My success story

Dg6300

Dg6300

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Three weeks ago I got the two lower wisdom teeth out. It went fine, generally, until I had a burning pain in the adjacent tooth, in/near the gum. I was taking more NSAIDs than I wanted.

I faced my fear of asking for a follow up appointment from my oral surgeon. I also had to find the courage to ask for time off without much notice.

To my relief my boss gave me permission to leave when I could get an appointment. Which was good because they were able to get me in that day. The oral surgeon took a look, probed, and recommended irrigating with hydrogen peroxide.

Fear successfully faced!

Coincidentally this week I also had an appointment with the periodontist's office (I have a gum graft a month from now), and the hygienist demonstrated brushing and flossing techniques.

I also took pride in my dental habits: I carried a toothbrush and paste around in my bag as an undergrad.

I found out I have to be more careful in my flossing. I am a bit fearful as I try to implement her instructions: I am afraid the firmness she advocated will hurt my gums.

I am also afraid of using the toothpick-thing on the back of my teeth.
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

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My experiences with a gum graft.

tldr summary: not fun but nothing I'd fear again. Mostly annoying, limited misery, hardly any pain, definitely worth it.

Format: timeline with scale (1 to 10) of annoyance, misery, and "pain".

September 2017: My new dentist noticed a 3 mm recession on #6. He referred me to a periodontist. She confirmed that diagnosis, scheduled a gum graft for Jan 5, and instructed me on proper flossing.

(0 annoyance, 0 misery, 0 pain).

Late December: The tooth gets increasingly loose. I was afraid it would fall out any day.

0 annoyance, 6 misery, 0 pain).

Jan 5 (Procedure): The procedure went fine. It took longer (45 min?) The "pain" is hardly worth mentioning, and was only from the stinging of the injections. Certainly annoying, but I was fine 60 seconds later. There was some pressure on the roof of my mouth, and it was mildly gross/interesting to see the little band of flesh. By the time the periodontist got to the stitches (which took considerably longer than I anticipated) I was, in general, over it. "This sucks" I kept repeating to myself. I felt this way because it was more boring and annoying than painful or traumatic.

(8 annoyance, 1 misery, 2 pain [a total of 20 seconds of pain, at the very most. More likely 10 or 15 seconds])

Jan 5 (Rest of the day): Actually I don't remember, because I got caught up in a documentary on Netflix. It must not have been that bad.

(2? annoyance, 2? misery, 1 pain)

Right here was where I made the only two mistakes: I didn't feel up to getting the prescriptions (ibuprofen, chlorhexidrine mouthwash, and antibiotic). A family member saved the day and went to the pharmacy. Also, my biggest mistake was not having enough, or enough variety of soft foods. A lack of variety of soft foods was by far the worst part of this experience.

Jan 6-9: Must have been okay because I don't remember anything good or bad. I thought the sutures were loose (they weren't). (0 annoyance, 2 misery, 1 pain).

Jan 10-11: This was the most "difficult" time, and was hardly difficult at all. Two things:

1. The blood vessels or whatever started to connect, and I could feel my heart beating in the graft. Both gross and fascinating. I'd love to feel that weird grossness again.

(0 annoyance, 2 misery, 4 pain [for a total of about 60 seconds. It was pain, yes, but I was laughing about it a moment later. My ingrown toenail was many times more painful).

2. As is normal, the extraneous flesh of the graft (that didn't become one with my gum) turned white then gray then totally gross. Then, a few days later, it fell off painlessly, leaving perfectly pink gums. I didn't even notice it falling off.

(1 annoyance, 0 misery, 0 pain).

Jan 12 (One week after procedure) I graduated to semi-soft food. It was fine.

(0 annoyance, 0 misery, 0 pain).

Jan 19 (Two weeks after procedure): I got the roof sutures out, and I must admit this was intensely pleasurable. I was instructed, at the end of the session, to gently brush the area, brushing down. That also felt good. She mentioned I might need a 5-10 minute "procedure" if the brushing didn't push the graft down a little bit. She made this sound like no big deal.

