I recently had to get a chunk taken out of the roof of my mouth and sewn to the bottom left of my gums. And it's not the first time I've had to get gum rejuvenation surgery either. But hopefully it will be the last.
My gum recession is the result of a mixture of issues, including genetics, a lot of orthodontia and maybe some vigorous brushing. I've had to get two gum replacements so far, and should anything change, they've already identified a few spots that are thinner than the rest.
Gum replacement surgery is not ideal, and people sympathize with me over it. It's a bit rare to need new gums when you're only 24 (good god, when in the hell did I get so old though?!), but people think it's weird when I respond to their sympathy with, "Thanks, but I'm doing really well. It's just a bit swollen and hurts only when I smile."
The first time I had to get my gums replaced, I was not nearly as calm about the procedure. I didn't know if it was really necessary or how it could possible have happened to me. I didn't know what I did wrong. I didn't know what is was going to be like or what the recovery was going to be like. I was nervous.
But this time, I've put it all in a healthy perspective. It's way easier than getting wisdom teeth out, and it is a solidly good reason to watch Scrubs reruns and eat cake batter ice cream.
Does it hurt? Yes. Do I enjoy it? No. But there's so much worse out there.
I don't want to jinx myself, but there are so many diseases and so many genetic traits that I could have gotten. If getting my gums cut and paste around my mouth is my cross to bear, I should really consider myself lucky.
To take it a step further, I should also count my blessings that I live in a country where we take preventative steps to stop the problem from occurring (the problem with my receding gums was that my roots might become exposed and then I'd get an infection and lose my tooth), and that I have a job that helps to cover the cost of the procedure.
And the icing on the cake is that I've got great roommates and friends who took the plunge and laid on the sofa with me on a Friday night when I was too swollen and medicated to leave the house. They even supplied the ice cream and Easy Mac.
All it really takes to get over gum replacement surgery is a brighter perspective.