I can feel that the stitches were done somewhat differently to prevent migration and allow room for extra swelling if there was to be any. Turns out though, there wasn’t any extra because since I’m at risk for extra inflammation, she prescribed a steroid to take for the critical four days after. The one she gave me was Dexamethasone.
So I am in considerably less pain than the last time. I still can’t chew anything too tough or tolerate hot foods, but I can do very soft bread, and breathing doesn’t hurt. I was expecting it to be much worse than it is, even in a good case. I even have a bit of relief because the rest of my teeth have some room without the tension of my wisdom teeth grinding them together.
Meanwhile, my upper mouth is feeling a lot better as well. I don’t know what she did up there because I was kind of zonked out. I even felt myself falling asleep a little during the procedure. All the slices from the old stitches are closed though. Two places still have this kind of tiny hard line, but they are secure.
The right preparation has made a big difference. Now I can tell people what a good post operative experience is. Prepare for the worst, and it’s likely that you’ll come out feeling okay.
Update October 27, 2021: A Painful Reminder
I ran out of the dexamethasone a couple of days ago. We thought four days would be enough. Turns out that it’s not. As I had suspected from how things shook out the last time, as long as the stitches are in, my body’s going to keep trying to push them out. Since they are more secure this time, it won’t succeed, but that doesn’t mean that my skin won’t inflame, bleed, and ooze something in an attempt to purge the invader.
So at the moment, I am in the process of trying to reach either the periodontist or my family doctor for a refill. The past two days, the pain has been colorful. I’m fading in and out of consciousness. Yesterday, Diva came to visit and comfort me a bit, and I was zoning in and out mid conversation.
It’s not all bad. I don’t have a fever. From others, I’m not getting that my breath is particularly foul. The source of the pain is inflammation from the stitches. It has me wondering what in the heck they are made of that is causing such a horrible reaction. I’ve had stitches before, but they never hurt like this. I’m guessing that it’s not the sutures themselves, but what happens to them after the surgery that causes the reaction. Food, toothpaste, and mouthwash get in there and it’s a nice hole through which irritants can travel. So I’ve been keeping my mouth very clean. It’s still not enough.
Hopefully soon I’ll hear back from someone about a refill.
Update October 28, 2021: Ew. Ew. EW! But kinda amazed at my Ancestors right now.
I got the refill of dexamethasone, so I’m feeling much, much better. Now I’m back down from ghost pepper level pain to piri piri pain. The problem is that because of the inflammation episode, five of the stitches and the clotting helper of one of the extractions have fallen out. Nothing unraveled. The loops are complete and tied. My skin just pushed them out. Now there’s a kind of slit where each of them was, and though they are healing just fine, I’m having little flashbacks of that movie The Thing only with the sutures instead of a hot wire.
The immune system is an amazing thing. I’m grateful for it. It’s a bit inconvenient when information is lacking, but once one knows how to care for things properly, it’s kinda cool.
In a few days I’ll be getting the stitches out, what’s left of them anyway.
Pics (WARNING! These are gross.)
Here are a couple of photos from during the inflammation. By this point I was in or near tears most of the time. Thankfully this time there was some relief available.
Now, here is one of the loops of suture that my gums have pushed out. Notice, it’s intact. The knot is tight. It’s this way with all of them. There was no error in the periodontist’s work. They’re beautiful stitches. It’s just that my gums are not having this without steroidal intervention. Mind you, I was doing the maximum allowable ibuprofin and they still puffed up and pushed out like I was going through many tiny labors in my mouth.
So you have an idea of the depth from which these loops were pushed, here is a photo of one of the loops that is still holding on. It is not as deep as it was. It may be gone before my stitch removal appointment.
I apologize for the quality of the photos. They were taken mostly with my or Shai’s phone. However, as you can see, I haven’t been pulling them unconsciously or something. The skin underneath the point where they detach with a little bit of immune gunk that encases them is fused. The inflammation didn’t happen just because they were there. It’s a part of the mechanics of people with keloid type skin. Something breaks the skin and it goes into overdrive to heal as quickly as possible. So it inflames to push the thing out, and then when that space is cleared, it heals right away. This is why there’s no blood. The at least three she did for the extraction that came out maybe 3 hours ago, left a half centimeter hole through which one could see the white area where my tooth was, but that hole is about a millimeter wide now.
I hope that this does something to push the science and education in oral care and dentistry for dark skinned people forward a bit. There is already plenty written on keloid type skin, and hypertrophic scarring in general, but there doesn’t seem to be many examples of people posting what happens as it is happening. Also, I will admit to being kind of biased. I think we are beautiful and our skin is beautiful and wonderful. Humanity in general needs to see how wonderfully we are made and how much a part of Nature we are.
So those whose profession and calling it is to take care of us need as much information as possible to do the best job they can. Especially nowadays, they work so hard. The less they have to guess and worry, the better. Knowing how this stuff actually works will save a lot of time, trauma, and hey, money too. On Emdogain specifically, this stuff is expensive and not covered by many insurance providers. Hopefully this will change because compared to other treatments for the same thing, this would be the least traumatic for those of us with keloid prone skin IF proper care is taken.
Please feel free to leave comments or write to me about it in email.
Blessings and Ashe!