Wisdom teeth removal: what they don’t tell you

So… I’ve been super MIA (again… I know, I suck…) but my absence started for a good reason. I got my freakin’ wisdom teeth removed. AND IT HAS BEEN A STRUGGLE. Just look how swollen I was on day 2… and it got worse by the way.

I never got my wisdom teeth removed as a teen and unfortunately they didn’t disappear into thin air like I hoped. Last year at the ripe age of 28 I had to get an emergency wisdom tooth extraction on the bottom right. It was a horrific experience. Mainly because it was super rushed, I developed an infection pre surgery which made the healing process even worse, and my surgeon was a huge douche bag. The actual WORSE part was that it took 2 months for me to be without shooting pain in my mouth (I legitimately thought I had severe nerve damage.)

Fast forward to the beginning of February when I was having terrible pain on the bottom left and went to an oral surgeon and found out I had to get that one removed (which I knew.) Ended up deciding to just get rid of all of them at the end of February and… I still haven’t decided if it was worth it. Here’s why….

  1. The pain very possibly will last longer than the 3 – 5 days you will likely be told. I had zero pain on day one, on day two I was nauseous all day but no pain, and day 3 and beyond has been treacherous. Like seriously… holy shit balls the pain is terrible. 21 days out and I still can’t eat or even just be still without some sort of pain. I know people who’ve healed so quickly with no problem but that is not even close to the case for me… and it may not be for you so make sure you plan accordingly.
  2.  You will have open holes in your gums for up to 6 months (even though they’ll tell you they’ll close up in 3 days) and you HAVE to clean them whenever you eat. The extractions — especially on the bottom — can leave really big holes in your mouth and because food can get caught in them, they don’t close up quickly (even when stitches are used.)
  3.  You’ll be forced to chew food on the side of the mouth that doesn’t have a bottom extraction, and that will mean your bite will likely change (I’m told temporarily) which can cause severe pain and pressure points on your other teeth. Also, my cheek on one side is really kind of raw from only eating on that side. If you get all 4 out and don’t heal well, get ready to be on a liquid diet for a very long time because I have no clue how you would manage that.
  4. If it takes your body a long time to heal “things” in your mouth, your experience will probably be just as challenging as mine. If I bite my cheek or my tongue, it usually takes around 2 weeks to fully heal. SO, while I was not surprised that this process has been hard, I didn’t think it would be this painful.
  5. This last point is probably TMI but… it has to be shared. My body HATES pain killers apparently (I was given Vicodin for my first extraction last year, and Oxy this time) and even though this is a normal side affect of these drugs, no one talks about it. Both times I became severely constipated (I know, “girls don’t poop” right?! Wrong!) and what that does for me is create a reallyyyy awful stomach ache to deal with in addition to the jaw, teeth, cheeks, mouth, head pain. So, get yourself some stool softener or laxatives just in case.

For anyone who’s reading this thinking, “wow, she must have a low pain tolerance” or “jeez, I bet she wasn’t following all the surgeon’s directions from jump” please note I actually have a high pain tolerance (probably thanks to years of neck and back problems due to two accidents, and constant migraines for much of my life) and when I went in — early — for my post-op check-in, the surgeon said he’s never had a patient who had kept their mouth and extraction sites so clean. SO, sadly, I just have bad luck when it comes to healing in my mouth.

I am absolutely aware that my experience is thankfully not what every person goes through, but if yours isn’t the storybook healing process, don’t worry, you will get through it and you’re absolutely not alone. Best idea? Get your wisdom teeth removed when you’re younger because the older you are, the harder the process. One of my roots had literally grown into my sinuses… how DISGUSTING is that?!

Questions? Concerns? Similar experiences? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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