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?