Needing Some Advice


I'm so glad I found this site. I too just had a gum graft four days ago and recovering just fine. The procedure went well. I hardly felt a thing. I'm still taking the course of antibiotics prescribed and still taking ibuprofen to reduce the swelling.

I have to say that it's been a weird experience. I had a gum graft 2 years ago done by a different periodontist using a different technique. It was the FGG. My roots weren't covered, the donor site was left open. It hurt like hell. I couldn't eat for two weeks and lost about 4 pounds. However, I had no facial swelling and the gum healed normally.

This time, it's a different story. I had the connective tissue graft which covers the roots, and the palate donor site stitched back. I hardly had any pain. I ate solid food, nothing hot, spicy, or crunchy as instructed. Did the ice pack as told; yet my face swelled up and I looked like a chipmunk for 3 days. No swelling on the day of the surgery. The next 3 days I could not recognize myself. I also had a bruise oon both of my cheeks. The swelling went down, and I'm going back to work tomorrow. 

My concern is that I didn't have any dressing to cover the surgical sites. They are healing well, but I noticed the sutures started to come off yesterday, 3 days post-op. One of the grafts on my #5 tooth looks like it's disappearing. The root is showing again. It looks as if there is a vertical line coming down and the ....maybe the suture was too tight and cut through the graft? I called my regular dentist and asked if they had placed a composite filling on that tooth before and they said "no". The periodontist mentioned that gum grafts only adhere to real teeth and not fillings or veneers.

I'm wondering if what I see now will be the final result, with the root still exposed; or maybe when the area completely heels, the graft will stretch down? (sigh). And if I need it redone, will I have to pay again? It was a very expensive procedure.

Any input is appreciated. Thanks for listening and sharing your stories :/

xoxxo xoxxo
31-35, F
27 Responses Jun 19, 2007

I had Gum graft surgery on 04/12/2012 and I still see root exposure and have a very weird painful sensitivity that I did not have before and also My eye tooth that i also had done is popping back and forth, This wasn't a painful experiance but it was EXPENSIVE $2400.00 OUT OF MY OEN POCKET and My insurance covered $1700.00 - my question is this for the people who have had repeated procedures? Do you have to pay for it the 2nd time around - I did call my dentist today & they want to see me today??

I had the graft done 2 days side of my face is very, very swollen...can someone tell me if this is normal. It is Saturday and the doctor's office is closed.

I had gum graft a week ago. I used donor tisue. I had 3 teeth done on the upper left side. It swelled up tremendous the next day & my eye was even swellen shut. Dr. immediately put me on steriods & it went down after about 3-4 days. Then I felt it was healing fine. But I have 1 small area above my eye tooth that had lots of stitcing & was white. Maybe where she connected to the gum. The white area is shrinking but now it's turned like a pus & smells. Do I have infection? Coz I finished the zpac Friday. I rince constantly with Peroxyl, Dr. Tich. & Listerine, I got the receding gums they say coz I brushed too hard. I am a finatic about my teeth being clean & now this stinky pus, I called the office today Dr. was out they will call tomorrow. The pus is @ the gum line & that tooth was not a receding tooth. I'm scared that it is gonna affect that gum. Did anyone have a little pus after antibiotics? Did it go away?? Need to do the other side, now I'm scared. My friend had NO problems at all but she only did 1 tooth...

Can u tell me what your outcome was? I had this surgery 4 days ago & have a lot of pain & a little pus at the gumline where the graft was placed. Thanks

I had gum graft 4 day ago and it got infected. It smells and is white and black/ bulky as well. I am hoping the antibiotics work so i don't have to get it redone!

I had gum graft 4 day ago and it got infected. It smells and is white and black/ bulky as well. I am hoping the antibiotics work so i don't have to get it redone!

I had gum graft 4 day ago and it got infected. It smells and is white and black/ bulky as well. I am hoping the antibiotics work so i don't have to get it redone!

I had gum graft 4 day ago and it got infected. It smells and is white and black/ bulky as well. I am hoping the antibiotics work so i don't have to get it redone!

I had gum graft 4 day ago and it got infected. It smells and is white and black/ bulky as well. I am hoping the antibiotics work so i don't have to get it redone!

Its been 4.5wks since i had my graft done. i used donor tissue from a tissue bank. im not sure if the graft took...the area is still white. Does anybody know why this is?

