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 Marlo M. // Apr 26, 2012 at 3:17 am

    Oh yeah. I had all four of my wisdom teeth out at one time years ago. I remember having to get some sort of shot to wake me up – apparently I fought the anesthesia pretty hard. Lots of awesome pain pills kept me pretty sleepy for the first couple of days. Then it was soup and mashed potatoes with gravy for days and days. I didn’t feel like having anything cold so smoothies were out. Eventually moved on to grilled veggies (soft!) with the mashed potatoes. Overall, it was a crappy thing to go through but avoiding the alternative (a lifetime of pain) made it totally worth the hassle. I hope it goes super smooth for you!

  • 2 Karen Moret Harrison // Apr 26, 2012 at 3:29 am

    Make sure you trust the person who takes you because you will proclaim you’re undying love for them multiple times on the way home. This with a mouth full of gauze and tears rolling down your face.

    My daughter, who knows sign language, kept signing I love you to me, and thanking me for always being there for her. My teenage daughter. I knew it was only the drugs speaking, but I relished it anyway.

    Keeping your cheeks cold is the key to not swelling up. I saw a thing on the internet where the person put frozen peas in two tube socks, tied them together and then tied them around her head. Sure, it looked like something from “I Love Lucy” but it seemed better than holding it up to your face.

    Good luck!

  • 3 Catherine // Apr 26, 2012 at 3:37 am

    I had all four cut out when I was 17. My biggest tip is not to use a straw while you’re healing. My sister did and ended up with major ‘dry socket’ problems. I didn’t find it that painful, just gross mostly. Prepare yourself for everything tasting like blood.

  • 4 Jessica // Apr 26, 2012 at 3:38 am

    I had mine out a few years ago and while you feel lousy for a few days, it’s really not that big of a deal. When they say you can have food again, stay away from rice and other sorts of things that can easily get stuck in the empty spots!

  • 5 Amy // Apr 26, 2012 at 3:43 am

    You may get a little facial bruising. No straws, they contribute to dry sockets. You may get sick from the anesthesia. I was up and around the next day feeling great and didn’t need pain meds. If you are in terrible pain the next couple days, call your surgeon, you have a dry socket. It really shouldn’t hurt.

  • 6 Nic // Apr 26, 2012 at 4:07 am

    I had mine out when I was 17 because they were growing in all the wrong directions, and it wasn’t a big problem at all. I totally overdid it on the first day talking too much and eating hard foods, and I bruised up a lot, but not painfully. The best advice I got was to salt rinse a couple of times a day. It helped the stitches to heal quicker and kept my mouth clean. It is pretty grim to do, but worth it.

  • 7 Michele // Apr 26, 2012 at 4:17 am

    Do exactly what they say to do. I did and I still got two out of four dry sockets. The pain is unbearable. I suffered for about 36 hours in horrible pain over the weekend until I finally called. They packed the hole with a medicated strip and the pain stopped immediatly. It was very painful and the pain meds did not touch the dry socket pain. Good luck! Other than the dry socket part it was not bad at all and I never had any bruising at all and was not even that swollen I was sick about an hour after I got home from the anesthesia and I always wondered if the retching had something to do with the dry sockets. I always thought maybe I had too much anesthesia and that is why I was sick. When I had my gall bladder out I told them of this and I was not nausious at all after gall bladder surgery!

  • 8 Nadine // Apr 26, 2012 at 4:22 am

    My advice:

    Always keep your head above your feet level, even if you sleep. This will help to keep the swelling down. And don’t use ice on your cheeks but a wet wash cloth. Ice will cause your body to produce a strong counter reaction and this can lead to more swelling.

    I traveled the day after surgery and it wasn’t that big of a deal besides the bruise and the hamster look.

  • 9 miriam // Apr 26, 2012 at 4:23 am

    My son had his out last year and had remarkably little trouble. One thing the oral surgeon suggested was that the best way to use the ice packs (or frozen peas) is to put them against your face and then pull on the hood of a hooded sweatshirt with the string pulled tight. The hood keeps the ice packs attached to your face without you having to hold them. Smart, right?

    He seemed to think that that really helped my son heal much faster. I have a feeling actual ice packs will stay cold longer than peas. You can wrap them in a kitchen towel if they’re too cold.

    He did get sick from the anesthesia, but even with that, it was only one day, and he didn’t have to take any of the pain medication–just a couple of Advil the second day.

  • 10 Lacey // Apr 26, 2012 at 4:31 am

    I heard that pineapple juice reduces swelling, so I drank a lot the night before my surgery. I guess I can’t guarantee that it worked, but I like to believe that it did.

    My old roommate taught me that a bra is the perfect device for holding two ice packs up to your face…

  • 11 Megan // Apr 26, 2012 at 4:32 am

    I had mine out with no trouble. I had them removed on a late afternoon, and was 100% fine the next morning. No muss no fuss. No swelling, not much pain. Good luck – hope yours is as easy!

  • 12 Koren // Apr 26, 2012 at 4:46 am

    My mom had read that loading up on vitamin C for a few days prior to the surgery helps reduce swelling and bruising. I did this and had no chipmunk face or bruising. It’s worth a shot. Good luck.

  • 13 Seanna Lea // Apr 26, 2012 at 4:49 am

    Please don’t hate me, but one dentist told me that I didn’t have any wisdom teeth (another told me something related that implies that I might have them but that there is room in my mouth after I had other teeth removed). I figure that if I don’t need them removed at 36 then I am hopefully good to go.

  • 14 Kari // Apr 26, 2012 at 5:01 am

    I had mine out a few months ago (at age 34), and the number one thing that helped me on day one was avocado smoothies (avocado, banana, almond milk). I needed something as absolutely smooth as possible.

    One of my first post smoothie meals was chana masala takeout that I blended up like crazy.

    I was extremely nervous, but it turned out fine. The only thing I will tell you is that if you’re not a teenager, it takes a bit longer to heal. So definitely stock up on those soft foods / treats!

