Receding gums are caused by a number of different factors. Commonly, the problem is linked to an advanced stage of gum disease, but it can also be a result of things like regularly brushing too hard over a long period or the effects of ageing. The reason this can be a serious problem is that, once they've receded, gums simply don't grow back. This can leave the sensitive part of teeth exposed, down to the roots, which can be painful and will probably eventually lead to tooth loss.
Luckily, although there's no way to make the gums grow back, there is a treatment available that can rectify the problem. A gum graft involves removing small amounts of tissue from the roof of your mouth and using them to fill gaps where gums have receded. This covers the gaps, closes the pockets and protect the roots of teeth. If you're having a gum graft done, it's important to follow some guidelines to ensure an effective result and a speedy recovery.
Because it would normally cause some discomfort, the procedure will be done using anaesthetic, possibly with some other medications to keep you comfortable as well. Of course, these will eventually wear off. Ibuprofen is a good painkiller to use, as it's also great at bringing inflammation down. Make sure you stick to the proper schedule of taking it, but be careful not to accidentally take too much. In addition to medication, you might find applying an ice pack to your face in the area where the gum has been grafted to be useful in bringing down inflammation.
It's really important that you're careful with what you eat after the operation. You should stick to very soft foods for at least two weeks following the procedure. You also need to avoid anything sticky, spicy, acidic, or foods with a lot of bits, plus anything particularly hot or cold.
Returning to normal activity
It's best not to return to work immediately, as you may be feeling drowsy, with difficulty talking. Take it slowly and book at least a week off if you can, although this is more time than you should really need to feel normal again. Because of the difficulty in eating and the limited range of foods, some people report feeling weak at first, so take it easy.
Avoid brushing the area where the gum has been grafted until instructed to by a dentist, and avoid looking at or messing with your mouth until it's fully healed.