Wisdom teeth - post-op tips and tricks!

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by misskarne, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. misskarne

    misskarne Spirit. Focus. Ability. Tenacity. Aussie Grit.

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    Hi FSU!

    On Monday I will be having three wisdom teeth removed (I am a special petal and only have three, apparently!). I am aware that I am likely to be eating little more than mush for a while.

    Does FSU have any other tips and tricks for post-op care? (I am not a nervous person when it comes to dentists, so I'm okay with horror stories!)
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  2. allezfred

    allezfred Prick Admin Staff Member

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    I had all four wisdom teeth out in one go. I got general anaesthetic for it so I was blissfully unaware of what was going on. Took some pain meds that night and was back to normal eating the next day. After hearing all sorts of horror stories, I was expecting much worse. It was all rather uneventful.
  3. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

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    It's hard to tell. My brother and I both had all 4 taken out, but we had vastly different experiences post-op. He was so out of it my father almost had to carry him into the house, no small feat considering Dad is 5'9 & bro is 6'4. I was wide awake before I left the dentist's office. Bro spent about a week swollen up like a chipmunk and taking codeine for the pain. I was ready to walk the dog when I got home, but Mom forced me to take it easy the first 24 hours the way they recommend. Bro thought I didn't suffer enough in comparison to his experience. :D

    I do remember using the gauze pads even though I didn't bleed all that much. Also avoid extreme temperature foods on both ends of the temperature spectrum because of sensitivity.
  4. alj5

    alj5 Well-Known Member

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    Mine was also uneventful. I was knocked out, was sent home within 2 hours or so, and after a nap I was Christmas shopping that afternoon at the mall. While it took a few days to eat something like steak, I was eating soft things that day (soft pretzel @ the mall, soup, banana). I do remember swishing with warm water a lot as food would get stuck on the sutures.

    They'll probably tell you NO STRAWS. The force created while sucking on the straw can pull on your sutures. Just drink normally and pre-medicate with the strong meds the first 24 hours, and then try to switch to regular tylenol/ibuprofen only unless the pain is severe.
  5. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I had two removed, not simultaneously. Local anesthetic both times. The one in my upper jaw was nothing, took about three seconds and wasn't too bad after. The one in my lower jaw was horrible.

    My advice: don't wait for it to get unbearably painful - take the pain meds even if you are just starting to feel some discomfort; and follow the instructions. Karina mentioned extreme temperature foods as problematic, but I was told that ice cream was my friend and was happy to take advantage.
  6. elka_sk8

    elka_sk8 Well-Known Member

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    My experience was similar to your brother's- I was swollen like a chipmunk and bruised for a week! What made it all worse was that everyone was telling me how easy the recovery would be, but as mine took longer and was more difficult, I had to miss a planned beach vacation with my friends. Being in college I was pretty upset at the time!

    Good luck!
  7. ballettmaus

    ballettmaus Well-Known Member

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    I had all four removed one by one, and went back to dancing the following evening after each (though that did hurt a little). But except for the last one which was a bit tricky, I didn't have any swellings.
    My mom gave me chammomile tea (lukewarm as I wasn't allowed to drink anything hot/warm) to drink as it's said to help with healing.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
  8. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

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    I had all 4 removed at once and a few days later I developed dry socket. The dry socket was a billion times more painful than the impacted wisdom teeth were. If you develop dry socket (which is not uncommon so be prepared) then you have to go back to the dentist every few days for a bit so they can stuff the holes with gauze soaked in clove oil.
  9. KCC

    KCC Active Member

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    I had a dry socket, too, and nearly passed out from the pain. Because the dentist was so far away from where I lived, I ended up repacking the hole myself once or twice -- no easy task. With the gauze packing in there, it is hard to brush, and that grossed me out. Just try to get passed that so that you do not disrupt the packing (if you have it in there).
  10. Impromptu

    Impromptu Well-Known Member

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    I had all four removed, IIRC. I didn't have any problems with the surgery, and the next day I was feeling much better. But then that evening (about 36 hours after surgery), everything got swollen, and I ended up with a 103 degree fever and had to go on antibiotics (and have everything drained - not fun at all).