So sorry to hear that you are going thru all of this. Its a shame your docs wouldn't just leave it alone when it wasn't bothering you. I don't know what to tell you except maybe wait a while and see if it improves on its on or only let me do the graft over. Lots of hugs to you and kisses too.

Hi Everyone,<br />
<br />
I just wanted to share my experience with all of you and hopefully someone one can give me some advice regarding my situation.<br />
<br />
I'm 24 years old and have been going through hell since I was 17.<br />
When I was 17 years old I was involved in an accident that changed my life completly. I was pushed towrds a bus shelter hit it face fist was unconsious for about 5 minutes, when I woke up I relaized that both my front top teeth were missing. I was rushed to the hospital there they gave me pain meds and was told to see my dentist ASAP. Next day went to see my dentist and they told me that because of the impact I need to let my gums heal on ther own for a bit. So here I am 17 years old in High school, I had to drop out because I was embarssed to be seen without any front teeth. For 2 months I was home locked up went back to see the dentist beacuse I had no front teeth all my other teeth sgift over and the gap where my 2 front teeth were had closed up a bit. He then told be I needed braces to push my teeth back to it's original place inorder to get dental implants placed.<br />
So had braces put it with temporary teeth attached to the wire so I can go back to school and go abouts my daily life. He then told me I needed to have upper jaw surhery to correct my teeth and a bone graft becuase when I got thrown I lodt both teeth and some bone. The bone graft was needed to support the implants. Ok so I had my jaw surgery and bonegraft done. <br />
They removed bone from my hip and placed it in my mouth. Mind you I wasn't able to eat for 6 weeks. I was 120lbs day of surgery after 6 weeks I was 95lbs I literally thought I was goiung to die because I was so WEAK.<br />
Jaw healed, bone graft healed, next was to place the implant screws did that waited one month and got temporary crowns attached to the screw. Which It's has now been a year and a half since I've done the crowns.<br />
<br />
They then told me that I needed a gum graft becuase my gums could be better. Hoenstly I was happy with the way the implants loked and my gums a had a little gap which was hardly noticeable and plus I don't have a gummy smile so you cant really see my gums. Anyhow, my dentist, orthodonist and surgeon all requested I get this done because it would look alot better. (yeah right)<br />
<br />
So here's where my nightmare started:<br />
<br />
March 16, 2009 had my gum graft done, I was alseep during the procedure (thank god) Woke up was still numb from the freezing. On the drive ghome I looked in the mirror ws swollen but not that sowllen and I started feeling pain I guess the freezing was wearing off. Got home, took a tyonel 3 and passed out.<br />
The next day not so much pain but was uncomfortable it literally felt like a bad pizza burn on the roof of my mouth. The front area where they placed gum to was covered up so I couldnt see anything. Packing on my roof top fell out slwoly however the one in the front never did and was removed yesterday (April 2, 2009) th my surgeon office. He removed it and todl be the the palate was healing just fine but once he removed the dressing in the front area he was impressed at all. He stated it didn't get the height that he wanted and advicse me not to look at it ( what the hell) I asked him was happens next if it doesn't improve he told me that I would need a bone graft again. My heart literally skipped a bit. I got in the car and looke dat the site (omg) I immediatley started crying and felt like I was going to pass out. It looked worse then it the did when I went in. It's purple/white but he said taht would eventually trun pinkish. I can see the implant screw where before I didn't. I ahve been crying none stop for over 12hrs now. I feel hopeless right now. I'm so scared and stressed out. I can't take anymore of this. What I don't get is a gum graft is supose to give you more gum right? Why does it look like I'm missing more gum? On my right front tooth I have an implant where I can see a bit of the screw now. Why is this happening to me? I feel like the implant is going to fall out considering the screw is now visible. I called the surgeon to ask him question left a message with the lady at fornt desk but he has never called back. Same again this morning.<br />
<br />
I keep thinking to myself this was supose to look better not worse they all said it would look better. they lied to me. Will this get better? I don't want to remove bone from my jaw again, I refuse to do that again that was hell. Why should I do that if everything was fine before I did this gum graft? Does anyone have any suggestions? If so please, please, please do share as I'm at end of my road and feel hopeless. <br />
<br />
All i do is cry and cry and honestly at this point I feel like just ending it all. I can't go through this anymore it's been 7 years and still not done. <br />
<br />
<br />

Hi, I just got gum graft surgery 5 days ago. Today more than the other days, I'm feeling so much more pain and I feel like I'll never be able to smile again. I have always been smiling and these past couple of days have disheartened my mood. Can't really eat still, trying to keep pain meds low. Today, I looked at one of my wounds and it looks like it's receding again and looks infected... Just don't give up! I know there's a lot worse things out there than this. So just keep your head up even when you're feeling your worst.

