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Settling into My Smile

It’s been exactly two weeks since Extraction Day. For those interested parties, I’ve listed below a summary of my issues and progress over these first fourteen days. If you’re looking to get dentures, this may help you know what to expect, though every situation is different. If you’ve not yet read about my situation in the first Smile journey post, you may find it beneficial to do so. Throughout this blog, I’ve left tips and links; please, feel free to scour the pages for anything you may find useful, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. I’d love to help others finally take that step tot a new, happier life!

My Denture Adventure

Day 1: Eday! I got all my uppers pulled (11 teeth), The worst part was the needles used to numb my gums. I have a heart condition, so the Dr. had to take it slow, only being able to use so much of the numbing agent at a time. The process was frustratingly slow, and the Dr. was leaning toward rescheduling to do the rest on another day. I begged with him to continue – I just wanted it to be finally over with – and, thankfully, he agreed. It still didn’t take very long. In the end, I was there for a total of about four hours. When I walked out, I had a set of permanent dentures over the extraction site with instructions to keep it in for the first full 24 hours. After that, I was to rinse twice a day and keep them in the rest of the time. My mouth was incredibly swollen and the dentures were barely able to go in at all. The medicine I was prescribed made me nauseous, and I took the dentures out while getting sick. I rinsed gently with orajel antibacterial mouthwash and put the dentures back in until the next day. In all, my pain scale during the procedure ranged from 0-4, at home/with meds 1-2.

Day 2: I slept with my dentures in, and rinsed them out immediately upon waking. The smell and taste was terrible!! I nearly got sick again, but managed to hold it back. I rinsed gently with lukewarm saltwater, then the orajel mouthwash. I then reinserted my dentures and tried to drink a cup of coffee. Sadly, I wasn’t able to get more than a few sips down. The heat and sweetness made it too uncomfortable, so I began drinking Boost protein shakes in the mornings instead.

Days 3-6: The pain medication helped a lot during this time. I wore my dentures day and night, taking them out to rinse and brush twice, sometimes 3x each day. Throughout this time, I drank protein shakes and ate oatmeal, cream of wheat, mashed potatoes with finely shredded roast beef, mac and cheese, and a variety of noodles and soups. On the 6th day, I used the last of my medication and slept with the dentures out that night. Relieving the pressure on my gums felt amazing, and I started thinking about maybe leaving my dentures out until I was totally healed from the extractions.

Days 7-14: Week two, post-extraction has been a lot easier to manage than week one. I decided the pain was too much for me to handle without the medication they’d given me. I removed my dentures on the 6th night and haven’t put them back in since. The extraction sites seem to be healed well, but the gums are still so raw, it’s very painful to have anything but the softest foods touch them. I did try smearing a thin layer of orajel extra strength numbing cream on the inside of the dentures and on my gum line. It definitely helped to get over the initial pain of getting them in, though it was still nowhere near comfortable to do so. Eventually, the gel wore off and I had to take them back out, the pain was too much.

So, here I sit, two weeks post-Eday, with a gummy smile. Right now, my biggest complaint is my sore mouth muscles, which have been trying to get used to holding my mouth and lips in a slightly different way. Especially when eating what I can, my tired muscles make it a tedious process, and I end up wanting to rest my jaw more than anything else. That was definitely an unexpected pain, but is, thankfully, subsiding now. I’ve been taking Tylenol extra strength to manage the pain, and am finally able to drink coffee again! I still have to take small bites and mash food on the roof of my mouth, but I did manage to eat some meatloaf last night, so there’s definitely progress, food-wise. I just can’t wait until the day I can finally bite into a burger!!

I was definitely naïve about how this would all go. I thought ‘Goodbye, terrible teeth. Hello, amazing new smile!’ But it’s not like that at all. It’s more like, ‘Goodbye terrible teeth. Hello weeks of pain, healing, and borderline starvation.’ Soon, I know, things will get better. But, believe me when I say this has been just as much of an emotional journey as a physical one. I can’t count how many times I’ve nearly teared up at the sight of someone eating, or when smelling something delicious I know I can’t eat. When you’re really, really hungry and know the prospect of enjoying those meals and snacks are weeks or even months away… it was a bit of a shock how deeply it affected me on an emotional level.

Thank you for going on this journey with me. Having this blog has really helped me in so many more ways than you might imagine. I don’t believe I ever would’ve finally gone through with this if not for discussing everything here and receiving the information, feedback, and encouragement from so many people. I may post on this subject again in the future, and I will definitely be sharing photos (and going live – like, a LOT – once my dentures are comfortable enough to wear) and perhaps some tips and advice posts here and there, but I’m happy to say, it’s been a long, hard 12 years, but I’m finally on the road back to Me. I love you all. ❤

3 thoughts on “Settling into My Smile

  1. Wow! So painful! But I believe it. I had a crown done yesterday. I have another in three weeks, so that is six weeks of not chewing gum or eating nuts, apples, chips even. But that is NOTHING compared to you! I’m glad you are hanging in there! Just wow!! OUCH! Keep up the good work! You will get there!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Ruth! It’s going to be worth it in the end, I know it. So I will suffer through being uncomfortable to reach that end goal. I have lots of plans… 😉

      Liked by 2 people

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