    If you can convince them to give you a scrip for antibiotics right off the bat (and a lot of oral surgeons do that), you'll be better off in the long run.
  11. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

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    He was also pissed because his surgery took place around the time of the '88 Olympics, and he was so out of it (sleeping most of the time) that he missed the opening ceremonies.

    I was supposed to have mine out in the fall of my senior year of high school, but after watching him go through what he did, I was so freaked out that I wanted it pushed to a non-school time. The dentist even pulled my brother's X-rays and compared them to my own to try to convince me that I would have an easier time of it! :D I ended up having it done during Christmas/winter break of my freshman year of college (and I was attending locally) and surprise, surprise... no complications. At least I had my other brother's dog staying with us so I had someone to keep my mind off of things if it got bad! Poor guy... he couldn't figure out why I was on the couch that first day instead of taking him out for walks!
  12. Spareoom

    Spareoom Well-Known Member

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    I had all four out a few months ago. Fairly easy all together; I was given antibiotics to take a week before and week after the surgery, and because my teeth weren't impacted, I had minimal swelling. The hardest part was having a bit of a reaction to the general anesthesia which made me super lightheaded and queasy, and not being able to eat proper food...I was starving for something substantial by the end of the day, lol.
  13. RockTheTassel

    RockTheTassel Well-Known Member

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    Are they impacted? That makes a huge difference. But you don't mention that they are, so you're more likely to have an easier time. Zemgirl's advice is spot on - take the pain meds at the first sign of discomfort. Even if doesn't feel that bad, it's bound to feel worse later. Also call the doctor right away if you think there are any potential problems. That all sounds obvious, but a lot of people wait until things get really bad before dealing with the problem.

    Beyond that, everyone responds differently to having wisdom teeth removed. You don't really know how good/bad your recovery will be until you experience it.
  14. ross_hy

    ross_hy Active Member

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    Mine was pretty smooth too. Had all 4 removed together under anesthesia. Just make sure you stay fairly active after the surgery. I had mine done on a Thursday, did nothing but lay on the couch all weekend, and by Monday when I went back to work, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Otherwise, smooth sailing.
  15. Kasey

    Kasey Loving on babies!

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    I had all four removed at once...twice. Yep, two sets of wisdom teeth. Our family must be part shark. The first set was a breeze, since the second set was growing in underneath them. The second ones didn't come in all the way, got impacted, and were a son of a gun. I would suggest light gargling with salt water every 2-3 hours for the first day, and keep up with the pain medicines on the first day; after that, go as you are able to, based on how you are feeling. But the first day, try to keep really diligent with everything; it will decrease swelling and help the healing go faster. (oh yeah, and ice/cold packs to the jaw every so hours; like 10-20 minutes on at a time)
  16. Oreo

    Oreo Active Member

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    A lot depends on the configuration of your teeth. If they're impacted or twisted around in some way, it's more complicated to get them out, and that can mean a longer healing time.

    Back in college, if I didn't see someone for a week, it was usually because they had had their wisdom teeth out. That freaked me out so much, I waited until my 50s to get mine out. I loaded up the fridge with soft food, amassed some DVDs, ice bags ready for the swelling to come, etc. I had all four removed, and by the next morning I was fine. No swelling, no nothing. I was almost a little disappointed at the lack of drama.

    I agree, though, with the other posters in that it's easier to deal with any pain before it happens until after waiting for it to develop. Good luck!
  17. merrywidow

    merrywidow Well-Known Member

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    My dentist suggested I take an aspirin 1 hour before having a wisdom tooth removed. I had very little pain after the novacaine wore off.
  18. Kasey

    Kasey Loving on babies!

