Everyone who has periodontal surgery has their own story to tell. There are a lot of factors to consider when evaluating whether the procedure went well or not: the doctor, the severity of the gum recession, how you take care of yourself after the procedure is done, your tissue, the clotting, etc etc. My first kick at the can was a disaster. The next couple of times have been smooth sailing. Recently, I had the procedure done for the 4th time. Here are the results:
Music: I listened to music for the first time during this procedure. The time flew past. I had two sites done and both were completed in about 45 minutes.
Pain: The only pain during the time in the chair was from the needle pricks of the novocaine. I felt nothing while he was working. After I got home, there was pain where there was the most swelling. I took a lot of ibuprofen. I stopped taking it after it caused me stomach upset (I took too much).
Swelling: For the first time, I had a lot of swelling in my face. This was because I had some exceptionally severe recession on one tooth and he had to really work the area (later he told me the recession was so severe, he could see the top of the root of the tooth). Ibuprofen and ice packs took care of the swelling and lasted about 3 days.
Back to Work: I had the procedure done Wednesday afternoon and took the rest of the week off – I needed it. I was in no condition to function. I returned to work on Monday.
Bleeding: Bleeding is probably the worst side effect (and scariest) of the procedure because, well, it’s blood, need I say more. I had more bleeding this time than the past two times because he took more tissue from the roof of my mouth. However, it was only seepage from the incisions on the roof of my mouth and it stopped completely 12-16 hours later. It was a far cry from the constant bleeding from the first procedure 20 years ago. People get scared of blood in their mouth because it mixes with their saliva and they think they are bleeding more than they are. Also for the first time, they made a flexible plastic mouth retainer that fit over my teeth and covered the incisions on the roof of my mouth. It worked great.
Eating: Liquid only for at least 5 days, maybe 4. Then it was onto mush for another 3, then soft foods for a week – at least until I went back 2 weeks later to get the stitches out. No foods you have to chew. No crunchy foods. Don’t drink through a straw.
Advice: Don’t spit out anything – toothpaste, mouth wash, saliva – let it fall out of your mouth. Don’t look at the surgery sites. Don’t open your mouth wide. Don’t smile. Don’t brush your teeth at least for a few days – avoiding the surgery sites altogether. Use the rinse they give you (or you got through prescription). Take time off work. Rest. Relax.
Overall, considering the recession I had, this procedure went great. I have gone from possibly losing those two teeth, to saving one for sure and probably not losing the other one. The thought of the surgery weighs on your mind, but you can get through it no problem.
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