At the beginning of the year I had so many plans. My word for the year was “DO” and I had so much I wanted to do. This year I wanted to post to the blog twice a week, do more YouTube videos and get my eBook finished. While things for the first half of the year were going slower than hoped I was still getting things done, then everything came to a screeching halt. I didn’t post for three weeks. The reason? For almost a year I had been putting off wisdom teeth surgery, but it was time to move forward and get it done. Afterall 2017 was the year of DOing things…. right?
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Wisdom Teeth Surgery
My oral surgeon and I agreed that I would have 3 of the teeth removed. One wisdom tooth was all the way through and causing damage to the adjacent molar. The two other teeth were impacted. The one on my bottom right was actually coming up sideways. The top left had a little surprise all of it’s own. but more on that later!
Now, from the title of this blog post you can probably guess that everything did not going swimmingly. I had my surgery June 16th, today almost 4 weeks later I am still recovering.
Expectations, and a surprise!
When I mentioned to people I was going to have wisdom teeth surgery, I was met with divided opinions on my recovery. Half said it was super easy recovery. The other half, was… Well, less than favorable. Many had suffered issues with swelling, recovery, infections, and worse. I needed the surgery doing to protect my other teeth, so no point worrying about it. Despite multiple X-rays prior to surgery, during surgery the oral surgeon discovered I had not four, but FIVE wisdom teeth!
The top left was hiding a little bonus tooth in front of my main wisdom tooth. Everyone gets told they are special, but who has five wisdom teeth? Who knew that was even possible? Everyone I’ve spoken to, only ONE other person has had five.
Post Wisdom Teeth Surgery
Post surgery is always fun. You know what’s happened, but the anaesthesia makes you loopy. Like everything is a dream. I remember feeling in pain, and yet numb at the same time. Which was kinda surreal. I received post surgery instructions, pain medication prescription and a baggy containing gauze, lip balm, and an ice pack.
Yes, you read that correctly. I said lip balm. During the surgery your mouth is pulled wider than it would naturally, potentially causing your lips to crack. Especially in the corners. The first 48 hours were pretty intense. A regime of Percocet and ice helped with the initial swelling and pain. Plus I had my amazing husband here to take care of me. In sickness and in health right?
As I mentioned people’s recovery from this surgery tends to be a full swing, anywhere from “it was nothing” to “absolute nightmare”. I think it depends on if the teeth are impacted.
As I mentioned, I had one wisdom tooth all the way through, one impacted and another sideways. Plus the bonus mini-tooth. Of these, the impacted one with the bonus tooth was my “problem side”. The other two teeth that I had removed healed really quickly, and were no problem at all.
I was back at work five days after surgery. In hindsight, I should have left it longer perhaps. But I eased in. Only teaching, not doing. Then exactly a week after surgery I woke up to pain and swelling again on the bonus mini-tooth side. I got an infection. Most likely due to them having to dig in and remove two teeth from one socket. Gross, but I could smell and taste the infection. Plus I felt terrible. My oral surgeon drained it, and put me on antibiotics.
Since then almost three weeks later I’ve been battling sinusitis. My left maxillary sinus is full of fluid. I’ve since switched antibiotics, had a course of steroids. And, I recently started pseudoephedrine and a nasal spray. My doctor said this could take 6-8 weeks to clear, but fingers crossed I get some relief before then.
7 wisdom teeth recovery tips
So all of this has lead me to compile a list of things to get, do and have, in order to prepare for wisdom teeth surgery. And also some advice for anyone undergoing this kind of surgery. Remember failing to plan is planning to fail!
- Stock up on ice cream, seriously! Oh and ok other soft foods like smoothies, soups, soda, etc. But mostly ice cream! It was days till I could open my mouth enough to scoop in mashed potato!
Related Tip: Skip the ice cream with any ‘bits’ in. They’ll get stuck in pockets. I also advise buying a few different flavors.
- Buy salt. Most surgeons will recommend salt water rinses for your mouth. Ensure you have some!
- Numb the pain. Get the prescription painkillers, but also have a pain reliever like Tylenol on hand. After the first couple of days I only needed the percocet at night. (Tylenol would wear off early hours of the morning and the pain would wake me up), and just needed a light pain reliever in the day.
- Ice Ice Baby! With regarding to icing. As much as fancy ice packs have a place, skip those and opt for a couple of bags of peas/corn. These are better as they are more pliable and form to the contours of your face. Though messier.
- Wear a hoodie. Sounds odd but bear with me. I found the best way to get relief was to put the hood up, shove the ice packs in and draw the string tight.
