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My Gum Surgery Did Not Take

I have crowding in two of my lower front teeth which pushes one tooth out more than the rest. I started to see that my gum over this one tooth that is pushed out started to get lower and lower. I saw a periodontist who told me he could take part of the gum from next to that tooth and "flip" it so that it was still connected to the blood supply and try to attach it to that tooth.
The procedure took about 40 mins. It involved numbing my lower front jaw, scraping that tooth a bit, then they put some acid or something like that on my exposed tooth that they were trying to have the gum stick to, then the cutting, then the stitching, then a chewing gum like material was placed over that area so I would be able to eat. I only felt the needle from the numbing stuff. And a little sensitivity when the acid was applied. But nothing else, and it was uncomfortable, but not painful.
I came back 12 days later to have the chewing gum like stuff out and the stitches out. My procedure did not work. The gum flap that was cut seems to have gone back it's original area. My exposed tooth seems to be more exposed than before. I have a few more weeks of recovery, but it's very clear that the gum will not be covering that tooth by moving over by itself. I was told that this procedure was more likely to work than the one where they take the tissue from the top of your mouth. My dentist wants to try again using that method now. I'm not sure I will do it.
The recovery was okay - it was uncomfortable but manageable. I had swelling and pain for the first three days, but then I was fine.
So far I have read that the danger to leaving the tooth exposed like this is that it can damage the bone and eventually I might loose the tooth. But due to the crowding, I think that I would be okay with that (but maybe I'm naive about this). And you can't see the problem when i talk or laugh, so I'm not sure that trying again will be worth it. I am leaning towards not having another surgery done and taking my chances with my tooth.


newyorklily newyorklily 26-30, F 4 Responses Sep 28, 2010

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I too just had gum graft surgery exactly a week ago. I had no idea what to expect. It wasn't too bad - the worst part about the actual procedure were the needles to numb my mouth After that, I didn't feel a thing (my jaw was kind of sore from holding my mouth open, but again, no big deal) I was completely awake through the whole thing.. no sedation or pills or gas. He did the procedure where he cut a piece from the roof of my mouth (he took it from the right side) and stitched it on my one front tooth where the gum recession was. He used dissolvable stitches and at exactly a week out now, they're pretty much all gone. The first couple days were the worst, but by no means all that awful. It was slightly uncomfortable, but it wasn't really painful at all, even after the numbing wore off. The stitches on the roof of my mouth and oozing of a little blood from the graft site were the worst parts, but just annoying more than anything else. The swelling of my upper lip was the most bothersome part, and I just took a little Advil to help that. I used ice like they said (10 min on, 10 min off) the first 24 hours. The next three days or so I still had some minor swelling, but it got better each day. The oozing stopped after a couple days, and stopped completely after three. So I was really shocked and a little scared when a week out from surgery, I woke up with my front teeth and lips stained with blood with some on my pillow too. I used the Chlorahexadine rinse they gave me to use twice a day (which is NOT as bad as everyone makes it out to be.. it's just like mouthwash with no alcohol.. does stain your teeth a tiny bit though) and it cleared up. Not knowing what to think, I did call the office and she said it sometimes can happen, and isn't a concern if it doesn't continue bleeding and doesn't continue to happen the next morning. I go back in a week to see him for a follow up appointment.. just keeping my fingers crossed that it was successful and that it took well. Good luck to anyone else that needs this surgery! It's not fun, but it's really not as bad as some make it out to seem :)

i had the more invasive one done three days ago where they take the tissue from your palette and for me there was little pain after the procedure. the first day yes and the day after slight pain, it's mostly inconvenient that i can't eat solid foods easily. i was expecting the worst but really it was nothing like the horror stories people tell. yes it could turn out bad but it could also turn out easy like it did for me.

It sounds like you have 3 options:<br />
<br />
1. Leave it be.<br />
2. Get the procedure repeated.<br />
3. Try another method.<br />
<br />
If you leave it, you may not think it is a big deal now because you are just thinking aesthetics. I assure you that most dentists would not care either because they will leave anything to look ugly whenever they can get away with it. That is not the problem and not what you need to worry about. The problem is, you could lose your tooth because the root is exposed. Eventually it will become damaged, die, and then you will have to go through much more uncomfortable procedures. Believe me, a dental implant, bone graft or any other sort of tooth surgery is a LOT more painful. <br />
It sounds like option 2, although it did not take the first time, was not that invasive. At worst, it's a little uncomfy and at worst will not take and you may have to do it again. It sucks but... eh. It sounds like a piece of cake compared to a regular graft.<br />
Option 3 is quite a bit more invasive and you need someone who is really good to get it to work. It also can be incredibly painful during healing. I just had it done, and my whole face swelled (even my eye almost swelled shut). Of course, this is not necessarily typical, but... it's not a fun procedure. I'd say go through option 2 again, before you end up having to go through 3, or worse losing your tooth and having to go through a bunch of other procedures, some of which I know from experience are horrifying.

This is the procedure I had - (taken from wiki) <br />
A lateral pedicle graft, or pedicle graft, takes tissue from the area immediately adjacent to the damaged gingiva. This is not always an option, as the constraint that there must be sufficient tissue immediately lateral to the area of interest is an onerous one. When this procedure is performed, the transplant tissue is cut away and rotated over the damaged area. This can place the donor area at risk of recession as well.<br />
<br />
(I was not told about the donor area being at risk, or that my recession might get worse. It looks to me like the donor area will be fine, but the original recession does look worse.)