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Wisdom Teeth Removal

Well, first of all let me give a little update on my Monkees stuff collection. It's starting to build a little again. I've only collected some vinyls.

david jones (yes, Davy's record pre-monkees. The one that was shown in the Monkees at the Movies)
Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones LTD.
The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees
Heart and Soul Signal
Monkee Business Picture Record
Selections from the Headquarters Sessions
The Monkees Greatest Hits
The Monkees 20th Anniversary Reunion That was Then This is Now Signal
Another Monkees Magazine

It sucks because where I usually get records from had Monkees Present on vinyl... but it had a pretty bad scratch. Worse than that, though, was the Japanese Import! of More Of... Side A was great. Side B... It had the deepest gash all the way from edge to edge. Plus it cost like... 30. Maybe for 15 an unplayable import would be fine but not 30. But I wanted that a lot lol

Also yes, I'm still working on my Monkees story. Micky's chapter is very freaking long. But I'm getting there.

Also I have gotten my wisdom teeth removed, all four a month ago. Now, I've noticed a lot of places online have questions about people panicking or stories of things going wrong. The reason being, really because nobody talks about their good outcomes so usually they're not there to answer other people's questions. After all why would you even search for something when you have no issues? So of course that mean's they're not the ones usually there to answer questions - it's always people who have or had complications of their own and those who do have fine situations seem to totally forget their probable worry when they went through it and blow off most questions. For instance, I still haven't found an actual answer for 'when can I have a normal diet again', 'when is it safe to drink soda', or almost anything else. It all is 'don't worry' or 'just call your dentist'. And I understand that isn't always an option.

So I think I'm going to recap what's happened to me so far with this, so when the next person comes along searching about questions, they know they're not alone.

Okay, first to recap what has happened and everything. I'll include everything, even if it's not quite wisdom tooth related. If you want to skip to places, just search down or use your browsers search for.
Prologue: Everything that led up to the wisdom teeth removal including another couple dentist visits. Might be useful to read if you have an overall fear of dentists, just to see my most recent experience.
Main Event: The extraction.
Post-Op: Following few days.
Recovery: After the initial three day chunk passed, the rest of the recovery.

Prologue: The end of June I started noticing a lot of pain in the lower left side of my jaw. It hurt kind of a lot and I was rubbing my jaw quite often. I took a flashlight and looked in the back of my mouth and saw half of a tooth was showing - the other half was under the hard part of your gums right behind your teeth. So it was in a terrible spot - anything with even moving my jaw hurt. I could feel on the outside of my gums about there the outline of the tooth that wanted to come through but it just couldn't in that spot. I also had noticed a darkening of my gums at the molar in front of that tooth, but that went away after a week or so. I'm guessing that was probably due to the wisdom tooth pushing against my teeth, straining and bruising my gum.

So I knew I had to get this fixed. I didn't want to but if I waited something bad would probably happen - it wasn't in a spot that I could ignore and wisdom teeth can cause serious issues if left alone. So I needed to go to the dentist. I was on my step-mom's insurance and I didn't sign up for my work dental insurance this year so I needed to find something asap. My birthday was July 6th after all and I was turning 26 - I fell off at the end of July. So at first I looked for a walk in clinic, but the only one was a place that had prior drilled and filled 7 cavities without even so much as offering an anesthetic. It also has pretty low reviews, so I did not want to go there again. In fact they're the reason I haven't been to the dentist in years. I was sure I had a million cavities and who knows what else and the last thing I wanted was them fucking around in my mouth again. My dad figured on a place, though. Sears Dental. Yes, yes, a dentist in a department store doesn't sound grand but they did my braces when I was a kid and did wonderfully - plus they have great reviews. So I manage to get an appointment to get looked at the next day.

I go in and the dentist examines my teeth. He's just the hygienist but I need them to look at my teeth before they can get me the surgeon - plus I figure I might as well get all the other problems done too. He said I only had one full cavity and three that were less than halfway through the enamel. Flossing and not letting soda sit on my teeth should prevent those from worsening but the other needed to be drilled. The wisdom teeth also had some cavities as well but those weren't a big deal. Needless to say this was a surprise as I thought my mouth was terrible - these cavities were also in between the teeth due to not flossing. He said it wasn't so bad I needed to do it immediately, but I went ahead and made an appointment for the next free spot he had in the day a few hours later. I was exhausted as I'd worked the midnight and my appointment for the cavity was at one, but I pushed through.

