Periodontal disease, genetics, aggressive tooth brushing, poor oral hygiene, hormonal changes, tobacco use, bruxism, and malocclusion are all causes of receding gums. Receding gums should be treated as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the tooth and surrounding bone structures that can result in tooth loss. In many cases, gum graft surgery is the best solution to this problem.
There are three different types of gum graft surgery, but they each consist of the same steps. Before starting the procedure, the dentist will apply a local anesthetic to numb the area around the exposed tooth or teeth. The dentist will remove tissue from the roof of the mouth, from other parts of your gum, or source the tissue from a tissue bank and stitch the tissue to the exposed root.
To successfully recover from gum graft surgery, a person should follow these guidelines:
· Avoid brushing and flossing the treatment site
· Use a dentist-recommended mouthwash
· Take antibiotics
· Avoid exercise
· Avoid smoking
Additionally, people who undergo gum graft surgery should prescribe to a soft-food, nutritious diet. Continue reading to learn the best foods to eat after gum graft surgery.
Vegetables are made up of essential vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium, and protein that will aid in a person’s recovery after gum graft surgery. It’s not a good idea to eat raw, crunchy vegetables that could injure the treatment area. Steaming and roasting vegetables will soften them before eating so the patient can enjoy all the benefits of the vegetables without the risks.
A great way to ensure you eat enough vegetables is to cut them all up in one day (before surgery), put them in Ziplock bags or Tupperware, and take them out when you’re ready to cook them. You can simply place them on a cooking sheet, add seasoning, and stick them in the oven, or steam them on the stove. This will drastically cut down on your time in the kitchen while you heal!
In addition to vegetables, fruit provides vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin K, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties to help our bodies heal. To experience these benefits, eat soft fruits, such as:
· Ripe mangos
· Ripe pears
These fruits are an easy go-to snack between meals!
Smoothies are a great way to fill your stomach and receive numerous nutrients. Simply start with your preferred type of milk, add whatever fruits and vegetables you like, and top it off with ice. Blend it all together and enjoy a nutritious meal.
It’s important to remember NOT to use a straw when consuming these beverages. The sucking motion could delay healing by dislodging a blood clot or causing strain on the surgical site.
Need ideas for your smoothie or want to try something new? Check out these recipes:
Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Blend the following ingredients together for about two minutes:
· ¾ cup of strawberries
· 1 banana
· ½ cup of milk of choice
· ½ cup of ice
Spinach and Avocado Smoothie
Add the following ingredients to a blender, add ice if desired, and blend until smooth:
· ½ cup of milk of choice
· 2 pitted, soft dates (can substitute for honey or maple syrup)
· 2 cups of spinach
· ¼ of a ripe avocado
· 1 frozen banana
Place these ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth:
· 1 cup of milk of choice
· 1 small banana
· 1/3 cup of berries
· Protein powder
· Healthy fat (choose one): ¼ of an avocado, 1 tablespoon of coconut butter, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, OR 2 teaspoons of flax oil
· 1 cup of raw spinach if desired
Add ice and/or water to attain the right consistency.
Chocolate Almond Butter Banana Smoothie
Blend the following ingredients longer to achieve desired smoothness:
· 1 ripe banana
· ¼ cup of milk of choice
· 1 ½ tablespoons of creamy almond butter
· 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
· Sweetener of choice to taste
Add ice to created desired consistency and temperature.
Liquids and soft vegetables are the perfect combo for after gum graft surgery! It’s pretty simple to throw some canned vegetables in a pot, but if you want some variety along with good flavor and nutrition, try some of these soups!
· Tomato Soup
· Lentil and Rice Soup
· Cauliflower and Roasted Garlic Soup
· Asparagus Soup
· Sweet potato and Coconut Soup
· Tortilla Soup
· Minestrone Puree
Some people also enjoy drinking vegetable stock and chicken stock.
While some vegetables contain small amounts of protein, you’ll need to eat other foods to enhance your protein intake. The body uses protein to build and repair tissues which is exactly what you’ll need after surgery! Protein will also curb your appetite, so you won’t feel so hungry all the time.
To determine how much protein you need in your diet, multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36. Some people eat too much, but it’s easy to eat too little when you’re on a soft-food diet.
Most people think of chicken and red meats when they hear the word protein but those don’t align with the soft-food diet. Here are some easy-to-eat proteins to add to your meals:
· Peanut butter
Eat an omelet with soft vegetables for breakfast, add beans to your soups, and eat fish or tofu for dinner to get the appropriate amount of protein in your diet.
It’s so important to eat healthy while your mouth is healing, but we don’t expect you to completely give up sweets! If you’re in the mood for a treat, indulge yourself with ice cream, frozen yogurt, milkshakes, Jell-O, and other soft desserts.
Banana ice cream is a healthier alternative for patients who don’t want to stray too far away from nutritious foods. Here’s the recipe for four servings:
· 4 ripe bananas (about 2 ½ cups)
· ¼ to ½ cup of milk of choice
· ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
· 2-3 teaspoons of honey or maple syrup
1. Peel and cut the bananas into 1-inch pieces and freeze.
2. Once frozen, move the bananas to a mixing bowl or blender.
3. Add almond milk, vanilla, and honey or syrup.
4. Mix or blend until smooth. Add more liquid if necessary.
5. Eat immediately or store in the freezer.
Foods and Beverages to Avoid After Gum Graft Surgery
When partaking in smoothies or other drinks, avoid using a straw as it may dislodge a blood clot or cause excess strain and delay recovery. Patients should also chew on the opposite side of the mouth and avoid biting into anything if the procedure was done in the front of the mouth.
Additionally, avoid any foods or herbs or other substances that may irritate the surgical area. These include:
· Hot spices
It typically takes patients one to two weeks to heal after gum graft surgery. Patients may be able to add these items back to their diets sooner rather than later. It all depends on how quickly the mouth heals.
Be sure to get the “okay” from your dentist before switching back to a regular diet. Your mouth and body will thank you!
For more information about gum graft surgery, contact our friendly team at Metropolitan Dental Care today by calling 303-534-2626.