Tell me about your gum surgery

On Monday I see my periodontist for a root scaling in preparation for gum surgery and a course of antibiotics over the next few months to treat my periodontal disease.

She’s described what it will be like, but I’d like to hear from any of you who have been through it. How much pain, how long a recovery, satisfactory outcome?

What else should I know in advance?


I’ve never had root canal surgery, but I did have gum surgery:

Strange spot showed up on my dental xray, in the jawbone in the vicinity of the roots of my lower incisors. My dentist said it looked for all the world like an abscess, and I was going to have some serious surgery, so he referred me to an endodonist.

However, the endodontist, after testing, said he didn’t think it was an abscess, but he didn’t have any other info to offer, so I had an appointment with an oral surgeon to do a biopsy. The surgeon, when he first saw my xray, he agreed that it looked like an abscess (although he also agreed that I still had root vitality, so that was not so likely).

The results of the pathology report from my biopsy was *pericapical cemental dysplasia. They scraped it out, stitched up my jaw with dissolving stitches, and that was that. I just wore a bandage around my lower jaw for a couple of days to keep everything stable as it healed, and was on a mostly liquidish diet for that time. But that was it.

*Link is not my xray, but the spot looks exactly like mine.

Thanks, Earl. For the record, I’m not having a root canal. Root scaling is where they numb your mouth and do a deep cleaning, removing plaque and calculus below the gums. It’s a cleaning before the surgery.

Anyone else?

My dentist worried that my gums were receeding so I had gum surgery where they removed strips from (I think) the roof of my mouth and added them to a couple of places along the gum line. Is that at all similar to what you’ll be experiencing? I don’t want to bore you if not, but if so I’d be happy to provde more info.

My periodontist hasn’t said anything about grafts from elsewhere in my mouth, but I’d still be interested in hearing about your experiences.

I’m interested in this thread: on the 29th I’ll be having a gum reduction (gingivectomy) and some possible bone removal in preparation for a crown – or extraction, if the tooth doesn’t seem salvagable once the periodontist removes enough of the gum to get a better look. (At first my dentist thought that I needed a root canal, but the endodontist said nah.)

I don’t know how a gingivectomy compares to your procedure, but the periodontist said it would take about an hour and that I’d be able to go to work afterwards. He said I wouldn’t need anything stronger than Advil for the pain, but he did recommend starting a course of it the day before the procedure to get it in my system.

Second hand info, sorry. My husband had this done and is now very faithful with the floss. They did half his mouth the first visit and the other half the second visit. He didn’t complain much about discomfort but did say it wasn’t the most fun he’d ever had.

He and his dentist made a deal after the first half was done–he would start flossing THAT half. And he did but left the other half unflossed until the procedure was done on that side. :eek:

I cannot personally imagine not flossing but he’d never gotten the floss habit, until after this procedure.

If they opt for anaesthetic, ask for the general. Seriously.

The pain wasn’t terrible for me afterwards–I think I had to pop a Tylenol-3 once–but YMMV. Basically, ask for the best drugs and go from there.

I agree with this completely, especially if they intend to numb part of your mouth by injecting into the roof of your mouth. I went in for a crown lengthening (part of the gum is cut away from the tooth) and didn’t have any idea what to expect. The best word I can use to describe my experience is brutal.

That’s what I’m getting. :eek:

About a year and a half ago I had an infected tooth. Upper right side, the one right behind the canine. I had a root canal on this tooth about 12 years previously, then because of problems, a second one on the same tooth about two years previously.

The infection was really bad. Puss oozing from holes in my gums. A course of anti-biotics failed to clear it up. I went back to Dentist, who sent me back to the place that had done my second root canal, and they sent me to the Endodontist.

Cut on either side of the tooth, peel back the gums. Found an infected cyst at the root and drilled it out. That was pretty nasty. My face swelled up for several days and I had some minor facial bruising, when I almost never bruise. Missed two days of work, came back on the third day because I’d need a note otherwise. They took one look at me and sent me home for another two days.

