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  1. #1

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    Wisdom teeth - post-op tips and tricks!

    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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    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.
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

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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.

    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.

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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.

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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karina1974 View Post
    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.

    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.
    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!

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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 by ballettmaus; 11-07-2013 at 05:09 PM.

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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.
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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).

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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elka_sk8 View Post
    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!
    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! 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!

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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.

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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.

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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. #15
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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)
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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!

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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by merrywidow View Post
    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.
    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!
    I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally.~W. C. Fields

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballettmaus View Post
    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.
    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

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by RockTheTassel View Post
    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.
    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.

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