On paper, gum grafting can sound like a very painful procedure – but is it really? In today's post, our Ontario dentists explain the gum grafting procedure and how it can be an almost painless experience.
Is gum grafting painful?
Believe it or not, thanks to local anesthetic, gum grafting can be a virtually painless procedure during the procedure itself. However, you should note that the level of pain you do experience will largely depend on the type of gum grafting procedure you undergo. If little tissue has been removed, you'll likely feel little pain. If larger amounts of tissue have been removed, you'll likely feel some discomfort following the procedure.
It is common to experience some swelling for a few days following the surgery. Your dentist might recommend some over-the-counter pain medication to relieve some of the hurt associated with this swelling. They might also recommend antibiotics if they have concerns about you developing an infection.
There are some steps you can take to reduce your discomfort. But more importantly, these steps can also help reduce the risk of complications:
- Avoid crushing the gums near the surgical site for about one month, or as directed by your dentist
- Placing a gauze at the side of the surgical site
- Avoiding hot food and drinks for two to three days after surgery, or as directed by your dentist
- Avoid strenuous activity for about a week after surgery, or as directed by your dentist
- Not putting your tongue near the surgical site
- Not pulling on your lip
- No brushing or mouthwash for around 24 hours after surgery, or as directed by your dentist
Are gum grafts worth it?
It's understandable why some people may feel hesitant about having a gum graft performed. Although you might experience some discomfort, this pain is usually minimal and temporary and mostly confined to post-procedure. But your improved smile and better oral health are your rewards for having to go through it. By not having a gum graft, you can run the risk of higher tooth sensitivity and developing periodontal disease.
Leaving a gum graft to the last minute can result in a more painful procedure as tooth sensitivity and periodontal disease begins to develop. However, don't jump into a gum graft just because you think you need one. Your dentists should be your first line of contact if you feel like you have a problem with your oral health.
They should be able to recommend the proper procedure for you. The use of numbing agents and anesthesia has made gum grafting procedures generally comfortable. While you may feel some discomfort during recovery, typically this will dissipate within a few days.