It happened!! I got the gingivectomy (the removal of excess gum tissue) I’ve needed on my front upper teeth. A full mouth gingivectomy was/is planned for the end of treatment with braces, but right now my teeth have already moved enough that my gums were getting very puffy and in the way. I used to have a gap in the middle of my front teeth and when they got pushed together, the gum tissue between them was squeezed out the back (my tongue could feel a lump of gum tissue on the back of my teeth) and squeezed out the front, making an ugly bulge that was unsightly and painful to floss. Also, since my teeth are moving up using the mini screw anchors, my excess gum tissue has no where to go, so it started hanging lower on my teeth, making my teeth appear smaller and smaller.
I was able to go see my usual dentist, not my orthodontist, to talk about the plan this morning. I had a 7am appointment so I would be on time for work, even if they decided to go through with the gingivectomy this morning, but I really was just planning on it being a consult. After some poking and measuring, my dentist decided he could comfortably remove about 2mm of gum tissue from my top front 4 teeth, and we decided to go for it! They numbed me up and he went right to work with a small scalpel, cutting away my gum tissue, giving my teeth and gums a nice, even shape. He even took care of the extra tissue I could feel behind my teeth. He also decided to perform a frenectomy, which is the removal of the tissue that connects the upper lip to the gums, because mine was pretty prominent, with too low of an attachment. (See labial frenum in example:)
He cauterized a few areas and it was done. The hygienist applied some pressure to my bleeding gums with gauze for about 5 minutes. The whole process took less than 10 minutes once he started cutting. They cleaned me up and sent me home with a roll of gauze in my lip, which I had to keep there all day to prevent that frenum area from reattaching.
My dentist wrote me a prescription for some pain medication but I haven’t needed it at all. I’ve taken two doses of ibuprofen today, just to keep on top of any pain I may have, but so far I don’t think I’ve even needed it, because I feel nothing! I must have a high pain tolerance? Because all of these barbaric things I’m doing to my mouth have been such a breeze. I guess we’ll see what it feels like tomorrow.
When I got home and had a look at my new teeth…that I could finally see, with a nice shape and length, I cried. I actually cried tears of joy! I am so pleased with the results already, and it still looks like a crime scene in my mouth. I am such a lucky girl to finally be able to make these improvements to my smile. I cannot WAIT until I have the smile of my dreams in a couple years. Until then, I am enjoying the journey.
And now for pictures!
**warning, graphic photos ahead**
right after it was done:
My fat lip (gauze) I got to go to work with:
Happy! and cleaned up a little:
This morning’s before & after: