My Gingivectomy Experience & Recovery / Carmen Varner // Travel Influencer, Blogging Coach, Social Media Consultant


My Gingivectomy Experience & Recovery

I'm drooling, lying on the couch, eating a liquidy black bean soup, watching CSI: Miami on Netflix while the left side of my mouth is completely & utterly numb. How did it get here? What's going on? Well, let me fill you in.

DAMN YOU WISDOM TEETH! There I said it. Some of you may have experienced a wisdom teeth extraction. It's a pretty standard procedure to get them taken out since many of us don't have enough room in our mouths to keep them. If you do, you're lucky! The wisdom teeth are technically your third & final set of molars; they usually pop up in your teens & 20s. 

I got my wisdom teeth removed about three years ago. I had three of them. My recovery was relatively easy. Of course, there was a bit of discomfort & some aching. I slurped on some soft foods & liquids, relaxed & let it all heal. There were no issues. Now fast forward three years.

What is a gingivectomy? 

The gums where my wisdom teeth were & my current molars are decided to heal up stupidly, causing infections & other issues. My dentist recommended getting the extra gum tissue removed. So I did. The surgery is called a gingivectomy, where excess gum tissue is removed to reduce diseased tissue & pockets that trap bacteria. I split the gingivectomy into two procedures because it was more most cost-effective through insurance. I already did my right side a couple months ago. Now for my left side.

Gingivectomy Survival Kit

You'll need:
- Neosporin
- Q-Tips
- Face Ice Pack
- Soup
- Advil &/or Tylenol
- Reading pillow
- Aura Cacia Chill Pill essential oil blend


Day 1

The procedure took about an hour. They applied a topical numbing cream & then injected me with something to ensure my gums were totally senseless. All I felt was a slight pinch. I was awake during the procedure & kept my eyes closed most of the time. It's pretty freaky to open your eyes & watch people with a scalpel hack away in your mouth. I could feel the tension of the scalpel on my teeth as they removed excess gums.

Now I'm lying in bed eating soup & avoiding chewing anything on my left side. My mouth is still numb but the feeling will go away in a couple hours. Today is all about icing my mouth & just resting & recuperating.

Day 2

For the first 24 hours after the operation, I'm supposed to ice my left cheek with an ice pack for 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off. I didn't strictly follow this. Every four to six hours, I took two Advil & a Tylenol as ordered. I followed the pain-relieving guidelines after my numbness subsided & the aching came through. At night, instead of taking the Advil/Tylenol combination, I took two Tylenol PMs. Always read the label!

Oh my lord. My jaw is sore. I can open barely my mouth to a third of its capacity.

FYI: During my first procedure I received a cut right at the corner of my mouth/lips during the stitching part. Apparently, this is called angular cheilitis; thanks for the info Google. Any movement seemed to open the wound & keep it cracked. My advice to you is to specifically request for them to lubricate your mouth & lips to avoid this error in the future. I asked for Vaseline twice during my second procedure & this absolutely helped.

Since I woke up with an incredibly sore mouth, I did the Advil/Tylenol combination & iced my cheek. I felt better after a couple of hours. Today I'm supposed to do a warm saltwater rinse instead of the 15-minute icing intervals. I did a rinse in the morning & in the afternoon.


Day 3

I didn't take any pain medication today. I'm a little sore but nothing I can't survive. I'm sticking to mashed foods, soft foods, & soups because I can't chew on my left side.

Day 4

My gums are doing well. I did a saltwater rinse. Even though I'm not actively trying, I can feel the stitches in my mouth. As ordered, I've been using the Peridex solution every day & night on the gums rather than brushing them. Other than that I brush my teeth as usual, simply avoiding the affected area.

Day 5

My mouth & gums barely hurt at all! Yay! I can somewhat chew.

Day 6

My stitches are coming out. My jaw feels funky though. I think it's a bit sore from being open during the procedure & having to exclusively eat with my right side.

Days 7 - 10

Everything is almost back to normal. There's only a mild sensation of awkwardness in my jaw & gums.

Day 14

I feel back to normal. I visited the periodontist today & he said everything looks great. There's a bit of swelling & healing left, so he wants me to come back in two weeks. My tip to those who are getting a gingivectomy: if you're healing well, schedule your checkup 3 - 4 weeks from your initial procedure to allow time to heal, so you don't have to keep come in multiple for a 5 minute check up. 


Day 21

I came in again & my periodontist said everything looks great & my gums are healing appropriately. He wants me to visit for a final check-up in six weeks. 

Day 32

I went to the dentist today & the dental hygienist could tell which side was most recently done. I obviously can't see that far into my mouth. It's interesting that although I don't feel any particular discomfort, it's evident that the tissues inside my mouth take time to recuperate 100%.

Final Thoughts

I hope this helps anyone who's considering a gingivectomy. At the time, everything felt sore & achy & I couldn't wait for that feeling to go away. Now I can feel a big difference in my mouth & know it's going to help my gums & teeth in the long run.

Have you had your wisdom teeth removed? :]

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  1. Oh my goodness... couldn't believe that someone needed to go through all of that procedures and amount of pain as such! Hope everything is gonna be alright, Carmen! Cool photographs, though!