  • 15 Ruth Ann // Apr 26, 2012 at 5:09 am

    I had mine out a while back.
    All four impacted, two of them turned sideways, one with a root wrapped around the nerve that had to be cut into eight pieces to get it out. Overall, it wasn’t a big deal. I hiccuped a lot for about an hour after getting home. Not certain why. I used an old soccer sock (really long), put ice packs in that and tied it around my head. It looked silly but it worked. I was swelled up a bit for a few days, but was taking only OTC pain meds starting the morning after surgery (and probably could have done that earlier but Mom was in charge of giving me meds that first day and just gave me what the docs said). I slept a lot the day of the surgery and was fine the day after.
    I did have a bit of numbness on one side, near my lip. The surgeon had warmed me that might happen and was due to the root that was wrapped around the nerve. It wasn’t a big deal and slowly went away after a few months (nerves take a long time to heal).
    Best of luck and hope it goes well.

  • 16 Milla // Apr 26, 2012 at 5:10 am

    I had my upper wisdom teeth removed for a week ago. The one had to be drilled up but the other one came up nicely by pulling.

    My home care instructions were
    1. to take a painkiller 1/2 hour before the visit
    2. to bite into the cotton pads the dentist placed into the holes for 1-3 hours after the removal, no chewing, just biting
    3. to take 800mg painkillers with 7h intervals for 2 days and then slowly decrease the amount
    4. next day wash mouth carefully with listerine or similar
    5. after that carefully start brushing the remaining teeth :)

    I had no problems afterwards. My mouth feels empty now though. Good luck :)

  • 17 Jan // Apr 26, 2012 at 5:11 am

    Yes, no straws. Our oral surgeon told us to follow the instructions to the letter. After we left the doctor’s office, we stopped on the way home for a milk shake (his recommendation to avoid sickness from anesthesia) and at the pharmacy for the drugs. He also said that if it starts to hurt about the second or third day, call and come in – that is probably a dry socket and they can pack it and prevent a miserable night.

    Funny story – my 81 year old mother is just now having a wisdom tooth break through. So far it has given her no trouble. Thank God.

    Good luck.

  • 18 julie.k. // Apr 26, 2012 at 5:19 am

    Had mine out when I was a junior in high school. The only bad day was the day it was done (had it done in the morning) – just felt terrible that day, then better and better each day after. I don’t know if they do dissolvable stitches now, but I had to go back after and have mine removed and that hurt a tiny bit.
    I don’t know if you get a choice with the anesthesia, but I got the one where you are kind of awake but can’t feel anything (as opposed to being totally knocked out). My mom (a nurse) really wanted that one since she was worried about me waking up really sick from the full on knock-out. Anyway, the “twillight” one was super easy, I heard them talking and doing stuff but I just lay there with my eyes closed, felt nothing, and the whole thing seemed to last only about 30 seconds!

  • 19 Katie // Apr 26, 2012 at 5:21 am

    Your dentist/surgeon will probably tell you this, but as you’re healing, regular rinsing with warm salt water after meals helps keep things from getting stuck in the sockets.

  • 20 Elizabeth // Apr 26, 2012 at 5:30 am

    Ice cream was too cold for me and milk shakes were no good without a straw, but I was well comforted by mashed potatoes and cheddar broccoli soup. Enjoy your couch days!

  • 21 Meg // Apr 26, 2012 at 5:36 am

    I had mine out and had no trouble. I hope the same for you! The best thing I did was strap an icepack to my face. We had 2 long squishy icepacks (my fiance needs them for his bad back). I wrapped one in a tea towel and literally strapped it to my face with an ace bandage the moment I got home. We just kept rotating them for the rest of the day. I had no swelling, no bruising and truly believe that having the ice firmly attached cut down on my pain considerably. Plus, I didn’t have to worry about holding the ice in place :) Also – popsicles. Cold and sweet is your new best friend.

  • 22 Emily // Apr 26, 2012 at 5:44 am

    I had mine out about 9 years ago. I’m a classical musician, and I play a wind instrument (the oboe), and the back pressure from playing my instrument was very worrisome before I had them out. I actually had one of the best oboists in the US tell me that he was too scared to get his taken out (he was in his mid 50s by that point) because of what he thought it would do to his playing. So, of course, I was terrified going in. But, in normal person terms, I was totally fine a few days after the surgery–no dry sockets, little face swelling, etc. I chalk it up to the unhealthy quantity of Rita’s water ice that I ate in the few days after :). In terms of the oboe, it took me a solid 2 weeks to be able to play again, but I was totally fine after that point. Since you haven’t mentioned playing a wind instrument on your blog in the few years I’ve been following, I predict you will be just fine :) Good luck!

  • 23 Molly // Apr 26, 2012 at 5:51 am

    I had all four of my impacted wisdom teeth out and I didn’t have so much as a bruise.; nor did I take anything stronger than Advil for the pain. The day you have the surgery/procedure have someone (you will be really tired and kind of out of it) put ice on for 20 minutes and off for 20 minutes. Repeat for the first 24 hours and you will be fine. Good luck!

  • 24 Maggie // Apr 26, 2012 at 5:58 am

    You’ve got a good plan and everyone has offered all the good advice! I only had two bottom wisdom teeth (never grew any on top) and I had them out when I was 19. I’d never had general anesthesia before and while I didn’t get sick from it, I was very disoriented and cried for no reason at first. Also, the tea bags – did NOT make me happy – a straight up black tea bag is SUPER BITTER so just keep that in mind – maybe just do peppermint or herbal ones. Ummm also agree with the comment about the pain meds – they prescribed oxycontin (!) for me and it made me feel horrible (fluttering heart, anxiety) so I just stuck with advil and was fine. Good luck!

  • 25 Liz // Apr 26, 2012 at 6:04 am

    What great timing for all of this advice! I think I need to have mine pulled as well because they have been giving me trouble for the last week… I hope your extraction goes well!

  • 26 Tamara // Apr 26, 2012 at 6:11 am

    My experience wasn’t so bad. I was blissfully anesthetized for the procedure. I remember some socially awkward drooling in the few hours following! I don’t do well on meds like Tylenol 3, which can be prescribed (makes me fill sick) so having something on hand kind of sweet to drink and fill my stomach before taking those after helped.

