Gum Graft Complications

Gum Grafting Complications

There are many different types of complications that can occur from gum grafting.  They include:

  1. Bleeding
  2. Gum graft failure
  3. Swelling
  4. Infection


  1.  BleedingBleeding is probably the most common complication that people worry about the most.  Bleeding will typically come from the roof of the mouth.  There are two different types of gum grafts where bleeding can occur.
    1. The first is connective tissue grafting, in which the middle layer from the roof of the mouth is harvested.  This procedure tends to not bleed as much.  
    2. The other type of gum graft is free gingival grafting, in which the surface layer from the roof of the mouth is harvested.  This procedure tends to bleed more.
  2. Gum graft failure – gum grafting is a very technique sensitive procedure.  Because of that, it is very important that you find a good periodontist to perform your procedure.  Also, make sure to follow your post-operative instructions very carefully to prevent your gum graft from failing.  Also, make sure you do not smoke or you’re an uncontrolled diabetic.
  3. SwellingSwelling is a common complication from the procedure.  Although it’s not really considered to be a complication and it is to be expected to a certain extent, be prepared for some swelling associated with your gum graft.  Swelling typically peaks on the third or fourth day and should come down after that.  Make sure to ice plenty after your surgery for a day or two.
  4. Infection – this is very rare but it can be a complication associated with gum grafts.  This will be evident with pain, inflammation, and also most importantly pus coming from the area of the graft.  Please do not be confused by just having pain and swelling from the area as this is normal.  Seeing pus coming from the area is the telltale sign of infection.  

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