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Gum Diseases

Post gum graft recession?

08/30/2007

Question:

I had 6 receding gum sites grafted a little over a week ago and at my post op appointment the doctor stated everything looked great. The next day the "scab" partially slothed off of one site, which the doctor explained would happen, and I noticed the graft area looks higher than it previously and does not look like the other side that he did, which looks like it is resting on the tooth in the expected area. Will the graft shrink down? I am concerned because this side did not need a graft as much as the other, but I insisted on doing it because there would not be appropriate symmetry otherwise. I would appreciate any information on this issue.

Answer:

During the healing, soft tissue will shrink a little. There is a chance that you may not have all six sites evenly and symmetrically distributed. We generally wait up to 8 weeks. During this time, edema goes down and soft tissue binds underlying root surface and starts to mature. If there is an obvious problem with symmetry, we go back and do what we call "gingivoplasty". It is a simple procedure performed to thin the extra soft tissue. Generally tissue reforms, and we do not need to do anything extra. 

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Response by:

Binnaz   Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD Binnaz Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD
Associate Professor of Periodontology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University