28 Year Old, Receding Gums X4, Free Palate Graft..Syracuse, NY

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I'm anticipating getting braces in a few months,...

I'm anticipating getting braces in a few months, and was told by the orthodontist that I would want to see a periodontist before braces due to my receding gum line on four lower teeth. I was a little surprised because I routinely go to the dentist and it has never been brought to my attention before. So, several months later I managed to make an appt with a peridontist in my insurance network. The plan was to do 3 teeth on my bottom and right side with a free graft from my right palate, leaving my left side untouched so I could still eat... and saving one tooth to do at a later appt. I went on 3/17 for this procedure which took roughly an hr and a half. The gum line and palate were numbed with many lidocaine injections... Some injections hurt quite a bit! My mouth was completely numb but I was still incredibly nervous. The procedure itself had minimal discomfort, the worst part was feeling pressure on my palate as the strip was cut out. It was a long strip from front to back, and I hated being able to kinda see what was happening. I felt one of the sutures to my gum line because it wasn't within the lidocaine zone... Almost made me jump out of the chair! I ended up not using the mouth guard as my doctor said it didn't fit my mouth correctly anyway. Driving home, I was okay... Until I got to the pharmacy to fill my vicodin script and mouth wash rinse. Thats when the pain started! My poor palate was throbbing to the point that it felt like it was straight down to my bones. I couldn't smile, laugh, or talk without feeling like I was pulling sutures. I was almost in tears at the pharmacy. I made the horrible mistake of taking two vicodin on an empty stomach.. I started feeling a lot better after that and said hey this isn't so bad! Then, it hit me and I became violently sick several times that afternoon. Then because of getting sick, my whole mouth started bleeding. The combination of stomach acid mixing with my fresh palate wound and involuntary tugging on my gum sutures was just a horrific experience. When I eventually was able to take vicodin and somewhat eat (and be eating i mean tiny spoons of pudding), it did help. But once the vicodin wore off it would be extremely painful again. This lasted for about six or seven days... I woke up every night every 4 hours. Everything would make my palate hurt. The air, my own saliva, talking, a drop of water from trying to drink, pudding, my tongue... Everything. I became so dehydrated from not being able to drink water in combination with my vicodin routine. I ate only pudding, yogurt, scrambled eggs, and soft mush.. And eating a pudding cup would take me forever, and was such a process. On day five I did go back to work but was miserable... I left early and spent the next 12 hrs in bed, it was excruciating. I learned that when the palate starts to really begin healing on day five or six, that the pain actually gets worse! This was definetly the case for me. Nine days later, I no longer needed pain meds (maybe a tylenol if anything) and eating also became reasonably easier. Tomorrow will be 14 days, and I go back to have the lower gum dressing taken off-- I've had this annoying "gum like" dressing along my lower teeth for two weeks. My palate strip feels smooth but I have no pain and I am doing much better! I can't say if it's worth it yet as I have no idea what my new gum tissue looks like until tomorrow. My insurance covered half, so I did pay a pretty penny for this... I'm hoping it's worth it. I have heard of people having such better experiences than I have regarding the healing and pain. It has not been fun for me!

Dressing removed :)

The dressing was removed today and I made the next appt for my final tooth. It looks pretty good! He said it was healing exceptionally well for two weeks, but will have to go back to one side where the gum tissue isn't quite flush with the real gum tissue next to it. But other than that, I'm satisified. My gum line looks so much healthier and I am happy with my decision. The pain was bad but it does end!!
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