Not Martha

Parting Ways With My Wisdom Teeth

Next week I’m saying goodbye to my wisdom teeth. Nothing drastic, it’s just time. In preparation I’ve been reading wisdom teeth advice and a few horror stories over at Ask Metafilter. I particularly like the question about the Tooth Fairy for adults. Here are my plans so far:

  • Smoothies, green juice, ice cream, mashed potatoes and jello.
  • Regular tea bags to chew on and peppermint tea to refresh. (Apparently my mouth won’t taste so good, surprise.)
  • Bags of frozen peas to press on swollen chipmunk cheeks.
  • My mascot, pictured above, of a plush Monster Tooth made by Sew Dorky that I bought a few years back knowing that someday it would be needed. I will hug or pummel it depending on how I feel.
  • Journey on the PS3 and the awesome Amanita Design games from the latest Humble Indie Bundle.
  • And to read I’ve already started Game of Thrones. I was afraid that I’d get all the characters confused but so far it’s been no trouble.
  • The ability to sit on my couch feeling sorry for myself for a few days.

More information always makes me feel less nervous about new things like this. Did you have your wisdom teeth out? What do you wish somebody had told you before? Any advice on something I should have ready to go just in case?

· comments [136] · 04-26-2012 · categories:mumbling ·

136 responses so far ↓

  • 1 mrs.charlemagne // Apr 27, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Good luck, Megan! To be honest, I don’t remember anything from the first 24 hours…don’t forget to ask for your teeth so you can show them off =).

  • 2 kelly // Apr 27, 2012 at 8:23 am

    I have one of those horrible stories about wisdom teeth extraction, which I don’t want to share. One thing – I was prescribed a type of steroids in pill form to help with swelling. That was a serious overkill ! Don’t take it, you don’t need it. I’m glad to hear that you are reading GoT – its the perfect thing to keep your mind occupied.

  • 3 jessicac // Apr 27, 2012 at 8:52 am

    All great advice above…no one told me that running, even up to 2 weeks later was too jarring for my teeth! Hope you heal fast!

  • 4 danna bc // Apr 27, 2012 at 10:44 am

    I had all mine taken out. I don’t recommend any carbonated beverages-dry socket, ouch! Speedy recovery. :)

  • 5 just barrie // Apr 27, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Get a long series you haven’t seen but always wanted to (The Wire? West Wing? Freaks and Geeks?) and start watching. You’ll most likely just sleep, take more vicodin, play scrabble with the person you love who doesn’t mind your puffed up face, and more sleep. Good luck. It’s not fun, but it’s a week off from the world. Enjoy it while you can.

  • 6 Brianna // Apr 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Just delurking to say I had mine (all 4) out senior year of college, day before thanksgiving. I ended up totally fine, ate and everything (slowly). It really didn’t hurt much at all. They gave me tylenol with codeine and I never took any of them….and I do not have a high pain tolerance…
    Good luck!

  • 7 megan // Apr 27, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Thanks for all the encouraging “wasn’t so bad” stories everybody! I phoned my oral surgeon’s office yesterday with a list of questions and the person opened my chart and said “oh, yeah, you’re going to be uncomfortable for at least three days” and she said it with a very *this is gonna really suck, prepare yourself, poor thing* subtext. So, I’m going to anticipate a mightily unpleasant experience. Fun times!

  • 8 Andrea // Apr 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Get a hooded sweatshirt. Pull hood over head. Place bags of frozen peas on each side of your face inside your hood. Pull hoods strings tight so they hold peas to your cheeks, then tie. You will look like Kenny from South Park, but this keeps your hands free from holding ice up to your cheeks all day long. Good luck!

  • 9 Lynn // Apr 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Had mine out about 35 years ago and don’t remember any problems with pain or recovery, but do remember being buzzed from the drugs afterward and that they didn’t bother to wipe the blood off my face and lips. Only realized it after my friend got me home and helped me wipe the dried blood off. Have always thought it was unkind of that doctor and nurse and wondered why they would let me leave like that.

  • 10 Michelle // Apr 27, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    For me the swelling didn’t go down for two weeks. I was knocked out for the procedure, and got really sick when I got home, so yes, EAT SOMETHING ASAP. Getting sick with cotton in your mouth and being in a world of pain was the worst part. I brush my teeth often during the day, so not being able to reach back there while brushing due to the tenderness drove my OCD up the wall. However, they gave me a hand syringe that had a curved tip which I could use to swish warm salt water around back there and rinse the holes out once the stitches were out. Just don’t get the salt water too salty or else you’ll get sick.

    Good luck!

  • 11 Jill // Apr 27, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    If your mom makes you chicken noodle soup, make sure she doesn’t put corn in it (like mine did). You will not be able to chew them!