Feb 1: I was eating food, normally.

(0 annoyance, 0 misery, 0 pain).

Feb 19: Today I had my last checkup, and everything is fine. The brushing down, gently, must have worked because she declared everything great.

My Advice:

1. Get it done on a Friday (or Monday) morning: in the unlikely event anything goes wrong, it will probably be around day 4.

2. Have plenty of soft food ready, with a good variety.

3. Get the prescriptions ahead of time.

4. Follow the instructions and everything is likely to go fine.

5. For both my wisdom teeth and gum graft, I felt a lot better knowing I had a follow up appointment scheduled for a week after the procedure. This helped more than anything.

In Summary

While not fun (except for getting the stitches out, which was divine), this is something to endure in life. If you are 25, you have probably had worse experiences. If you're 35, you've definitely been through worse. If you're my age, 41, you can off the top of your head name at least 10 worse experiences. As I said in another thread, a terrible cold is a worse experience. The stomach flu or 24 hour flu are absolutely worse, and many times worse than a gum graft. The "pain" was real but something I never cared about 60 seconds later.

My tooth feels great. It is in there firmly. I would not be afraid to get another graft.

If you are facing a gum graft, if my experience is anything like yours, you can definitely handle this.
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

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In January I got a gum graft and it went pretty well. I think I had 3mm recession.

Last week, after running out of Prevident (sniff sniff), it got sore and appeared to be greatly receded! Ahhh!

I made an appointment, went in, and she poked for a moment. “This may have receded half a millimeter, but that’s okay. This is terrific. Look at that thick, healthy gum!”

She praises my flossing and that was that!

A big improvement.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Thank you for posting us! Happy to hear you‘re doing so well :)
 
T

TerrifiedCS

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Thank you for this. I'm at the start of mega cleaning as the dentist can't see my front bottom teeth. I suspect I'll need a gum graft. This post has made me feel a bit more positive. Love the scales :)
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

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Very good. You’ll do great.

Looking back, a year later, all I remember is the annoyance. It was about as annoying as getting stuck in traffic, or a medium (at most) hitting your funny bone.

Pain-wise, if I was forced to choose between another gum graft or stubbing my toe really badly, I’d choose the gum graft. Neither feels good, obviously, but the “pain” (if I can even call it pain) was much less than even a mild cold.
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

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Six months ago I went to an internal interview: "I am going to smile naturally, no matter how bad the interview goes", I told myself.

Goodness did the interview go badly. Especially for an internal interview o_O

True to my word, I did my best, presented myself, allowed them their evaluation of my professional skills, and effected what I decided: shoulders back, eyes forward, natural smile.

They are the same teeth I was born with, but in much better shape than five years ago.

Long story short, I lost everything circa 2006-2008. I pieced things together a few years later, and in 2013 found out about very low cost dental cleanings at the local community college (how I wish I knew about that during the ten years I didn't have dental care!).

My cleaned teeth lead to greater confidence, and soon thereafter I was able to get hired as a temp, and then full time.

I got dental coverage, ditched my disrespectful old dentist (worst of all he never told me the truth about my poor dental health) and found a kinda-jerk-but-really-kindly-honest-and-blunt new dentist. I effected his recommendations of wisdom teeth out and a gum graft. I am very pleased to have an amazing periodontist and now floss (properly!) every day.

My teeth are still really yellow, and not super straight, but I can smile and eat wonderfully pointy and crunchy and cold foods without thinking.

I also played at my first open mic this month. It was a different kind of anxiety. I am glad shame of my teeth didn't prevent me.

Since a man can dream, maybe someday I'll get to show my teeth off on a date. While I am a dental success (and so are you, if you are reading this, since you are demonstrating courage), I am a disappointment, okay... failure, in the dating world. I am nobody in matters of love.

Happily I am somebody to my dentist, periodontist, oral surgeon, dear supervisor who employs me (so much gratitude), and my good friends here, including our dear KR, the magnificent Simon, and my courage guru Enarate.

