Why Is My Graft White After 3 Weeks?

April 1, 2024


Gum grafting is a common periodontal procedure designed to treat gum recession, which can expose tooth roots, leading to sensitivity and potential tooth loss. This surgical intervention involves transplanting tissue to the affected area, promoting regeneration, and improving the gum line’s aesthetics. A question that often arises during the recovery process is whether it’s normal for the gum graft to appear white after three weeks. This comprehensive guide will delve into the healing stages of a gum graft, what to expect during recovery, and when to consult your dental professional.

What to Expect After Gum Graft Surgery

After gum graft surgery, it’s common to experience swelling, discomfort, and changes in the appearance of your gums. The first few days are crucial for proper healing, and following your dentist’s post-operative instructions is key to a successful recovery.

During the initial phase, you may notice white patches on your gums, which can be alarming but are part of the normal healing process. These white areas indicate that new tissue is forming, helping to strengthen and protect the grafted area.

Choosing a reputable periodontist in Modesto ensures that you have the benefit of expert care and guidance throughout the recovery process.

Healing Stages of a Gum Graft

The healing process after a gum graft surgery is crucial for the success of the graft. Understanding the stages can help patients manage their expectations and recognize signs of normal healing versus complications:

Initial Healing (First Week)

The first-week post-surgery is characterized by the formation of a blood clot over the surgical site, which protects it and aids in healing. Mild swelling, bruising, and discomfort are common during this period.

Healing Process at 3 Weeks

At the three-week mark post-gum graft surgery, you should begin to see significant improvements in the appearance and feel of your gums. The white patches that were present initially are likely to diminish, indicating that the new tissue is integrating with the existing gum line.

Your gums may still appear slightly swollen, but this should continue to decrease as the healing process progresses. It’s essential to keep up good oral hygiene practices, including gentle brushing and flossing, to aid in the healing and prevent any complications.

Maturation (One Month and Beyond)

The final stage of healing requires the maturation and stabilization of the graft tissue with the existing gum tissue. It’s during this period that the full benefits of the graft become apparent.

Is a White Gum Graft Normal After 3 Weeks?

Noticing a white appearance on the gum graft after three weeks can be concerning for many patients. However, this can be a part of the normal healing process. Here are a few reasons why the gum graft might appear white:

  1. Fibrin Formation: A white or yellowish film over the graft site can indicate the formation of fibrin, a protein essential for wound healing. This is a common part of the healing process and should not be a cause for alarm.
  2. Tissue Maturation: As the graft begins to integrate with the surrounding tissues, changes in coloration can occur, including whitening. This is often temporary and part of the healing process.
  3. Dehydration: The surface of the gum graft can become dehydrated, especially if oral hygiene practices have been altered to accommodate healing. This dehydration can make the graft appear whiter than the surrounding tissue.

When to Contact Your Dentist

While a white appearance can be normal, certain symptoms warrant immediate attention from your dental professional:

  • Persistent or Increasing Pain: Pain that worsens or persists beyond the expected recovery period can indicate an infection or other complications.
  • Significant Swelling or Redness: Some swelling and redness are normal, but if they increase or persist, it could be a sign of infection.
  • Bleeding: Minor bleeding is expected in the first few days, but if it continues or occurs after the initial healing period, it’s essential to contact your dentist.
  • Graft Failure: In rare cases, the graft may not integrate properly, leading to failure. Symptoms include significant movement of the graft, excessive shrinkage, or complete detachment.

Tips for Faster Recovery

  1. Follow Your Dentist’s Instructions: Ensure you adhere to all post-operative guidelines provided by your dentist.
  2. Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Keep your mouth clean by brushing gently and using a mild mouthwash recommended by your dentist.
  3. Avoid Hard or Spicy Foods: Stick to soft, easy-to-chew foods to prevent irritation to the grafted area.
  4. Stay Hydrated: Have plenty of water that will assist in the healing process and maintain overall oral health.
  5. Attend Follow-Up Appointments: Following regular check-ups with your dentist will help monitor your progress and address any concerns promptly.


In conclusion, the healing journey after gum graft surgery is a gradual process that requires a lot of patience and proper care. At three weeks post-surgery, your gums should be on their way to recovery, with white patches diminishing and swelling decreasing.

Remember to continue following your dentist’s instructions, practice optimum oral hygiene, and attend follow-up appointments to ensure a smooth and successful recovery. By taking these steps, you can support your gums’ healing process and maintain a healthy smile.

Now that you understand what to expect at the three-week mark feel free to reach out to your dentist in Modesto, CA, at 123 iSmile if you have any questions or concerns about your gum graft recovery journey.

Click to listen highlighted text!