This was the first cavity I had which included an anesthetic. The needles were nasty and certainly stung. He tried two on my gums, but it wasn't enough, I still felt just fine. Then two more on the roof of my mouth (which kinda actually hurt, more than just a sting). I almost made it but I could still feel it too well. I was about ready to say fuck it just get it over with, but the dentist said it's fine, he'd try more. This time he upped it to morphine in the roof of my mouth. By the second set of shots he said it was well over the amount he usually has to use to pull out teeth completely so honestly I effectively needed about double the dose to normally pull teeth... All I was doing was getting the half molar drilled! I knew I inherited some drug resistance from my dad but damn. I'm just so thankful my dentist was understanding and was willing to give me more numbing magic. Yet even then... I was on the verge of feeling it. Had he gone on for five seconds more I'd have needed him to stop again.

So... cavity done. Face numb all day but not any drooling. In fact it wore off hours before it normally would for people. Then came the weird thing. Not the day after but the following day after that my gums where I was stabbed seemed to become irritated and in fact had weird white spots. The roof of my mouth where I was stabbed also felt sore like there was a blister or something. This was worrisome, and I looked all over online to see what it was though figured I'd have to wait till the next dentist appointment a week later. In the mean time I used peroxide and salt water rinses in case they were an infection. On a whim one night I rubbed my finger across it and the spots came off on my finger. My gums were still red and irritated but that immediately started going away. According to the dentist and internet it was likely just an adverse reaction to being stabbed, that's all. Nothing to worry about and not an infection like I feared.

Next, a week later was the cleaning. My goodness the cleaning... I had some seriously massive build up, especially in the front. I had thought it was receding gum line but it was just that bad. This hygienist wasn't as good but he still wasn't terrible. The first one and I chatted a bit about doctor who, this guy just seemed like he was ill - he was sweating up a storm and it wasn't hot. But... he did well enough and my teeth got clean and I'm not sick so meh. He also noted that I have sensitive teeth - he sprayed cold water on my teeth and it hurt but that's all it was, cold water (and he seemed to take heed and was more careful with the water after that). So, sensodyne it is.

This whole time I'm in mild jaw pain, though by the end of the stretch of days before my wisdom teeth appointment, it stops hurting completely and is only really noticeable when I poke my jaw. My gums are better and honestly all seems good but I knew it wasn't. The surgeon of this place only comes by once a month so the consult and surgery was to be same day. So... come the 15th of July, and it's time.

Main Event:
Now is the time for the fun to begin. My dad gets out of his work classes early to take me. I'm pretty much petrified to all hell. There's almost no waiting once I get there and I'm led to the back. I inform a nurse, and later the surgeon, how I am with being drug resistant and she said it won't be a problem, they'd only proceed if I gave the all clear. She then goes over my xray and verifies that, yes... the bottom wisdom teeth are impacted - they aren't coming in sideways, luckily, but just there isn't enough room. The left is poking through but the right is all the way in my gums still. My top two wisdom teeth has already been in for a while - they came in normal. However she doesn't know if they'll cause a problem in the future and when I looked at the xray the roots to the other teeth are very curved on my upper mouth so I figured I should be safer than sorry. Take them out, lest I risk something shit happening when I don't have insurance.

She then goes over the risks and I need to sign a consent form. This did nothing to ease my tension. See, the nerves in the bottom jaw is very close to adult molar roots. Even I could see this in the xray. I was informed that there is a possibility to loose the sense of taste, loose all sensation on that side of the mouth and jaw and tongue, all sorts of scary things. The paper was only worse as it mentioned jaw breakage and shit. But I had no choice, so I signed. My dad (and now step mom) joined in the room to go over the finances. I was paying of course but it was their insurance card - I tried to get a care credit card but was declined, so just paid out of pocket. It was about 500 or 600 something for them all done, so that's not too bad. They were then shooed out.

And then... it began. I sat back and had to start on the nitrous oxide. It was pretty much nothing to me. Then they slabbed my mouth with something weird which numbed it. Okay then... Eventually the surgeon came forward to begin. I closed my eyes and tried to relax. The gas was... pleasant I suppose? I dunno, it was nothing special. Honestly, if you want to know how it feels (or at least how I felt with my resistance to drugs) lay flat on your back and close your eyes. Do not move a muscle. Eventually your body will tingle head to toe strongly as you enter sleep paralysis (anyone who's looked at lucid dreaming knows what I'm talking about). It feels like that, minus the paralysis. I just felt a little heavy like I was sleepy, and tingly. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't special. Like I said, you can achieve a similar feeling with laying still and not moving. The stuff they used to numb my mouth was fantastic though. ie...It actually worked.