- Patience! Allow yourself 5-7 days of doing not very much at all. So get some mindless movies/TV to watch. I had lofty plans to read books (and get ahead on some study). However the initial couple of days on percocet left me without brain cells to focus on movies, never mind reading a book.
- Listen to your body. Cliche but true. Wisdom teeth surgery is no joke. Give your body time to heal. And remember, YOU know your body the best, not the doctors or dentists.
It important to heed the dentists/oral surgeons advice and follow the instructions given. However, also realize sometimes you might just take longer to recover than others. Or, like me, you could be one of the ‘lucky’ 1% that gets an infection. Remember any surgery has risks, and you could be left with a longer than planned recovery.
Almost a month later the swelling is gone, and I am back to eating normally. The only issue now is the lingering sinus infection. Which hope to kick soon, now I am on stronger medication. So, would I do it all again? Well, not having a real choice in the matter limits that answer. My teeth NEEDED to come out due to them damaging other teeth, and overcrowding. I’m definitely happy it’s over, and honestly unless you NEED the teeth removing (impaction/overcrowding) then I recommend to leave them alone. I still have one wisdom tooth, I had 5 remember, and that one is staying put. If it decides to grow in later, I’ll have it extracted once it’s all the way through. In my experience the recovery is MUCH easier once the tooth is fully cut through. So that’s my wisdom teeth surgery experience, advice and… words of wisdom.
I did recover! The infection cleared up with the new antibiotics. In total 3 rounds of antibiotics, steroids, nasal spray and saline rinses. It was not smooth sailing. The infected side never felt truly healed for months. I couldn’t do any inversions like forward fold or downward dog for 10 weeks (around 3 months counting the initial surgery).
- Do you still have your wisdom teeth?
- If you had them removed how was your surgery experience?
- Favorite ice cream flavor?
- How much should I get from the tooth fairy for four teeth?
- How many wisdom teeth do you have? Anyone else a have 5?
Knight Street Dentists
Nice content and glad that you finally recover from the surgery.
Hi, I’m on my 14th day after my impacted wisdom teeth removed, is it normal to have huge dark holes? And also my dentist told me to rinse with salt water and did not give me those curve syringe. I’m not in pain but the holes are bothering me (still in soft diet)
yeah I had the holes a while! They do eventually heal.
How long was it until you had full movement of your mouth back? I can only open my mouth so far..definitely not like I would presurgery.
Yeah it took a good while. I want to say it took a good 3-4 weeks to get the full range of movement back
I’ve been reading up a lot about wisdom teeth and the extraction and healing process, since I’m getting mine removed Wednesday May 5th, 2021! Its in about 11 days and I’m super nervous. Thank you for the advice! And I’m glad you healed well!
I am 17 years old, turning 18 next month. Im surprised my teeth are already impacted! I know its common to get them around 17-25 though. Anyways, I’m the most nervous because my if not two, all my teeth are impacted (if I remember correctly) and they’re not erupted from the gum line.
Plus, I might have some TMJ issues, which my dentist was telling me about on my last visit a few days ago. If it is that, I’m nervous that the oral surgery will worsen that pain. But he told me to give the oral surgeon a hand ups.
Hey i’m 24 and just had mine taken out yesterday, the pain was unbearable even with oxy for some reason. They only removed my bottom two which were impacted and still under the gums. They kept the top 2 because they were fully sprouted and helped with my bite.
Anyway my cheeks are drooping as if I have a permanent frown and my face is completely block shaped. I hope it doesn’t stay that way too long. I’m so embarrassed, I look like a cartoon right now
Oh heck yes I remember the swelling was crazy for me also. More embarrassing for me as mine was lob-sided. Had both top ones out, but only had bottom right removed.
Hope you’re feeling better!
I had gotten mine out exactly one week ago, I am 25 and kind of wish I did it a lot sooner! My right side healed perfect by my left top tooth isn’t doing so great, It started to hurt yesterday and got that gross taste in my mouth this morning! I’m pretty postits a infection! Good thing I have a check up tomorrow so hopefully my dentist will fix it and I’ll be on my way! I can’t wait to eat real solid food again! Haha
Yep that horrible taste was the first thing for me. You’ll heal soon!
These are great tips! I had my wisdom teeth removed when I was 20 years old and still remember how my face swelled. The dentist wrapped my entire head in a tight gauze; I looked ridiculous when I was wheeled out! I took a lot of pain meds over the weekend and felt fine a few days later.
hahaha yep I’ve seen some people with the same gauze wrap. I’ve heard people basically can get black eyes from this surgery too, Crazy how we’re all so different
Kaity | With Kids and Coffee
Yes to the ice cream!!! That is, no joke, an absolute must for wisdom teeth removal recovery. And what a great idea to use the hood of a hoodie to hold an ice pack—genius! 🙂
hahah I know! My oral surgeon told me the hoodie trick!