  • 27 Erin // Apr 26, 2012 at 6:17 am

    Just had my two bottom, impacted teeth out last month. There was pain for a week or so after but the Advil really worked. The one thing I wish someone had told me about was the wretched taste in my mouth from the blood – I had corpse mouth for nearly a week! Other than that, do what the doctor says and you should be fine. (I am 34, so a bit late to get them out – my other wish is that my old dentist had not told me that the bottoms were never going to come in…)

  • 28 Jenn // Apr 26, 2012 at 6:27 am

    A few words of advice:

    – If the sockets won’t stop bleeding after you have it done, soak guaze in tea and pack those in. It usually does the trick.

    – no straws or chips for the first couple of weeks.

    – Your breath is gonna smell really horrid for about a week or two, so just be aware!

    Other than that, it’s not nearly as bad as people make it out to be. It didn’t hurt me much, but my jaw muscles would tire quickly the first couple of weeks when I ate.

  • 29 Leslie // Apr 26, 2012 at 6:27 am

    I had mine out when I was 13 — they had to go digging into my jaw for them! Although I was hospitalized overnight, it really wasn’t that big a deal. My three pieces of advice: (1) do EXACTLY what they say; take the drugs they recommend, how and when they recommend and clean how they recommend, which links to (2) keep your mouth clean. I didn’t have a WaterPik at the time (this was close to 30 years ago!) so they gave me a little squirty thing to fill with water to irrigate my mouth. Use it. Finally (3) witch hazel compresses get rid of bruising quickly. But hey, sit on your ass and enjoy having a wonderful excuse not to do anything! It’s gonna be fine. You’ll see.

  • 30 Claire // Apr 26, 2012 at 6:47 am

    I work in a dental office and we recommend using frozen popkern kernels instead of peas because they don’t go mushy when they start to thaw. Good luck!

  • 31 kerry // Apr 26, 2012 at 6:47 am

    all awesome advice, ice and advil will do a lot for you, though I did take the rx pain meds the first day.

    The only thing I would add is get your favorite sweatpants ready -if youre not wearing them to the procedure- and get your tv cozy spot all set up with the requisite pillows and favorite blankets before you go so that when you get back you’re not standing there groggy while someone sets it up for you, you can just fall right in. I also really find that when I’m in situations like this and couchbound, a heating pad under my back increases my happiness exponentially, even when unrelated to the cause of the discomfort. That might be just me, but if you love it too I would add it to the comfy nest before heading out so all you have to do is fall in and turn it on.

    good luck!

    ooh! also. keep a notebook handy to your spot. I don’t take painkillers that much, but I have made some AWESOME lists of random things (t shirt slogans, what my character would be named if i was in a comic book, places I could go where I could bring my cat so he gets out more because it must be boring being home all day, etc) and done some drawings when I couldn’t sleep and needed to do something. Sometimes they turn out to be insanely good ideas that percolate up (doors of perception style). If nothing else, the entertainment value in looking back on these is worth it. Seriously. And with that, I’m off to dig up the book from *my* wisdom tooth experience.

  • 32 danielle // Apr 26, 2012 at 6:48 am

    i ended up having a really horrible experience, but i think my situation is atypical – i had all four removed surgically (i guess they were impacted) and since my mouth is so small, when they had it stretched open they pulled all the muscles in my jaw. i was swollen and sore for like, two weeks – it was bad enough that they had to actually refill my percocet. the pain meds helped but made me hallucinate. fun times!

    on the off chance that this does happen to you, the only advice i have is to use heat, not ice. ice packs made it so much worse!

  • 33 Lisa // Apr 26, 2012 at 6:52 am

    1) it’s not that bad

    2) no matter your level of pain when you wake up, say that it hurts. You’ll want that extra dose of medicine for the ride home

    3) about your food plan… so when I had my wisdom teeth removed, I was all set to be on the smoothy train. The problem is that yogurt is actually acidic, which was only exasterbated by my having made a strawberry smoothly. I took one sip, muttered “It BURNS” through my still numb lips and used my hands to scoop the offending drink out of my face. I suggest sticking with milkshakes (nothing chunky, like cookies and cream), at least for the first two days. The cold helps the healing process and milk is basic and won’t aggrivate the wounds.

  • 34 mar // Apr 26, 2012 at 6:53 am

    When you make smoothies, avoid fruits like strawberries or blueberries or raspberries that have tiny little seeds – they get stuck in the sockets. Mango, banana, peach – all good. Add a little vanilla to any flavor for a boost – and maybe some good whey protein powder, give you a bit of energy. Same goes for ice cream – no rocky road or anything with nuts or chocolate pieces, etc. I liked sorbet. You may have the same issue with chewing peppermint leaves. Salt water rinse definitely helps, as others have said.

  • 35 regan // Apr 26, 2012 at 6:54 am

    No straws! They’ll tell you this but some people (coughjparkscough) don’t listen and this causes dry socket. Not a good time for anyone.

    I was big into sugar free popsicles for the first day or so after mine were out. You have to swish out your mouth after sugared things so sugar free was good because I could continue to sloth out on the couch after eating one. And the shape of a popsicle was exactly how much I could open my mouth.

  • 36 Nikki Kelly // Apr 26, 2012 at 6:56 am

    Dry sockets are the worst. My surgeon only told me what they were, not how they would feel. So I spent about 5 days with them. Btw, they feel kinda like when you drink really cold water that makes your teeth hurt, but all over all the time. So if that happens do yourself a solid and make an appointment to have them taken care of right away.

  • 37 Sarah KF // Apr 26, 2012 at 6:59 am

    I just started the Game of Thrones, too. I really like it, though it’s pretty heart-wrenching at times.

    Good luck with your wisdom teeth extraction! I had 4 impacted ones taken at the same time. It was a hard first couple of days , but I felt totally fine a few days after that. It’s such a relief when you no longer have to deal with the wisdom teeth! I hated the tylenol with codeine, I couldn’t sleep properly on that – I was better off with ordinary advil. (The first day, I felt a bit freaked out after looking closely at my mouth in the mirror for the first time. I didn’t like the feeling of the stitches between my teeth, or having to spit out blood. My oral surgeon was very kind, let me come in so he could look at me and reassure me that everything looked as it should.)