Type your comment here...

All of this highlights the consistent lack of full disclosure on the part of periodontists regarding the variability of outcomes and the experience of pain. No matter how many phony feel good posts they put on this website I believe people are waking up to the reality of gingival grafts. Perhaps some people do have good experiences with this procedure. All I am asking is that the dental profession stand up and be more open and honest about the risks and pitfalls.

nice to read all your stories. I have the same problem. but i just noticed one of my front teeth is receding. it looks very long now and I'm planning to consult my dentist about the graft. Do you have any idea if the insurance covers the procedure and if not, how will it cost me. Thank you.

HI.<br />
The graft shrinks away from the gumline sometimes, leaving the root still exposed. Your periodontist will probably ask you to come back in a couple of months after the area heals to make a revision on the graft. It won't hurt as much, but you'll still have to be careful about brushing and cleaning the area. Your teeth should not feel any looser than before. I think it's just becuase you are focusing on the area too much. <br />
<br />
I feel like I've wasted tons of money on the procedure. The dentists usually tell you that it'll imrove your gumline and decrease tooth sensitivity, but it hasn't done any of that for me. I barely notice any difference at all. I'm so over it. I was really upset that I paid all that money to get a gumgraft, getting swollen, staying home for a week. It did not improve my smile at all like they said. I don't really know if it improved the health of my teeth at all. After going through an unsuccessful revision of the graft, I just gave up and stopped thinking about my gums. :*(**

hi, been reading all the stories but im a bit worried with my procedure i got done last week...<br />
my stitching is still visible which is fine but im still feeling sensitivity around the area (same feeling as before i got my grafting done).. is this normal??<br />
<br />
also... i feel like the 3-4 teeth i got grafted, seems to be looser than before? im so worried... i didnt pay all those monies to have my teeth worsened...<br />
<br />
can anybody tell me if this is normal??

I had a connective tissue gum graft on my 6 bottom teeth on Wednesday. It is Saturday, and I am so mad because I can't go to a get together tonight because I look like I have the worst under bite ever and I can't smile. <br />
<br />
It also still hurts to speak really clearly. I am most concerned with my mouth not being clean. I am not supposed to touch the affect area, but it looks like their is food stuck in the graft. That can't be good. <br />
<br />
I am also bruised and sore... really sore. But I also had a muscle behind my lower lip cut because it was too tight and cause the recession. I wonder if these additional procedures are the results of people having some different experiences with pain and swelling.

The day of the procedure, I also had a little bleeding at the donor site and the graft site. It's normal to have a little bleeding for a couple of days. As long as you don't spit out a large amount of bright red blood, it should be ok. I also tasted the blood in my mouth for a few days after. The old blood at the suture line will be there for a few days. I rinsed my mouth with warm salt water after eating and it helped get rid of that nasty taste of blood.<br />
<br />
If the graft doesn't take, the periodontist should re-do it w/o additional charge. I went for a follow up yesterday on the revision and my dentist said that when it completely heals she will fix it as she too wasn't happy with the result. <br />
<br />
Good luck.

I just had a gum graft TODAY and I am wondering if anyone else has experienced ALOT of bleeding. It feels like I can constantly taste the blood in my mouth.<br />
I can handle the bleeding and the pain, but my main concern is that the graft will not take. I really can't afford to pay for the exact same procedure twice.<br />
Thanks for all your earlier posts - it's nice to know that I'm not alone and other people share similar experiences.

I went in for a revision of my graft on tooth #5 3 days ago. It looked like the root got covered immediately and one day after the revision. The periodontist just numbed up the gum, pulled the gum tissue down about 1mm, then put sutures at the site. I had pain in that area for a couple of days. The stitches really bothered me. They were hanging down already and got pulled on whenever I ate. I used small scissors and cut the strings last night. My gum seemed to have shrunk up where it used to be before the surgery. Looks a little swollen too. I get so depressed when I look at the area. :*(**

You have no facial swelling or bruising? Lucky you. The stitches really bothered me when they started to come off and hang from the teeth.

