My Second GraftI'm 21 (male) and currently on my 3rd day of post-op from my second graft. Figured I'd run through briefly how it compared to the first one and hopefully clear up some worries if you've not had a graft done yet or are going to have one.
Last summer my dentist had suggested I visit a periodontist because he had noticed recession on my top gum above and around both canines. He had suggested an appointment before but this time around I decided to go, mainly because I noticed it had gotten worse myself. Went to a periodontist right in town who went through the measurements on each tooth; he was very nice and explained what each instrument was and what the measurements meant. His recommendation was to have three grafts done; two on the upper left side (one above the canine and one on the two teeth left of it) and one above the two teeth next to the canine on the right side.
First graft was done in July of 2010, where I had the left side next to the canine done,.and I went in underestimating the procedure time and the extent of recovery. Didn't think the procedure was take as long as it did (about 45-50 minutes) and didn't think so much bandaging would be involved. My periodontist went through the steps with me beforehand and for some reason I assumed the donor site would be left alone to recover and you would just have to deal with the "pizza burn" for a while. The hardest part of recovery was getting used to the packing on the roof of the mouth and taking the medications (two painkillers and an anti-biotic) is a bit annoying but that's what you need to get use to.
So after I got back from school I had the second graft done last week. I was originally going to have the right side done but had noticed the gum above the canine on the left side getting progressively worse so I had that one done instead. The doctor said the gum was a bit inflamed which could mean some more bleeding during recovery but the good news was the gum from the first graft is holding up great! The hardest part of procedure is the taking of gum from the pallet and immediate stitching up, you need to hold your mouth wide open a good twenty minutes.
In terms of recovery this time around is much better. If I had to guess it may be because I had gum taken from the same site as before so it may be use to it. The first two days last year there was a bit of bleeding from the donor site, which can be reduced if you use a wet tea bag and apply pressure. This time around there was much less bleeding the rest of the day after surgery and almost none the following day. The packing to cover the donor site feels much less obstructive then last year and I found eating solid food on the first day wasn't a problem. Last year all I had to eat for dinner was chocolate pudding on the first day. =/
So if you're in line for a gum graft (or grafts) I'd say not to worry too much. The hardest part is the surgery itself and the first two-three days of recovery. Go into it anticipating a fair level of discomfort (you're given painkillers for a reason). Overall it shouldn't hurt too too much and packing on the top of your mouth is pretty uncomfortable and takes some getting use to. If you're going for multiple grafts I'd say that the first one is easily the hardest one. I hope the recovery for the third one will be as good as this current one but we'll have to see.
Thanks for taking the time to read! =)