  • 38 Ashley // Apr 26, 2012 at 7:10 am

    I had all four of mine removed a few years ago. It wasn’t so bad, but I learned that I’m sensitive to anesthesia. I was given vicodin and ibuprofen 800 for pain and told to alternate between them. Vicodin can also cause nausea so I didn’t take that until the 2nd or 3rd day to make sure the anesthetic was out of my system. I don’t remember being taken home at all, although apparently a wheelchair was involved, and I lost the first Lord of the Rings movie. I got sick a few times from the anesthetic, but after it went through my system I was fine, just sore.

  • 39 bonny // Apr 26, 2012 at 7:16 am

    totally off subject, and i apologize (i didn’t have any wisdom teeth so i can’t share stories) but where did you get that picture of that stool/chair!? one of my good friends is a dental hygienist and i would love to share that with her :)

  • 40 Kathy // Apr 26, 2012 at 7:20 am

    fill a medium ziploc freezer bag with dish soap and put in the freezer
    it will be hard if it freezes too long, but thaw a bit and they work great

  • 41 Susanna // Apr 26, 2012 at 7:22 am

    I had mine cut out when I was 16 to prepare for jaw surgery the following summer. The jaw surgery was much more traumatic. The only thing I really remember from having my wisdom teeth out was that my sister had trained my 2 year old niece to hug my arm so she wouldn’t get up in my face. She continued to hug my arm for several years after that. I hope your extraction is as forgettable as mine.

  • 42 Kelly // Apr 26, 2012 at 7:29 am

    The best thing you can do is pick a good oral surgeon. Ask around, check review sites, etc.
    If you have any choice at all, that is. Health Insurance sometimes won’t let you.

  • 43 Dodi // Apr 26, 2012 at 7:31 am

    My advice is to stick with the basics for food. Don’t get fancy. I was pissed that my family ordered Chinese when I could not eat it, so I put an eggroll in the Cuisinart. I also tried the sweet sour chicken. It was not worth the effort. I would have been much happier with mashed potatoes and jello.

  • 44 Christine // Apr 26, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Are they impacted? If not, ask for a local instead of anesthesia. My wisdom teeth were the only ones that grew straight but they had to go. I was awake the entire time (the sound of the teeth being pulled out was a little unnerving) but I walked out feeling great. Very little swelling and I only needed pain meds the first day.

  • 45 Sarah // Apr 26, 2012 at 7:37 am

    I had my impacted wisdom teeth out at the ripe old age of 12. Without getting put under. Gotta love a small town dentist.

    I liked having ritz crackers to melt in my mouth. It was good to have a salty option in a sea of milkshakes and ice cream. Also, be sure to eat with your pain medication to avoid getting nauseus.

  • 46 Jessica // Apr 26, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Don’t worry. It’s not a huge deal even getting them out as an adult. I so wish my doctor would have been a little more realistic with how many people get partial facial numbness after the surgery. I did (still have it) and it took a long time for me to feel like myself afterwards. I just wasn’t prepared for it. Also, for some inexplicable reason, I woke up in the middle of the surgery then was out again, but those few seconds are clear as day to me!

    I had 2 bags of peas I alternated. One in the freezer, one on my face so they werent too warm.

    Don’t plan to do all this tv watching and things. I did but I ended up just napping all day from the meds. Oh, and my hubby was super sweet and we both slept on the sofa for a few nights (so I could be more elevated. Pressure on my cheeks from the pillow in bed hurt)

  • 47 Alyssa // Apr 26, 2012 at 7:44 am

    I don’t think anyone has mentioned this, but in addition to avoiding straws, avoid sucking on ANYTHING. Even sucking the melty part of a freeze pop out of the packet, despite that being the best part. :-)

    I did everything I was told but ended up with dry sockets because I thought I’d be okay to suck on honey wheat pretzels so I could make them mushy enough to eat. (Grody, I know, I’m sorry, I’m only sharing to help. But they were delicious!)
    Anyway, I really didn’t think it would be a problem because, as I told my doctor, “I wasn’t REALLY sucking on it. Not like you’d do a straw or a cigarette. I was BARELY doing it…like, really gently, I made sure.”
    He just looked at me, sighed and said, ” ‘Barely’ and ‘gently’ still count.”
    Then he packed me with gauze soaked in lovely clover oil and all the pain went away. Plus I got mini flashbacks occasionally to 1997 and sneaking clove cigarettes behind the high school gym, so that that was fun.

    So yeah. Don’t cheat. Even if you’re tired of jello and mashed potatoes and REALLY want pretzels.

  • 48 Shosh // Apr 26, 2012 at 7:48 am

    I only had the top two out, and it realllllly was not an issue at all. Like, my mother (who was waiting to pick me up in the waiting room) didn’t even get to finish reading the article she was in the middle of when they called her to come and get me in recovery (I was knocked out).
    Frozen peas were fantastic icepacks, as was taking whatever drugs they prescribed ON SCHEDULE to cut the pain.

  • 49 brittney // Apr 26, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Your plan sounds great :) I just got mine out in December (I’m 25). I got them out at the same time as my brother, so it was really nice to not be alone for that.
    Things I wish I would have known: 1) the right side of my mouth was completely numb for two months (yikes), but the feeling eventually came back. When you get them taken out when you’re older it can take longer to get feeling back.
    2) I also LOVED having instant mashed potatoes because anything too cold just reminded me that half my mouth was numb.
    3) My doctor also told me not to have smoothies because the tiny seeds get in your stitches and make drama.
    4) I did a salt water “rise” every morning and every night… basically just took a mouthful and then shook my head around since “swishing” might give you dry sockets.

  • 50 amy // Apr 26, 2012 at 7:50 am

    One thing I remember is that I took the gauze packing out right when I took the 2nd dose of pain meds. It took another half hour for the pain meds to kick in, and I was in excruciating pain until the dose I had just taken kicked in. My advice is take the pain meds well before you take the packing out.

