was so out of it that I absolutely no recollection of any part of the surgery. Evidently, I wouldn’t stop talking for at least ten minutes and my surgeon thought that the sedative hadn’t taken!
It’s been five years since my gum graft operation, and I am fully healed and most of the time I forget that my new gum-line isn’t the one I was born with. My periodontist made such a fantastic job that you just cannot tell I’ve had anything done.
Healing is a slow process but not so much if your graft is slight. You must take good care of the grafted area and just as much care of the extraction site.
Evie Sparkes (author) on September 01, 2019:
Thank you Lorna :)
Lorna Lamon on September 01, 2019:
My brother had this type of surgery and it was painful for a few weeks afterwards (he did go on a bit though). Your article gives a really informative first hand view on what to expect. Thanks for sharing Evie.