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Gum Diseases

Palate healing after gingival graft

09/11/2008

Question:

I am 3 weeks post gingival graft. Graft was taken from my right and left palate for lower 4 front teeth and two upper right premolars. Grafted sites doing fine. Right palate totally healed. Left palate, which I`m told was a larger donor site, is not healed. No indication of infection, but left upper rear teeth seem to hurt if I chew on, for example, chips, or if i grasp and attempt to move these teeth Inside left cheek also swollen. I`m told all pain is coming from palate, but am concerned that with my luck teeth roots got damaged or some other cause for my pain. Any possibility of this, and if so what might need to be done? Also, how long could it take the left palate to heal, assuming it was a large donor site, and no other problem?

Answer:

When we take a large piece of tissue from the palate, it will take time for the residual space to close back.  This is not exposed bone. There is periosteum on it, and it will protect the bone surface. So, permanent problems should not exist. Some times, if we have to go too close to the gingival margin on the donor site, we may cause gingival recession on these teeth and it may cause root sensitivity. But I am assuming that your periodontist did not make an incision too close to your gingival margin. I think that you are still experiencing some swelling and when you chew, and things are touching the exposed periosteum. It will take up to 8-10 weeks or even longer (if the site is really large) to have normal feeling.

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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