    I had forgotten about the nasty taste in the mouth, that’s gross.

    I was really weepy when I came out of the anesthesia. They say that’s really common in young women. I just wanted my mommy and I was so sad she wasn’t there.

    best wishes

  • 51 Christina // Apr 26, 2012 at 7:51 am

    I had two impacted, one non-impacted (un-impacted? regular? unleaded?) taken out about 10 years ago. Best thing I ate? Scrambled eggs. Your body will want protein to get healthy.

    I got dry socket too and I blame it on some rice I accidentally ate.

    Also, the painkillers they gave me made me vomit, which was no good since I could only gently swish. Make sure you’ve got pain medication that stays down.

    AND…take pictures! You’ll be miserable, but in a year you can look back and laugh at your chipmunk cheeks.

    You’ll do great!

  • 52 Kristen // Apr 26, 2012 at 7:56 am

    I had my wisdom teeth out my junior year of college and learned a very important lesson – I am allergic to Percoset (the painkiller they gave me). I had never had it before, and boy, it was so not fun (think projectile vomiting with a very hurt mouth packed in cotton). So that would be my only advice, make sure the painkiller they give you is something you have had before! Good luck! :-)

  • 53 Tina // Apr 26, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Getting my wisdom teeth out was like when I had a baby – everyone LOVED to tell horror stories and I was scared to death. Turns out, neither were that big of a deal You’ll do fine!

  • 54 Angie // Apr 26, 2012 at 8:16 am

    All I wanted when I had my wisdom teeth out was frozen yogurt, sorbet, and tv. Coming out the anesthesia is a trip and I remember having a sore throat (hence the sorbet/froyo) and headache, but otherwise it was fine. Good luck!

  • 55 Beth // Apr 26, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Make sure you don’t lay down after the surgery recline in a chair or the bleeding and bruising will be worse!

  • 56 kristi // Apr 26, 2012 at 8:27 am

    The tea bag idea is a good one, but I would suggest plain ones rather than flavored ones. My caregiver crammed apple cinnamon ones in my mouth and the taste, mixed with a little blood – not so great. Also, I just placed the bags on my incision sites; didn’t chew, per se…BUT…I woke up the next day with no swelling and had no side effects whatsoever. I milked sympathy for a few days but didn’t really deserve it. Good luck!

  • 57 TEK // Apr 26, 2012 at 8:42 am

    I had mine out, and had an issue with one of them being close to a nerve. I had a little numbness for a few weeks, but it went away. The worst part for me was that one of them was close to a sinus cavity, and I think it got nicked because I had vertigo for a few days… if I sat up straight or stood up for too long I would throw up. As long as I stayed laying down I didn’t have any problems.

  • 58 Kate // Apr 26, 2012 at 8:43 am

    I got COMPLETELY belligerent after I woke up. When the nurse was wheeling me to the car in a wheelchair, I was begging her to go faster faster faster and run down the ramp. When she wouldn’t, I tried to punch her in the face (more than once) and dramatically leapt from the chair (onto the parking lot ground). Good thing both my mother (who was with me at the time) and the poor nurse had a good sense of humor.

    Make sure you have someone there who is capable of being your handler, anesthesia can do wacky things to people!

  • 59 janeray1940 // Apr 26, 2012 at 8:44 am

    I’ve only had one (impacted) out. Local anesthesia, over and done in 15 minutes, no pain at all. So easy peasy that I went back to work right afterward, and that’s when the troubles began. I’ll never know what really happened (dry socket or something less common?) but by *not* taking the advice to rest and ice the swelling and all, I ended up in massive pain, unable to talk or even open my mouth for two weeks. Percodan was the only thing that kept me sane.

    So – don’t be a dummy overachiever like I was. May your recovery be a fast one!

  • 60 Flora // Apr 26, 2012 at 8:44 am

    I just had my top two pulled last week (I had the bottom two out on two separate occasions). I kinda wish I’d had them all out at once because that whole soft foods thing gets old the third time around.

    All three pulls were relatively drama-free, although mine were erupting/fully erupted. I was tempted to try out the Vicodin one time (I was watching a lot of “House” back then), but I never took anything stronger than Advil. The only thing that was annoying was that the stitches on the bottom ones got loose or were poking me in the mouth. I had to have my boyfriend (now husband) cut off a sharp end of a thread that was driving me nuts.

  • 61 Allie // Apr 26, 2012 at 8:49 am

    I second the pineapple (the day before.) My daughter had her wisdom teeth out in two sessions. The day before the second session, she ate a bunch of canned pineapple. We noticed considerably less swelling.

    Tons of people gave us the pineapple advice.

  • 62 Martine // Apr 26, 2012 at 8:59 am

    I had mine out a couple years ago. The procedure went really smoothly, maybe 15 minutes, tops, but I didn’t have to have to be put under and they could all be pulled out without cutting. (I did get nitrous, because I was really nervous ahead of time. Probably unneccessary).

    Recovery was smooth too. A day or two in front of the tv and that was it. I went with the tea bags (green, I think) and I highly recommend having chocolate milk on hand. It almost feels like food! (I was craving toast like crazy by the end).

  • 63 k // Apr 26, 2012 at 9:09 am

    My husband had his out last year and had NO PAIN, almost no swelling, and was fine. I’m sure this is unusual, but I witnessed it, so I just wanted to tell you that it is possible! Good luck!

  • 64 Lindsay // Apr 26, 2012 at 9:12 am

    I’m sure you will have no trouble! It’s really not a very big deal for most people. That being said, I had mine out when I was young enough (or had not been injured enough yet? hmm) that I didn’t know my stomach was so sensitive to strong pain medicines. If you’ve ever had stomach problems related to prescription medicines, mention that to your doctor so they prescribe you something more stomach friendly! Because honestly the worst part about getting my wisdom teeth out was how upset my stomach was. (And, more info than you really want I’m sure, but vomiting + big open sores in your mouth = annoying infections that don’t fully clear up for weeks)

    But, disgusting stories aside (and my apologies for that, by the way) – I survived! And in retrospect it really wasn’t all that awful. Good luck! :)

  • 65 Sydney // Apr 26, 2012 at 9:14 am

    When I had mine out (apparently late – 22) it really wasn’t too bad. Chewing wasn’t the most painful part – opening my mouth wide was. I was able to eat pretty much anything – I had a salmon burger that night (sans bun, and taking tiny nibbles). I had dissolving stitches put in mine that helped with the whole food-stuck-in-the-craters business. My mom also convinced me to take out the gauze right away.. it made me feel less like an invalid and more like a human. She also made me Campbell’s chicken and stars soup, which goes down a treat with chopped up gums. Anyways, hope yours is quick and easy and you recover quickly!