    Love from Indonesia,

  2. WOW Gingivectomy sounds like a nightmare :( My wisdom teeth are embedded in my gums now and the dentist advised me to observe further in case it decides to sprout out from my gums and I might need to get them extracted ~ Am dreading it already when I read about your post :x

    Feel better real soon hun!

    xoxo, Aldora
    Aldora Muses – A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Instagram

  3. Hi Carmen! I've never had to go through what you've experienced... I hope I don't have to , the though of stitches in my mouth makes me skrinch! I am happy you are recovering slow but steady, hope you get to eat all you want very soon! :)

    Have a great week!
    x Josune @YourBeautyScript

  4. I'm in the middle of a bunch of dental work right now so really feel for you!
    Emma |

  5. Ouch! So uncomfortable and inconvenient! Sorry you're dealing with that!


    Bridget ||

  6. I've had a few extractions when I had braces when I was 12. I did have a wisdom tooth removed 3 years ago on my top right side because it was crowding the other tooth and making it hard to floss.


  7. It sounds like a nightmare. Luckily, I haven't had my wisdom teeth (or not felt them come through as I am 28 now??), either way I hope you are healing nicely

    Lauren x |

  8. I am 30 and I haven't has my wisdom teeth yet, I hope it won't ever come out! So many people complain about the pain that I don't want to go through it. So sorry to what you had to go through, at least now all is fine :)

    Ela BellaWorld

  9. It sounds amazing! Love this post!


    Love from {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

  10. I'm sure my friend needs this information. Thanks for sharing! :)

  11. I need to get mine removed asap, im so scared though lol
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

  12. What a cool post, a wisdom tooth started popping out when I was on holiday in Thailand. It was hell, it hurt so much I considered getting a pair of pliers or tying some string to a horse's foot. I just wanted it out! Thankfully, it stopped killing me about a fortnight after it first appeared.

    Kiran |

  13. Oh my goodness! I thought my widow teeth troubles were bad!

    Jenn |

  14. Great tips!

  15. Hop yo get better, kisses and hugs your way. Would love to connect with you, check out my blog and giveaway worth £150!

    Kisses xo | From Aliona With Love

    Instagram alionawithlove

    Twitter alionawithlove

  16. Oh my god, I am glad you have recovered fastly!!! My wisdom teeth started to grow about a year or two ago, and upper ones grow fully and fine, lower right grows croocked inside my mouth, so also doesn't cause any discomfort. But the forth one...... That rascal grows outside, so everyone half a year it hurts for a bout a week, and it keeps causing little injuries on my cheek when I chew :( My dentist keep suggesting me to remove it but I'm too scared. In Russia they use local anaesthesia so it makes it much more scarier! But the cheek injuries became more often so I guess I'll have to man up and remove it at last:( But I'm honestly absolutely terrified.

  17. This sounds awful! I'm so sorry you had to experience that, BUT I am sending positive vibes your way for your recovery, lovely xx

  18. These photos make this experience look so glamorous! Ha! Sorry you were in so much pain but glad you're feeling better!

    Xox Dana Ivy //

  19. Glad to hear that things are getting back to normal after your procedure, I'm sure it'll be worth the horrible experience for the long term health of your gums!
    The Lipstick, The Girl and Her Wardrobe

  20. I know. It was such a long, odd experience. Glad it's over...hopefully. :]

  21. Wisdom teeth extraction is pretty common. I think my gums were the exception. :]

  22. Mouth stitches were quite gross, I have to say. :]

  23. We're in this together. What are you working on right now? :]

  24. Thank you. It's over (for now!). :]

  25. Wow, that sounds like an ordeal. Did it heal well? :]

  26. I think you're good if you're 28! :]

  27. That's awesome. You probably won't have any extractions then. :]

  28. You can do it. A little pain is better than lots of pain (cuz your wisdom teeth are crowding your mouth). :]

  29. That sounds terrible! What happened with the tooth now?

  30. Wisdom teeth was just the beginning for me! :]

  31. Local anesthesia can be scary but it's also nice since you can wake up & the whole ordeal is over - rather than being awake & seeing everything! :]

  32. Thank you for the positive vibes. :]

  33. Glamorous! Haha. I didn't think the photo of bloody gauze in my mouth with drool dripping down my cheek would help anybody, so I went with these photos. :]

  34. Oh yes. Absolutely. I can really feel a difference back there! :]

  35. I had all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed right after I turned 27 (they were well beyond ready to come out). I was knocked out for about 15-20 minutes and didn't remember a thing about the procedure (I don't remember, either, if stitches were added back there). Luckily for me, things went well and I recuperated as prescribed (some pain medication, replacing gauze regularly, etc.), with no major lingering results after I returned to work 4 days later. Sorry to read of what you went through, but you were smart to have it done lest it have turned into something really serious. Hope you're feeling much better. :)

  36. Love that you took your time to share it with us. Great post

    Happy Monday Doll! Kisses,


  37. Oh god! This all scenario just sounds like Ahhh :(
    Really hope you wont have to go through any off this ever again!

    Allie | RainyAllie

  38. Woo that's great! Proper healing is amazing! :]

  39. Ahhhh... I've got a gingivectomy scheduled for next week and am petrified! Thanks for sharing this and what worked best for you during the healing process!

  40. Jewel at After Sunday DinnerFebruary 22, 2019 at 3:23 PM

    What was your diet like during this process. I just had mine a week ago and I’m dying on soft foods only.

  41. It sucked to be honest! I wanted to eat real food, but it's temporary. Smoothies (as long as there are no seeds), applesauce, soups, soft/mashed veggies (mashed potato, mashed cauliflower, mashed broccoli, soft carrot), etc.


Thanks for reading & writing. :] // ▲


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