  • 12 Jill // Apr 27, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Also, rinse with salt water after a day or too, alcohol-free mouth wash after a few days helps too. You won’t want to brush your teeth..because your jaw will be face got so swollen I got a black eye…and bruises down to my collar bone! Hopefully yours won’t get like that. I wish you luck, the surgery is necessary and worth it in the long run

  • 13 Leta // Apr 27, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I had mine out in college. I remember crying a lot afterwards and cussing at my mom, who came to take care of me, and being mad at her for eating “real food” in front of me. I think the first meal I ate afterwards was possibly the best meal of my life.

  • 14 sarah // Apr 27, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    make sure someone drives you home. my asshole bf wouldn’t park the car or leave it alone to come get me and a nurse had to walk me down to his car. yes, i broke up with him.

    anyway, my pain meds wore off very suddenly so i recommend dosing yourself before the doctor’s meds wear off to avoid a dip in the pain killers. yes, two bags of frozen peas were employed.

    i can’t imagine being able to read in that state. dumb funny movies are best. and the syringe–use it!!!!

  • 15 megan // Apr 28, 2012 at 12:40 am

    EAT FRESH PINEAPPLE everyday for a few days before you go in. This prevented swelling for everyone I know. I SWEAR IT WORKS!!!! also, yummy. I don’t know if canned works as well.

  • 16 Anna // Apr 28, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Had mine out at 26. My experience was like Brianna’s. I did have a little numbness in my jaw because the teeth ran perpendicular and under the roots of my other teeth. It went away in a few months as the nerves repaired themselves. Be vigilant about pain meds and icing for the first 48 hours. Yogurt/fruit smoothies, carrot/squash soup–but without sugar to keep the inflammation down and speed the healing. You don’t want to undue the drugs and icing.

  • 17 April // Apr 28, 2012 at 10:01 am

    I had my wisdom teeth out a few years ago, over all it went really well, just don’t expect to do anything the rest of the day and sleep! Also, under no circumstances should you eat couscous until the sockets heal. I had the worst time trying to get them all out.

  • 18 Katie M // Apr 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Rememer plenty of people get their wisdom teeth out while in boot camp. So don’t sweat it! That being said extra rags laid on top of your pillow for bloody drool will be helpful. Good luck!

  • 19 Jacquie // Apr 28, 2012 at 2:59 pm


    -Drugs knock you out…
    -You get to EAT smoothies and ice for like a week!!!
    -SLEEP! (do I need to say more!?)

    Enjoy!!!! =)

    PS: Be sure to ask the dentist for the pulled teeth before the surgery! (that way you’ll have something to give the tooth fairy! =))

  • 20 Jacquie // Apr 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    **I meant ‘ice cream’ but I guess you could suck on ice if that does please you!

  • 21 John // Apr 28, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    I just want to reiterate the pineapple juice thing. Get as much into you the day before the surgery as you can. My understanding is that it shrinks blood vessels and reduces bleeding and swelling. I used it and everyone who I’ve suggested it to have agreed they had less bleeding than they were told to expect.

  • 22 Karola // Apr 28, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    I extracted my last two wisdom teeth just before New Years so that I could come into 2012 with one problem of my head, literally! It all went really well, I didn’t have any problems but of course the cool liquids diet was on for next few days.
    And it reminds me of time when my best friend was having one of her teeth pulled out on her Birthday so I came over to see her in that afternoon and brought her cold drinking yogurt with a small candle punched through the container’s lid. She did appreciate it.
    The plush Monster Tooth is adorable :) Good luck!

  • 23 Jolene // Apr 28, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    When mine were taken out, it helped my migraines. Also, I kept them, and I keep them in my jewelry box so that I can still claim to have wisdom. :)
    Good Luck!
    Oh, and chocolate pudding was the best treat!

  • 24 Suzanne // Apr 29, 2012 at 10:40 am

    I was prepared for the worst — what with four impacted suckers that had to be dug out — and it was FINE!
    I was barely even swollen.
    Pain was easily remedied by ibuprofen.
    (Didn’t get to milk that experience AT ALL.)
    (Oh, and I kept my fragments also!)
    Hope it goes smoothly for you.
    Good luck.

  • 25 Cara // Apr 29, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Definitely do not wear a shirt you like especially well the day of surgery. Right after I had mine out I tried to drink some water and it sloshed out of my mouth (which was full of bloody gauze) onto my shirt, one of my favorite tees. The stain never came out. Sorry for the gross comment, but I wouldn’t want that to happen to anyone else!

  • 26 waya // Apr 29, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    When I had all four of mine taken out I swelled up and looked like jabba the hut.