  • 66 lizb // Apr 26, 2012 at 9:19 am

    I got mine out at 17, and was sent home without any pain meds. DO NOT LET THEM SEND YOU HOME WITHOUT PAIN MEDS!

    the only advice I can offer is get the good stuff!

  • 67 Maria // Apr 26, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I had them out two at a time, about one year apart. The top ones came out with no issue, but the bottom two hadn’t fully come in, and it was hell. Even with the anesthesia, I was a nervous wreck — it took FOREVER, the dentist practically had to fish hook me and smash the teeth into tiny bits to get them out. He was practically yelling at me to hold still — who does that? When it was finally done, I blacked out and had to be given smelling salts. Even worse, eight years later and I still can’t feel the right side of my tongue. Nerve damage. It’s gotten a little better over the years (some tingling now and then), and I’m the only person I’ve run across to had this issue, but it still sucks. I’m sure you’ll be fine though. ;)

  • 68 Melissa // Apr 26, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I had all four of mine out on a Friday under anesthesia. When I woke up, they gave me 2 Percocet immediately. I strapped on an ice pack, slept for 23 hrs straight, then woke up with minimal swelling/pain. Had mac & cheese for dinner, then oatmeal the next meal. After that, totally back to normal.

    Best of luck! There’s some great advice on here!

  • 69 emh // Apr 26, 2012 at 9:57 am

    I would suggest having a little something to eat when you first get home. Since you fast before the surgery, there’s nothing in your stomach when they give you the pain medication. I ended up throwing up because it upset my stomach so much. I tell you what…throwing up right after having teeth removed is no fun at all.

  • 70 emilyadi // Apr 26, 2012 at 9:57 am

    I had mine out years ago and I actually had a great time. I know, that sounds weird, but I did! I think I took the medicine they prescribed once, but ended up not needing it because I didn’t have much, if any, pain. I did have a lot of bruising, but I’m just one of those people who bruises easily. The actual procedure was easy and fun! It was the first and only time I was on any sort of drug that affects mental state (crazy, since I live in Seattle) and it was really nifty. Getting my wisdom teeth out was way easier than having regular teeth pulled.

  • 71 Sheila // Apr 26, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I think how you do really depends on your teeth and if they are impacted or not. I just had mine out, and was super easy, absolutely no big deal. I only had local and it took waaaaay longer for the local to kick in than the actual removal of the teeth. I was so nervous before hand, and it ended up a huge nothing. I drove myself to/from the appointment and was able to have a normal day. I kept up on ibuprofen for a day or so, used tea bags the day of the removal, and a salt water rinse for a week and had no pain at all. My husband’s experience was a little worse, as his were impacted, but even then it wasn’t really a big deal, his jaw was just a little achy afterwards. I definitely agree with the people who say a good surgeon makes all the difference. Don’t let the horror stories scare you, and good luck!

  • 72 Liz // Apr 26, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Avoid straws, but be very careful when drinking while your mouth is still numb. I got a milkshake from a drive through on my way home, and poured it down my chin since I’d missed my mouth. The fast food worker gave me some funny looks while my mom was paying!

    I had mine out in high school – no one told me they were putting me out to do it, so I was very confused to wake up with everyone in a different place in the room, and clearly time had passed.

    Hope it goes smoothly!

  • 73 rebekah // Apr 26, 2012 at 11:04 am

    I had mine removed about a year and a half ago, and it was the easiest thing in the world. A few shots in my gums, which didn’t even hurt, about 15 minutes and a few yanks later and they were all out. My brother had his out, and literally had bruises on his cheeks and gums full of stitches for a week. I think it all depends on how your teeth are situated, and how exposed they are. As far as food goes, with mine I found that anything too warm or too cold made it feel like my whole skull hurt, so I stuck with room temperature protein shakes for the first couple of days after I had them pulled. After that warm salt water rinses are smart after any meals to make sure you keep the sockets clean. Good luck!

  • 74 lindsay // Apr 26, 2012 at 11:15 am

    ahh! best of luck to you! i had mine out a few years ago and i definitely cant say it was a pleasant experience. make sure you are surrounded by loved ones who are willing to take care of you, get things for you, and put up with whining and possibly a few tears. mine were impacted, which basically means that the healing process is much more painful than normal. follow all of the dr’s instructions and like a lot of people have said, avoid straws! eat and drink slowly and dont try to overdo it. youve gotten a lot of advice, so im sure youll have all the info and resources you need! sending positive thoughts your way!


  • 75 Kirsten // Apr 26, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Be prepared to be absolutely out of it and not remember anything when you wake up, if you’re being put under. All I remember is waking up on a stretcher in a dark room, and then being in a car, and then being at home. Also, bring some of those expandable towlet tabs or some kleenex; I remember drooling a lot since I couldn’t close my mouth at first.

  • 76 Sarah O // Apr 26, 2012 at 11:47 am

    I wussed out and had the oral surgeon prescribe me Valium for the day of the surgery (since I was only having local anesthetic). Between that and having my iPod with good noise canceling headphones, the surgery was no problem!

  • 77 megan // Apr 26, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Thanks for all these stories! I have two impacted teeth and my surgeon just told me outright that I’m not going to have an easy time of it. Which sucks, but I’m glad I get to prepare for the worst. I highly highly appreciate all the advice. I’m in my thirties and I’m finding myself annoyed at the dentist who told me that I didn’t have to have my wisdom teeth out when I was 24 years old, it probably would have been way easier back then.

