When I was at the dentist for my bi-annual cleaning I was referred to a periodontist. A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, and in the placement of dental implants. In my case I was going to have my gums looked at. Over time my dentist had noticed that there was quite a bit of gum recession on a few of my teeth, the worst being on my left side. Gum recession can be hereditary, but also is common with those who had orthodontics, and also those who do not brush properly… I was a triple threat apparently. Oops!
So when I went to the periodontist she determined that I should undergo a gum graft surgery to thicken the existing tissue. That means that she would take tissue from under the roof of my mouth and put it over the area that was receding. The purpose of the graft is to add tissue to the recessed area to help prevent further thinning of the tissue (exposing the root) which could ultimately result in tooth loss. Sounds great, right?!
Needless to say it didn’t sound fun, so I consulted with my future father-in-law (dentist) to get his thoughts. He agreed that it was a good preventative procedure and that I should do it if I could afford it. Luckily, I have good dental insurance so I scheduled the procedure.
Note to anyone who might have this done: They DO NOT knock you out like they do when you get your wisdom teeth taken out, which let me tell you, didn’t make me too happy. The periodontist recommended that I bring headphone to listen to music so I wouldn’t hear everything- so I did. They do local anesthesia (numbing) but, I could feel almost everything (not the pain, but the pressure).
Following the surgery, until the pain meds kicked in, it was really painful and of course if the pain meds started to fade, it was painful. I iced my face as much as I could, but I still got pretty swollen for a few days. For the first week after I could only eat soft food and then the following week I could start to eat normal food, after they took the stitches out.
I am still healing, but I hope it was worth it! Results TBD.
Sitting in the chair waiting for the doctor to get started. Look at those tools! AHHH!
Pre-surgery and post surgery with stitches.