Bless you for going through all of that! It’s good to know that you’re doing so much better and you’re free from any discomfort your wisdom teeth might be giving you before. I’ve never had one!
At 45 it’s not something I thought I’d have to deal with at my age!
I remember having my wisdom removed when I was in college. They were all impacted. Because I have fair complexion, I swelled up, especially one side. It wasn’t fun but not to bad. I did enjoy a few delicious milkshakes.
For sure, many smoothies and ice cream bowls were had!
I had mine out last year and it was so awful. I ended up with dry socket and that was the worst pain ever.
ugh sorry to hear that.
I remember getting my wisdom teeth pulled out when I was in school. I don’t think they asked me if I wanted to keep them. It makes for a cool picture though.
Hehehe right? Maybe they knew I was a blogger 😉
Thank you for writing this. I am having surgery tomorrow and am terrified. This helps me prepare mentally for what I’m up against! I am 29 and have waited as long as I can, the dentist now says they must come out. This was very helpful in preparing for surgery. Thank you again
awww sorry to hear this. Hope you had a good recovery!
I ha all of mine out in high school, and it was no fun! Mine were impacted and apparently a pain to remove. While recovery wasn’t terrible, my swelling and bruising was. My face was so swollen that I ended up with 2 black eyes, so it looked like I had just been on the losing end of a terrible fight. I was still badly bruised when I tried to go back to school, and I insisted on keeping sunglasses on even in class lol
Oh wow! I didn’t have any bruising thankfully!
Wisdom teeth are so fickle and it’s all down to circumstance. I had two wisdom teeth removed a few year’s ago as both had come out quite a bit and I was fine, back to work the following day and no side effects, but I know I was super lucky x
The right side caused ZERO issues. What I get for having FIVE I guess lol
WOW! That was intense. I never heard of anyone who has 5 wisdom teeth before. Maybe 3 but that’s it. I think you did well and it’s awesome that you’ve fully recovered. I’ve never had any wisdom teeth and I hope nothing pops up!
Four is “normal”. I’ve heard of people with no wisdom teeth, seems it;s pretty common
I was not a big fan of wisdom tooth surgery but I am glad that I got it done!
Yes now it’s all over, I’m glad it’s done.
I’ve had all my wisdom teeth removed – all in the chair completely awake! And the first two were infected and the numbing didn’t work effectively and I could feel them cracking my teeth!! It was awful – if I had my time again I’d be knocked out for sure! Also – never use a straw to drink, even if tempted. You’ll end up with dry socket and that’s a whole other pain1
Yes I was warned about the straw thing.
Definitely getting knocked out is the way to go! I think if they are all the way through then sure, but if impacted then zonk me out!
when i got my wisdom teeth taken out, it hurt so muccccccch.
but it was the best thing ever because of how much my jaw pain stopped.
I definitely see now that I was in a constant dull ache on the top right from the tooth that was fully through and causing overcrowding…
I’m 24 and got mine out 3 days ago. All 4 were impacted. The bottom two were partly erupted, the top two were still under the gums. I’m still swollen and in a lot of pain, but I’m hoping this surgery will fix my ENT problems. I’ve had reoccurring sinus/ear/salivary gland infections every 6-8 weeks for several years now.
I’ve had sinus surgery, allergy meds and many courses of antibiotics and steroids and none of the doctors could figure it out.
As painful as this is at the moment, its not as painful as the cumulative infections I hope it will prevent. Ya’ll pray for me. I really hope this works and that I recover from this surgery quickly.
Fingers crossed for you my friend! Sending healing vibes!
What an adventure, I thought you could only have 4. You seem to have snapped back in good order now. I did not realize you could wait so long to take them out.
Oh yeah. You can have them out whenever they cause issues.
Soooo, I have had two sets of wisdom teeth removed! The second go around they removed some seed teeth that could have created a third set. I was lucky, though, no post recovery issues.
Whaaaaat???? That’s crazy!
Can I just say how incredibly brave I think you are for sharing this? The raw images, the real words, altogether very courageous and very helpful.
Thanks Kimberly. If it helps one person it’s worth it!
I had mine out when I was about 21 and it was ROUGH. It took me a good week to recover!
I wish I’d had mine out earlier, but I guess it wasn’t thought to be a problem