    Ok, pineapple, elevated sleeping surface, and crossing my fingers that I am not sensitive to painkillers.

  • 78 megan // Apr 26, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Bonny – The item in the picture is a 5″ high plush tooth, I’m sorry I didn’t get anything else in there to show scale!

  • 79 ellen // Apr 26, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Tons of great advice already, and I love the hoodie for ice pack advice!
    I had the opposite problem of painkiller sensitivity – I found out only after my wisdom teeth were removed (all 4 were impacted) that vicodin does absolutely NOTHING for me. (Apparently my mom and sister are the same way, but neither mentioned it to me before the surgery, ack.)
    Also, they had a really hard time waking me up from the anesthesia and I cried for over an hour, ha. Good thing my boyfriend was such a champ… p.s. I kept him, we’re married now. :)

    Good luck and take it easy! :D

  • 80 Heidi // Apr 26, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    You can use a small syringe to squirt warm salt water around the stitches to help loosen any food particles that may get stuck there.
    I had my bottom wisdome teeth out at 15, my top ones came in when I was about 21 and I still have them. I told my dentist that until there a REAL reason to remove them, they’re staying in my mouth.

  • 81 abby // Apr 26, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    I had mine removed 2 years ago (I’m 27 now), and I really didn’t think it was that bad. I thought it would be awesome to have milkshakes, but sucking on a straw hurt, and milkshakes don’t taste great mixed with small amounts of mouth blood -gross, I’m sorry, but it’s true :(…
    I had an ice pack that was soft pea-shaped gels, that I kept on my face religiously, and I had very minimal swelling. I remember only feeling bad for one day. Hope your experience is smooth and easy!

  • 82 Michele H. // Apr 26, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Remember that you may not have any problems at all…woke up in my own bed a few hours later, took the pain pills because I was advised to (and they were kinda fun), and had steak the next night for dinner. I’m not kidding…there was nothing to it for me. May you have the same experience!

  • 83 Lindsay // Apr 26, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Oh! And I just remebered – the side effect that I was *completely* unprepared for was that my jaw got sort of messed up during the surgery (I assume this is because my jaw is small, hence the need for wisdom teeth removal in the first place, and was propped super wide open for the whole surgery? – luckily I was asleep for that though, so who knows exactly how it happened). It was about a month or so before I could open my mouth wide without it hurting. So don’t freak out if that happens! It will get better! :)

  • 84 Sarah // Apr 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    I swole a lot. Sleep with a towel on your pillow cause you might drool all over the place. Fruit punch may not be the best choice for juice, red dribbles everywhere :(

  • 85 Elsa // Apr 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    I had a long-overdue impacted wisdom tooth extraction a year ago. Even at 41* and despite my general and debilitating dental panic, I had a verrrrrrry easy time of it. I kinda wish I hadn’t listened to the horror stories and had taken to heart the much milder and more common experiences people told me about.

    For me, the surgery itself happened magically fast: I was in the chair telling the doc which arm has a better vein and then BAM! I was in recovery. If I ever need oral surgery again, I will be much more relaxed the second time because it was really, truly no big deal.

    If you’ve been reading the AskMe responses, you’ve probably seen all of my advice from my own experience, but here are my greatest-hits tips (from AskMe and from my own blog entry) in bullet points:

    – The person escorting you should be someone you feel completely safe with, or you might be a little sheepish afterwards.

    – Don’t hesitate to tell your oral surgeon ahead of time if you have dental panic. Mine made me very comfortable and even offered to prescribe me Valium for the morning of the procedure.

    – Ask for a procedure early in the day. You will probably have to stop eating at midnight, so the earlier your procedure, the sooner you can put something in your belly. (For me, caffeine was the big concern: I WANT COFFEE. We picked up a cup on the way to the doc’s so I could drink it down lukewarm on the way home.)

    – Prepare: lay in a supply of soft foods and get your prescription a day or two before the surgery, so you can go straight home after and flop down.

    – Speaking of soft foods, since I was eating a lot of yogurt and pudding, I began to crave savory foods. (And if you’re taking aftercare opiates, it’s probably best to be sure you’re eating something with fiber.) Some of the best dishes I ate: refried beans with cheese and overripe avocado, saag paneer, scrambled eggs, mashed potato topped with creamed spinach, storebought frozen spinach souffle, mac & cheese, overcooked lasagne, pea soup.

    – And speaking of going home and flopping down, my doc recommended sleeping with head elevated. I ended up spending several days flopped down on a futon in the living room with a big nest of pillows. “Crown of Thrones” sounds awesome, but depending on your prescription, it might be pretty confusing. Me, I spent a couple of days watching old episodes of “Columbo” (and, um, still got confused once or twice).

    – Don’t get toooooo worked up about the possible icky aftermath. I was prepared with an old pillow and pillowcase, mint tea bags to absorb the blood, but it just didn’t happen.

    – But don’t spare the ice packs! They reduce pain and swelling. Bags of frozen peas or corn make excellent cheap-but-BIG ice packs. Put ‘em in a ziploc bag in case of leakage. The Fella’s genius idea: get a bag of peas AND a bag of corn to alternate, to help your drug-addled brain tell the fresh-from-the-freezer pack from the warm-from-your-cheek pack.

    – After a day or so, I was feeling pretty good so I decided to skip a dose of my Vicodin. Don’t be dumb like me! It takes a while to kick in, and I had several hours of completely avoidable pain. That was the only really awful part of the experience.

    – My OS suggested I take OTC meds in addition to the prescription to reduce swelling and pain; ask your doc if you can do the same. I also started writing down my dosage times because I had trouble keeping track in my befuddled state.

    – If you expect to need a refill on your aftercare medication, be sure you figure that out well before you’re out of pills. My OS (and I imagine this is pretty usual) won’t refill over the weekend or after business hours.

    – Most of all, remember that for you, this is an unusual and scary event. But for your OS and for their medical and office staff, this is routine — in a good way. They do this every day, several times a day, and they’ll do everything possible to get you through this efficiently and safely.