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    That's surprising, since Aspirin is a blood thinner as well as anti-inflammatory. I would have thought it would have caused more of a mess in there!
  19. DAngel

    DAngel Active Member

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    I had all four removed one by one too... I wished I had all four taken out with general anesthesia :( The first one was pretty bad and the second one was the worst. The dentist didn't give me enough anesthesia and I was crying because it was so painful. (The tooth had to be broken into 3-4 pieces). After that I didn't want to get the last two out. Years went by until finally my new dentist persuaded me to take out the remaining ones. I couldn't believe the difference! No pain, no fuss... I can do normal activity pretty much that night, and definitely the next morning.

    My current dentist is awesome :lol:
  20. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    For me it was the opposite because the impacted tooth earned me a specialist while the less complicated one only rated a dentist. Guess who did a better job? ;) But then I generally do better with dental procedures on my upper teeth.

    I forgot to post this earlier, but my food of choice (other than lovely ice cream) was mashed potatoes that I'd allowed to cool down a little.
  21. Lacey

    Lacey Well-Known Member

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    Watch the pain meds, with 3 kids and me, I have found that these doctors oversubscribe. The first of my children came crawling into our room the night of her surgery, she absolutely could not could not could not fall asleep. Same thing happened to me when I had a molar pulled for an implant. We switched to Advil for the rest of us, that was fine. Why do these doctors need to prescribe anything with codeine (Percocet)?
  22. AxelAnnie

    AxelAnnie Well-Known Member

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    I had all four out..............about a million years ago. Surprised they had discovered dentistry back then :)

    I had no problems...my roommate took me, and nothing special happened. I would recommend though, for the first few days (as with any surgery) stay ahead of the pain. Take the pain meds on schedule whether you are in pain or not, because if it sneaks up on you, it is really hard to quiet the pain back down.
    I had a doctor friend explain that to me...and it has served me well through several surgeries.
  23. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Mine were badly impacted and I couldn't even walk that much, because the blood pumping through would cause so much pain in my mouth. But most people's experiences are much better than mine. :p And my mom didn't believe in painkillers so I didn't get any. (Still don't. I'm kind of masochist that way.)

    I advise lots of ice for the swelling, but again, it depends on how impacted yours are. I had a math prof in college who had his wisdom teeth taken out and was back at work the same evening to run a review session. :lol: He had quite the chipmunk face, but was able to talk.
  24. leesaleesa

    leesaleesa New Member

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    Are they just being pulled, or do they require surgery? The recovery from pulling is pretty quick, but badly impacted teeth which require surgery takes longer.

    Mine were impacted sideways and came out surgically, all four. There wasn't really much pain once the anesthetic had worn completely off, but I could barely open my mouth for a week. Swollen, covered with green bruises, looked like a monster, but it was funny.

    It's key to not use a straw, gargle, try not to sneeze or cough and avoid strenuous activity for about a week to avoid dry socket.

    My recovery took about three weeks total, though I was back to work on Monday, having done the surgery on Friday. The good part was that I couldn't speak plain, so was absolved from any phone duties at work for the next two weeks.

    Oh, and I did get permanent nerve damage. The Surgeon warned me that is was a possibility and that due to the angle of the impaction and my stupid little tiny jaw that it was likely, but probably minor, which it was. I don't even notice it anymore.

    Overall, on a scale of 1-10, I would rate it as to pain and discomfort wise a 3.5. Slept most of the first day, felt slightly crummy day two, and felt well enough to get on with my usual activities excluding vigorous activity. Actually, the worst part was getting the I.V. put in.
  25. misskarne

    misskarne Spirit. Focus. Ability. Tenacity. Aussie Grit.

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    Thanks for the tips, folks.

    None of my teeth are impacted, they're more annoying than painful but as I have the money, health insurance and sick leave to get them sorted out I figured I would!
  26. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    Stretch your jaws several times a day for a day or two in advance, to "limber up" for the surgery. Massage helps tremendously with the jaw ache afterward. Eating ice pops helps ease pain and keep the swelling down.
  27. nyrak

    nyrak Active Member

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    Just do everything you can to avoid getting the dry sockets....I had mine out when I was 16 under general anesthetic in the hospital....threw up so much from that I ended up with 2 dry sockets on the bottom. Could barely open my jaw for a week and the smell of cloves (20 years later!) still turns my stomach. Don't want to scare you though, I had a rough time with it, but know plenty of others who were good as new 1-2 days later.
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  28. misskarne

    misskarne Spirit. Focus. Ability. Tenacity. Aussie Grit.

