What To Eat After Gum Grafting?

If you’ve just had, or are considering a gum graft to correct gum recession you may have a few questions about eating and drinking after the procedure. Whilst you should follow any post-surgical advice from your dentist or periodontist, this post explains when you can eat normally and what you can eat after gum grafting. 

what to eat after gum grafting

Can You Eat Normally After a Gum Graft?

No, you can’t eat normally after a gum graft. 

We thought it useful to highlight the gum grafting procedure to help explain why you may need to eat a restricted diet for a short period of time. 

The Grafting Procedure involves the following steps:

  • During the gum grafting procedure, you will be given an anesthetic to numb the area. 
  • An incision is made and a flap in the gum is made. The root underneath is cleaned. 
  • Donor tissue (often from the roof of your mouth) is then placed over the exposed tooth root and sutured into place.

The area will be sensitive and sore after incisions and sutures and will remain so until the area has healed properly. This takes around two weeks. 

You will be given post-surgical advice to reduce pain and infection but failure to eat a restricted diet and follow advice may limit the success of the gum graft. Find out how successful gum grafting is.

Why Can’t You Eat Normally?

Eating hard foods may cause small lacerations, tears and damage to the grafted tissue. They may cause them to bleed and prevent the area from healing correctly. Eating soft foods will reduce the risk of damage being caused to the grafted tissue. 

When Can You Eat Normally Again?

You can eat normally again when the graft has healed. 

The exact time it takes your gum graft to heal will depend on the gum grafting procedure you have and how your body heals. 

The good news is that it takes just one to two weeks to heal. That’s not too long to eat a slightly restricted diet, when you consider the new smile that you’ll be wearing. 

If you’ve had multiple areas treated or your body heals slowly it may take slightly longer. Your periodontist will confirm that the area healed when you go for a check-up 1-2 weeks after the procedure.  Once they have confirmed the area has healed you can eat normally again. 

What To Eat After A Gum Graft?

To give the area the best chance of healing properly the advice is to consume soft foods that won’t irritate or damage the area whilst it heals. 

Whilst eating a soft food diet for two weeks it is important to eat a healthy, balanced, nutrient-rich diet to accelerate wound healing and improve treatment outcomes and your satisfaction (1). Eat a diet rich in calcium, protein, vitamins, and minerals. 

Below is general advice about what to consume in the days following your procedure. 

  • Day of the procedure: consume cold drinks and eat cold soft foods
  • Day after the procedure: consume cold drinks and eat soft foods
  • Day 3-14: eat soft foods. Make sure food and drinks are cold or warm only. See below for suggestions.
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The Best Foods To Eat Following Your Procedure

Here are some of the best foods that you can eat after your gum graft to treat exposed tooth roots


Fruit contains lots of vitamins C and vitamin K as well as other vitamins and trace elements that will help your gum graft to heal. 

It’s best to avoid hard or crunchy fruits like apples for a while. 

Here are some good options:

  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Pear
  • Berries
  • Mango


Just like fruit, vegetables contain lots of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron and magnesium that will help the grafted area heal.  However, eating hard or uncooked veg could damage the grafted tissue. All vegetables should be steamed, boiled or roasted until they are very soft. 


Smooth soup is a great food to eat or drink after a gum graft. Just make sure that the soup has cooled to a lukewarm temperature before you pop it into your mouth. Eating it hot could burn the newly grafted tissue. 

Here are some recommendations:

  • Butternut squash soup
  • Creamy vegetable soup
  • Broccoli soup
  • Sweet potato and coconut  soup
  • Pumpkin soup


Smoothies are a brilliant way to get a ton of nutrients whilst you recover from the gum grafting procedure. 

To make a good smoothie you just need three main ingredients. 

  • Fruit – Frozen fruit is perfect to make smoothies from. Fresh fruit will also work. Virtually any berry, stone fruit, tropical fruit, or citrus will work.
  • Something creamy – think about adding banana, flavored or greek style yogurt to give the smoothie a creamy taste.
  • A liquid – add juice (apple, cranberry, orange), milk or water

You may also like to add vegetables, protein powder or oats to get more nutrients in your smoothie. 


Proteins are essential in maintaining tissue and wound healing. They are essential building blocks. Ensuring you get enough post-gum graft will help your surgical site to heal. 

Good sources of protein include

  • Tofu
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Beans and lentils
  • Oats
  • Cheese

Other foods

  • Applesauce
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Macaroni
  • Jell-O
  • Icecream
  • Pancakes
  • Casserole

What Not To Eat After a Gum Graft?

Whilst it may be a challenge you should avoid foods that are

  • Hard
  • Chewy – eg. steak, 
  • Sticky – eg. cereal bars, peanut butter
  • Crunchy – eg. nachos, crackers, nuts, popcorn, pizza
  • Spicy
  • Acidic – including fruit juice, tomato, vinegar etc

Also, avoid

  • Food that contains small seeds
  • Alcohol

Some of these foods may create tears in the grafted material or make it sting. 

Frequently Asked Questions

A gum grafting procedure is quite routine in the US and we often get asked the following questions. 

Can I Have Tea Or Coffee After A Gum Graft? – The advice on this one seems to vary and you should check with your periodontist. The general advice is to avoid tea for the first 2 to 3 days and hot coffee for 14 days. The heat can cause increased bleeding which may prevent healing. After 2-3 days the general advice is that warm tea can be consumed warm. Avoid drinking hot or iced coffee for 14 days

When Can I Eat Pizza After A Gum Graft? – Pizza is classed as a hard crunchy food so should be avoided until your gum graft has healed. 

When Can I Eat Solid Food After A Gum Graft? – It’s best to avoid solid food for the first 48 hours. After that, you can eat soft foods. Try eating them on the opposite side of the grafted area. After around 14 days you can eat as normal. 

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  1. Lau, B. Y., Johnston, B. D., Fritz, P. C., & Ward, W. E. (2013). Dietary Strategies to Optimize Wound Healing after Periodontal and Dental Implant Surgery: An Evidence-Based Review. The Open Dentistry Journal, 7, 36-46. Available here. https://doi.org/10.2174/1874210601307010036
  2. How to Make a Smoothie (+ 9 Easy Smoothie Recipes!) | Live Eat Learn
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Written by Gareth Edwards

Co-Founder & GDG Dentist

Dr. Gareth Edwards BDS (Hons) MFDS (RCPS Glasgow) is GDG Co-Founder and Gum Disease Expert.

He is a practicing dentist based in Bournemouth, UK and has treated thousands of patients with gum-related diseases.

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