I say all this because if I can do it, and I did, you yes you reading this can too. To the extent I have demonstrated courage, you can borrow some of my courage and face what you need to. If posting or reading in this forum is all you can do today, then that is enough.
 
F

Fearful Charlie

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I hope to be putting a post like this up in 6 months time. Thank you 🥰
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Dg6300,

This is so beautiful and inspirational , your story is an encouragement to all and all of your encouragement is so appreciated here DG6300! You have really come a long way!! :you-rock::welldone::perfect::wow::dance2::cheer2: sorry about all the emojis.. but surely you deserve this. you are putting your self out there , taking care of yourself, taking risks, good ones and I believe just as you have been you will continue to see blessings in your life becuase of this! Thanks for being an encouragement to us all!

You are most definately COURAGEOUS!! :)
 
R

ReginaPhalange

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Thank you for being an inspiration! :bounces:
 
Enarete

Enarete

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... I am a disappointment, okay... failure, in the dating world. I am nobody in matters of love.

Absolutely no way never ever in this universe how this could be true (not perfect grammatically but you got the point). You have goals, an amazing portion of courage, endurance and discipline and you have a big heart. So while I can imagine you do not feel too confident in love (yet), these are just the old inner voices ( = :lies!:) that will shut up soon.

As you do one thing you do everything and as you are simply unstoppable :you-rock: in beating your fears, it is only a matter of time until you will find that beautiful amazing soul to connect with!

Look forward to read the success story!
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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I wholeheartedly agree with Enarete. :)
 
C

CourageAndBraveryASAP

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Lovely post. :) And you are not a failure in any area.
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

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Awww, thank you very much. I think very highly of all of you, so I'll go ahead and have a little faith.

If (when?) that happy day comes, I know two things:

1. My teeth will be ready.

2. I'll be sure to post here with a report of how such a date goes.

:)
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

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No dates yet, alas, to show off my teeth, but I do have an associated plan:

I am telling myself that

1. I am a good man.

2. My teeth are presentable.

Therefore, I am going to invite out a specific someone*, if I see this person next weekend (50-50 chances that this person will be there) when I visit a mutual friend.

No matter the outcome of what this person says, I will smile naturally. I am proud of what I have accomplished with my dental team (including my friends here), and humbled to be able to live a life I couldn't dream of ten years ago, of fixed teeth.

I can assure you I wasn't inviting out people like this person when my teeth were awry.

Update promised this time next week!

* This person is super fine. Like a transcendent level of fine.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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This is an amzing plan! :cheer2::cheer2::cheer2:

Keeping my fingers tightly crosses for this very special person to be there this weekend:clover:
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

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She wasn't there, sigh, but my teeth were ready.

Getting my teeth fixed as been the foundation of trying to rebuild my confidence. If everything else goes wrong in my life, I can still make better choices with my teeth.

As promised, I'll post here if... scratch that, when... me and my teeth go on a date.

<3
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

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Good/bad/good news, as promised, if I went on a date:

I went on a date tonight.

Good: it went okay and I was interested in her.

Bad: I was disappointed, but accepted it like a good sport, when she explained that she isn’t interested in seeing me again.

(I’ll do better next time, though it certainly hurts)

Good: My teeth were clean and presentable.

After, disappointed as I was, I wasn’t going to sulk away: shoulders back and down, eyes up, and a genuine smile for anyone I walked by.

I am going to do my periodontal flossing ritual, and try better tomorrow.

Even if I am disappointed, I can make good dental choices today.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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DG6300

I know how that feels and it is diappointing.

You continue to inspire us through your life and experiences and wisdom each step of the way!!

You an amazing and strong person DG6300!! A true inspiror!!
 
R

ReginaPhalange

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I'm sorry to read about the disappointment, but well done, you have accomplished one of your goals for the year, to show off your teeth on a date. That itself is great news! :welldone:
 

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