    *My wonderful oral surgeon told me frankly that A) younger patients tend to heal better and B) the terrible state of the tooth itself would pose challenges. But everything went fine! Really, perfectly, not-scarily fine! Here’s hoping it goes equally smoothly for you!

  • 86 Kari // Apr 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    The Labyrinth will blow your mind when you’re on the pain pills. Pop that sucker in when you get home.

  • 87 Willa // Apr 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Maybe you will be “put under” since you’ve got the impacted teeth, but the best and most memorable part of getting my wisdom teeth out was how awesome the nitrous oxide gas was and regretting not asking them to up the flow a little (they mix it with oxygen and you can have them adjust the ratio). I remember pretty much the entire surgery, including the gross cracking sound when they yanked the teeth, but I was so content and “stoned” that nothing was alarming.

    Also, warm, gentle, salt water rinsing is so soothing for the pain and does wonders for keeping you mouth clean and not smelly/bloody-tasting, not to mention avoiding infection.

  • 88 Catherine // Apr 26, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Just here to echo the pineapple advice. Eat a lot of fresh pineapple the day before, as well as drinking lots of those mini Dole cans of pineapple juice. My sister did this and had almost no swelling. I’ve done it for other injuries/surgeries (not wisdom teeth though) and it works great!

  • 89 Stella // Apr 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    make sure you finish ALL of your antibiotics no matter how good you feel!

  • 90 Carolyn J. // Apr 26, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Cloves packed in oil will kill dental pain that meds won’t touch, including dry socket.

  • 91 Jeanne // Apr 26, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    I had 4 impacted wisdom teeth removed, 2 at a time, many years ago, and I remember 3 things. 1. Crying when I woke up from the anesthesia. 2. Even though there was some pain in my teeth, I immediately felt that pressure in my head was gone, pressure I don’t think I had noticed was there. I had been having minor headaches before the teeth were removed, and those were gone. 3. Yes take the pain meds and follow all advice, but it was the removal of my wisdom teeth that made me realize I have a bad reaction to codeine. If something doesn’t feel right, call the doctor. Enjoy being a couch potato!

  • 92 Beth Ellen // Apr 26, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Two words: Jaw Bra. My doc gave it to me, and gives them to all of his patients after oral surgery. It holds the ice in just the right spot.

  • 93 Bethany // Apr 26, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    I had all four wisdom teeth cut out, and it really wasn’t that bad at all. Keep on top of the pain (I only took two halves of a prescription pain pill and just took regular ibuprofen afterwards, even if I didn’t feel bad yet), and I’ll second the recommendation for the bra as an ice pack holder. Keep the ice packs on even before the numbness goes away, and that will help a lot. I had mine out right before Christmas (thanks, Mom) my sophomore year of college, and I was completely back to normal by a couple days after Christmas.

  • 94 Susan Deluzain Barry // Apr 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    I tried to read everything to make sure I’m not being repetitive, but I ran out of time. When I had one removed relatively recently, the oral surgeon gave me this syringe-y type thing to squirt back there. He had said to “really get in there,” but I was nervous about getting too close. I did not get close enough, and I got a [minor] infection that caused swelling and annoyance. So, while it may seem counter-intuitive to jam something in where you just had surgery, do it!

  • 95 Lindsey // Apr 26, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Real live dentist (and also wisdom tooth patient) here! Great advice so far. I would add that ibuprofen is best for the actual pain (800mg every 6 hours) and the stronger drugs are great for just sleeping the pain away. Take the pain meds on schedule, before you think you need them… it’s a lot harder to get a handle on it once it starts to build. I’m sure you’ll do great!

  • 96 jessica // Apr 26, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Best Weekend of my life! Great excuse to be a lazy ass and get people to get things for you! Recovery time is a breeze!

  • 97 Haylie // Apr 26, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    I only had two (bottom ones) and had them taken out in 2009. I read a lot of stories before my surgery. Some are quite scary. The pain level varies from person to person. For me, I didn’t suffer much. The doctor and his assistant were talking about Twilight movie/book the entire time and how cute the guys are… After the surgery, my cheeks were just fine, maybe a little bit swollen but it came down in two days (weekend). Everybody thought I looked normal on day 3. I prepared a lot of soup and japanese jello but didn’t end up eating them. I was able to eat semi-solid food quite soon. So don’t be too afraid. You’ll do fine!

  • 98 Kitty // Apr 27, 2012 at 4:18 am

    I had a simple pull of my teeth. I was fine super fast. but ah. apparently you didn’t get that luck of the draw. (I also only had 3 teeth grow, and one I still have because I had the neighboring tooth pulled.)

    As for the pineapple? Pineapple contains a healing enzyme. It is called Bromelain. Let me rephrase that. Fresh Pineapple contains bromelain. So buy a couple fresh pineapples and juice em. ;) Sounds like you got enough tips though, aannnnd I stopped reading a quarter of the way down so. Google bromelain to see what it does. And hoping you don’t get any major consequences

  • 99 Diane // Apr 27, 2012 at 4:36 am

    If your pain pill bottle says take with food. TAKE WITH FOOD. I didn’t feel like eating and ended up getting sick, vomitting after wisdom teeth surgery is not recommended.

  • 100 Stephanie // Apr 27, 2012 at 5:59 am

    Don’t schedule your surgery 3 days before you need to renew your driver’s license, including taking a new photo. That one stuck with me for 5 years.

  • 101 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 =).

  • 102 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.

  • 103 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!

  • 104 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. :)

  • 105 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.

  • 106 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!

  • 107 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!

  • 108 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!

  • 109 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.

  • 110 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!

  • 111 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!

  • 112 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

  • 113 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.

  • 114 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!!!!

  • 115 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.

  • 116 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.

  • 117 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.

  • 118 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!

  • 119 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! =))

  • 120 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!

  • 121 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.

  • 122 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!

  • 123 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!

  • 124 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.

  • 125 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!

  • 126 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 :)

  • 127 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!

  • 128 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.

  • 129 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.

  • 130 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!

  • 131 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.

  • 132 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!

  • 133 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!

  • 134 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.

  • 135 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!

  • 136 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!!

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