I had a gum graft 4 days ago, and it was the second kind you mentioned above -- the donor site was stitched, and the graft covered the roots. Both the sites are swollen at this time, and I can feel some weird sensations (like a raw wound) that I hope will heal soon. I can eat on the side that was not operated on.

Are you taking a huge dose of ibuprofen 3 times a day? From my consultation with the dentist, I also had the impression that there would be no problem going back to work after the weekend, and that my gums were going to look nice after the procedure. She said it was going to be "instant gratification". I too feel that they should tell us what we should expect: swelling and bruising for a week, bulky gum that doesn't look like our own gum, and that some of us might need to come back for a revision. I'm in the same shoes as you. Hope you won't need a revision.

Thank you so much for explaining everything so clearly. It is Day 6 and my swelling is 50% down but I still feel so depressed over the way my upper lip is so swollen and ugly. I did peak at my graft a couple of times and the area over my two front upper teeth is so thick, much thicker than the next two teeth. I am so unhappy with all this. I was not told enough of what could happen. I am not happy with my dentist. I think when I asked him if I would be able to go back to work that he was hiding a few facts. I could never go to work like this and it is Day 6. He told me that I might need a weekend to recuperate. Oh well, I will have to deal with whatever is ahead. I just pray that I do not need to have this<br />
redone. Thanks again for taking the time to explain.

I had my graft done on Thursday (connective tissue graft). I also felt like I looked like an ape for 4-5 days. The swelling went down slowly and my face became normal with bruises by Tuesday- Wednesday. I don't know where the bruises came from. I had them under my eyes and on both of my cheeks. I didn't feel like going out in public or seeing ppl I know. Everyone asked : what happened to your face? <br />
<br />
The gum graft i had 2 years ago is called a free gingival graft. It was much more painful and I lost weight because I couldn't eat for a week. Couldn't even swallow water. The graft does not cover the root, but prevents further gum recession. A piece of gum from the hard palate is carved out from the mouth roof and the wound is left exposed. The area that needed grafting is scraped so there is blood to blood contact, hence, attachment. The gumgraft is then stitched in after the scraping. That graft looks like a patch now and feels hard compared to the gums. I thought that this free gingival graft was the most painful thing i ever experienced. I did not have any swelling or brusing at all considering all that pain.<br />
<br />
This graft I just had is supposed to cover the exposed root and correct the "long tooth look". The dentist makes an incision on the roof of the mouth, makes a window, cuts out a piece of gum under the incision, and then stitches back the wound. Here, the roof isn't left open like the other procedure. The graft gets sutured over the area of recession, covering the roots. I don't know if the gum gets scraped this time. <br />
<br />
The recovery is definitely different for the 2 techniques. I'd rather have the excruciating pain and look normal than get all the swelling and brusing w/o the pain. I'm still perplexed about the swelling. I feel that the last graft I had was much more traumatic and painful. The only discomfort I had this time was feeling the stitches. I took antibiotics to prevent infection and a huge dose of ibuprofen 3 times a day for a week to decrease swelling.<br />
<br />
The dentist made an appointment for me to come back in september for the revision. She is going to pull my gum down to cover the root. She says the graft did not cover my root, but I do have thicker gums there. I do get kind of depressed looking at the graft area. It looks no different than before the surgery, just bulky. The dentist assured me that it will change as it heals. It takes about 4 months for the gums to completely heal. <br />
<br />
I hope you're feeling better. Your face will come back around day 5 post-op. You might have bruises.

Could you tell me how long your swelling "chipmunk look" lasted??<br />
Also you mentioned your first procedure that the roots were covered.... could you explain more about the procedure you had two years ago and how it is different than this one??? Thanks

Update: After finishing my antibiotic course, I woke up and saw red dots all over my body. I thought I had chicken pox again. I realized that I had a drug reaction. The skin rash is fading slowly after 3 days. <br />
<br />
I had a follow up with the periodontist today. She said that my gums are healing beautifully and all the grafts took. The trouble spot I mentioned earlier is also what she expected to see. She made an appointment for me to come back for revisions of that spot. That's good news. The periodontist said that if the graft doesn't take, it would turn white-ish and not stay pink like mine. My gum line looks kind of crooked right now, but it has only been 12 days. She says that it will smooth out and wrap around the teeth eventually.<br />
<br />
I'm just so relieved to hear those words.