    Do not bite down on your lip while it’s all numb from the drugs, because the gash your teeth will make will hurt when it all wears off (or maybe i was just an idiot. It was just so cool. I could bite and bite and feel nothing)

    You will lose weight from all the liquid food, but cartoon burgers on tv will start to look appetizing.

    Apparently, I was singing while I was under. Hope it doesn’t happen to you, my dentist was pissed :P

    It’ll be difficult but everything’s temporary. And the first bite of solid food will be orgasmic. :)

    p.s. been following your blog forever, but I’m shy when it comes to commenting, so yay, first time, good luck, and game of thrones will help a whoooole lot :)

  • 27 Kerin // Apr 30, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Eat a ton of pineapple in the upcoming days. Pineapple has an enzyme in it that breaks down proteins so you won’t get a puffy face! Papaya has the same enzyme and you can actually buy it in pill form at a pharmacy!

  • 28 Jen // Apr 30, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Delurking, and doing that thing I hate (sorry!) where I didn’t bother reading all the other comments until now before dispensing this nugget – hope you haven’t heard it yet!

    Before the surgery, discuss signs and symptoms of infection with the surgeon, and give them the contact info of your preferred drug dispensary. If one of your sockets does end up getting infected (mine looked like I had a piece of gum wedged between my gums & cheek in one quadrant), you’ll appreciate not having to visit the surgeon’s office again and cutting down the time between noticing the discomfort and getting started with antibiotics.

  • 29 TaiLeah Madill // Apr 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Arnica Montana and Rhuta Grav homeopathics helped a ton. I had all four out at the same time (on my 21st birthday no less) and lost the clots in 2 of them. Should of had dry sockets but they healed in record time – even the dentist was surprised by their healing. That’s something I always hear with any injury that I take homeopathics for, and they don’t interfere with any other drugs so you can still do painkillers as needed.

  • 30 Meredith // May 1, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Don’t be afraid! I had all four of mine out and on the day of, my boyfriend said I looked like an assault victim, but as soon as I started my vicodin I was right back to normal. No swelling, eating potato chips the next day, and having a super fun time on pain meds for two weeks!

  • 31 margo // May 1, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Good luck with your tooth extraction….hope the pain is not too bad and you have meds. Will say a little prayer for you.

  • 32 Rose // May 1, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    I had all mine out (and they were impacted) the day the first Lord of the Rings movie came out. And since I was a huge fan I asked that they not give me any medication after the necessary stuff for the procedure so I could function enough to drive to the theatre to see it a few hours later. I was a little swollen, but not much and I was even eat popcorn (against my dentist’s advice) that night! I had no awful pain, no bad side effects. I just rinsed my mouth out with saltwater a few times a day and I was healed in no time! I feel so bad for people who had terrible experiences getting their wisdom teeth out, but I had no trouble at all!

  • 33 Jo // May 4, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Make sugar-free powerade ice cubes that you can pop in your mouth and eat without sucking on it. Works great!

  • 34 Meghan // May 31, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    I will be having the only one I was blessed (ha) with taken out some time this summer. I was terrified even at the thought of it. Last night I couldn’t fall asleep because I was thinking about it and after I fell asleep I slept poorly because I was dreaming about it . All of that aside, I am very very greatful to have stumbled upon your blog and all it’s wonderful comments. I do feel somewhat better about it now and will have a list of tips, tricks and questions ready to go when it is time. Thank you so much and I hope your experience was / is great.

  • 35 David // Oct 8, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    I had all 4 taken out yesterday morning and so far I have no pain, been about, even cleaned the house! I am just waiting for the pain as my surgeon says 3 days is when it really kicks in. I had major infections before hand though so I had been told that compared to that pain, this would be easy and maybe she was right and I have pain but its minor compared to before. Fingers crossed for the next few days!

  • 36 Alison // Apr 30, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I got all four out five days ago. The worst part for me was that they couldn’t find a vein for the IV! It took them 8 stabs and now I have bruises on both inner elbows and my right hand and look like a junkie. I was on laughing gas, though, so I thought it was hilarious while it was happening. Other than that the pain hasn’t been bad at all.
    The first day I tried to eat some avocado because it’s soft and I didn’t want to waste a nice looking ripe avocado, and I had little chunks stuck in my tooth sockets until the end of day 3…super gross. My fiance brought a syringe home from work (he’s a chemist) so I was able to irrigate them out with salt water, but I’d recommend avoiding avocado. If you don’t have a syringe or a water shooter thing just do the salt water rinsing at least after every meal to try to get out any lurking food pieces.
    I only had swelling for the first 10 hours or so. I drank a container of pineapple juice each day for the two days before the surgery and I think that helped. It was also delicious! If you can start with the pineapple juice earlier, do it. I found out I was having mine removed just a few days beforehand, so I had no time.
    Good luck!!

Leave a Comment