Second, Third, Fourth courses of increasingly strong anti-biotics, finishing with stuff that knocked me on my ass. Each time, the puss would clear up for a few days, then come roaring back.

So I went to the Dentist, who sent me downstairs to the oral surgeon, and had the damned tooth removed. Still have a hole in me head, haven’t had anything else done with it. Fifth course of antibiotics.

Problem Solved.

I don’t mean to alarm you, Misnomer. It may be that your procedure will be fine. So…I won’t say anything else!
(Unless you really want the not-so-gory-just-painful details… :wink: )

I’m interested in this thread: on the 17th I’ll be having a gum reduction and some possible bone removal in preparation for another crown – or extraction.

I am not looking forward to this. This is a result of the Pizza Hut Incident. Grrrrr!

commasense, it was several years ago but I remember it as being really not that big of a deal. They gave me a couple of pain pills when I first came in so that they’d be kicking in by the time surgery was over and then deadened all the affected areas with a local. I think I had four grafts and it took maybe an hour and a half or so. It was pricy, about $750 per but my dentist had said that without I would eventually be at risk of losing some teeth altogether. After a week, maybe less, I came back in to have the stitches removed and that was it.

He gave me two pain prescriptions. One was heavy duty, some kind of narcotic, and some 800 mg ibuprofin. For whatever it’s worth, despite warnings to go home after the surgery and take it easy I went out and played 9 holes since the course was near empty at midday and I was so wired on painkillers. It might have been my best 9 holes ever, what with me at that time, and by extension my swing, being soooo dang “loose.”

I had this exact procedure done on a front tooth after exploding it out of my mouth on a stairway railing.

As with most dental operations, the worst part is merely the anesthetic injections - but needles and their associated pain don’t really bother me too much so it wasn’t a big deal for me. However I respond very well to local and had no pain during the surgery itself (gingivectomy and bone removal, prior to a root canal, prior to a very expensive porcelain crown.) It took about two hours, for me, and other than some swelling and a sore jaw I didn’t have many problems.

If I could do it again, I’d probably ask for nitrous to pass the time if nothing else.

I had the surgery. I was knocked out for the whole thing. Due to a job change, I didnt’ want to get caught up in an insurance nightmare, so I chose to have my whole mouth done at once. The worst part was having stitches between every tooth for 10 days. It’s like eating a whole pot roast and not having access to a toothpick!

It was fine. Sleeping through the trauma is the way to go.

Crown lengthening. That’s what I’m having, too. I couldn’t remember the exact phrase the dentist and then the specialist used. Ten-thirty tomorrow morning.

Hence also the attempt to quit smoking. “Limitations: in smokers, poorly controlled diabetes…” etc. according to the release form I signed.

It’s going to cost me over $1000–again–and I’ll be very angry if I complicate things further by being a smoker. Of course, I’d hoped to be over a month smoke-free by now, and that hasn’t exactly happened. I’m on the patch, but have had some slips. I’m sure as hell not smoking like I was before the crown lengthening consult, though.

I am not looking forward to tomorrow. :frowning:


Oh, shit! Sorry, OP, I have no encouraging words for you, but I think I just quit wanting to choke Dental Professionals for telling me how marvy it is that I have bad teeth but good gums.

Peel back the gums, and . . . Jesus <shudder> .

I hope you have an easy, painless lengthening procedure thingy.

I can tell you the results of my procedure, at least–

I have a hole in my mouth now. The dentist said that the new crack went down too far and the tooth could not be saved. It was extracted.

I am pretty bummed out about it, as now I’m looking at an implant (big bucks) or a bridge.

I am planning on suing Pizza Hut.

The only good thing about it is, being that I cannot do either replacement option until 4-5 months from now, that no one can tell I am missing a molar. Even when I do a big grin, it’s not visible.