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    Aaaaaaaaaaaaah, wish I'd read this post first.

    Am mostly eating by licking off a spoon at the moment. Tried to have a look in the bathroom mirror and can't open my mouth wide enough. Jaw is aching, the left side is worst, which is weird because it was the right side I had two teeth out on.

    The icing seems to be going well, no football face so far.

    Today's food: Chocolate/Banana Custard Baby Food and a bit of chocolate ice-cream to get the painkiller into me before bed. So sleepy. It's not as painful as I thought it would be.
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  29. leesaleesa

    leesaleesa New Member

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    You should wake up tomorrow with the ache gone or subsiding. Do you have stitches?
  30. misskarne

    misskarne Spirit. Focus. Ability. Tenacity. Aussie Grit.

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    Good morning!

    Today everything is much better. My right side barely twinges, although there's still a dull uncomfortable ache in my left side (I did have stitches on that side!). It's not awful pain, but it is annoying. I'm also rid of that horrid fuzzy feeling and actually feel awake and alive and like I can do things today!

    Still can't open mouth wide enough to have a look. Going to do warm salt water swills today but I will leave going out and about for tomorrow. The dentist wrote me off work the entire week so I don't have to worry about that.

    Side note: blowing my nose is painful. Owie.
  31. skipaway

    skipaway Well-Known Member

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    Glad you're doing better.
  32. Spareoom

    Spareoom Well-Known Member

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    Don't swish vigorously...that could dislodge the blood clots and that would be a BIG no-no. Just treat your extraction sites like they have this clot stuff sitting on them that isn't attached and could come off at the slightest touch...it's not THAT touchy, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

    Also with food, go with soft foods longer than you think you need to. It's harder than you think; I was STARVING for a real meal the evening I got my teeth out, but I couldn't risk it. It didn't help that I had very minimal swelling and pain, so I looked and felt fairly normal but I had four unsutured extraction sites that were all very vulnerable. I know for a fact that I did dislodge a bit of one of my clots the day of the extraction because I swished water too early and I attribute the stabbing pain I had in one side of my jaw to that. It wasn't TOO bad; on a scale of 1-10 I'd rate it about a 6, but I can't imagine what it would have felt like if I'd dislodged the entire thing.
  33. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

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    In addition to not swishing...do NOT drink through a straw. It's not only painful, it can also dislodge the clots.

    I'm glad you're not in much pain! I couldn't talk, eat or sleep for a week. Swelling was minimal but my lower teeth were so impacted they had to drill away at the jaw bone :scream:
  34. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    I had all four taken out with general anesthesia, followed post-up directions (detailed above) to the T, took my pain meds and it all healed in no time. The worst part was the baby food.
  35. misskarne

    misskarne Spirit. Focus. Ability. Tenacity. Aussie Grit.

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    Spareoom, I know what you mean; mum had a toasted sandwich for lunch today and all I wanted then was a toasted sandwich. But I had to settle for ice cream. Which doesn't fill the belly.

    I tried a bit of well-cooked fettucine tonight for dinner, but it was too difficult, especially given the lack of opening of my mouth. So I had soup instead. But I really wanted the yummy bolognaise my sister was making. :(

    I have yoghurt now too, so proper breakfast food (well sort of), some more soup, and tomorrow night I think I will make my super-smooth mash potato. Because if I don't have something substantial soon I think I will die. *dramatik*

    EDIT: But I won't object to the ice-cream. Oh my lord. Nestle Peter's Smooth and Creamy Classic Chocolate if you can get it. omygodomygodomygod. :swoon:
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
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