The lady began and I made sure not to look at all. She told me to raise my left hand if there was pain and she'd stop to see what was wrong. Then she asked if it hurt when she did things, which I imagine was poking me with something sharp near the tooth. When it was clear I didn't feel it, she began. The top two teeth weren't too bad. Some crunching and pulling but it was pretty easy. The bottom two, though... They were rough. There was a lot of crunching, pulling, drilling, putting me in a total head lock. A couple times with the drilling it started to... be noticeable, but it never got to hurt. I even heard her let the nurse lady know I seemed to be very sensitive (I would wring my hands and feet when it was starting to be felt) so on the last tooth, the one totally in my mouth, I didn't feel anything. The whole time I was thinking 'please don't make me loose taste, please don't make me go numb. take your time take your time.' Though.... it is a pretty pretty experience knowing/seeing the fact that someone is literally sawing your gums open and not feeling a damn thing. In no time at all, I was finished - apparently less then the thought of time because my dad and step mom had been told I'd be only a half hour and they weren't even back yet.

As you can tell, I was totally aware during the whole thing - I suppose some people can't remember anything but I'm quite resilient as I've stated. It did nothing to me. As soon as she was done and shoved in the gauze I sat up. My body shook a little and leg twitched once or twice but that was the only reaction I had. No hysterics or anything silly like that. Hell, not even nausea. Just some shakes. The nurse went over my instructions, which inclined a paper that wasn't exactly the most detailed and I think I've seen it online for another dentist before but it was well enough. I then could leave. I had no follow up visit and she said the procedure went great and they expected the same of my recovery.

I felt totally fine. If you're reading this and you are wondering what to do as an anesthetic, I totally suggest nitrous oxide and local. I've heard nothing but mystery from general/iv. That seems to leave people very nauseated, loopy, emotional, sick, and feeling like shit for up to a week after. I, and most people who seem to get it how I did, are right back to normal within minutes to, at most, a few hours if you're very susceptible to it. If it's a higher dose or you're sensitive you may be loopy from what I understand but I wasn't. And that's still better then days to a week worth of sickness and almost certain vomit that the other stuff will give you. The procedure is nothing, the recovery is what's rough. So you want to save your strength for that - don't compound healing from gum slicing with healing from sedation.

I could have honestly driven home but of course I didn't.

Post Op:

When I got home, that's when the fun began. The ride home was fine, hardly any blood, but once I got in the house I was bleeding like a bitch. My mouth was still numb so I couldn't feel anything and even now I think I'd have been happier if I was just dealing with pain. I couldn't tell where the gauze was (which I realized later on wasn't far back enough) so literally had blood dripping from my mouth, pooling in my teeth, it was terrible. I had to sit around with an ice pack on my face and tissue at my mouth so I didn't stain anything. Eventually, after changing out the guaze three times, I got it back far enough and placed enough pressure on it to make it stop bleeding. There was constantly blood but the flow eventually subsided and I took out the gauze after maybe an hour or two. The thing is with the gauze... leave it in too short and you'll keep bleeding, but too long and it'll stick to the forming clot when you remove it, making it start all over again.

After that I napped on the couch. Keep in mind I hadn't eaten since 11pm the night prior... I didn't want to eat because I wasn't sure which anesthetic I'd get. Some need up to 12 hours pre-op, others need 5 hours, and some need no time unless you're a person qith a queasy stomach (which I'm not). But I just wasn't hungry. I slept on the couch for a while, was woken up when the family ate dinner, then gathered my bedding and went back to the couch, sleeping with the ice pack against my face.

Come the next day I moved to my dad's recliner chair which he offered. I could keep my head elevated easier and it was more comfortable on my back. I just really sat on my phone for the whole time - I'm so glad I upgraded my Samsung Galaxy S3 to a new phone (iPhone 6). It really made things easier because I can actually spend time on it, as opposed to feeling cramped on my Galaxy. That morning I actually had broth - all dad did was heat up a can of chicken broth and it tasted nasty and plain but since I'd not eaten or even drank anything in about 36-37 hours it was nice. I then also started to sip on a bottle of water being EXTRA careful on not doing anything that would dislodge the clot. I was super paranoid about dry socket or infection. That is also when I went and brushed my teeth carefully. Really only got my front teeth but it was better than nothing. And good LORD it stank... but that's to be expected. Blood sitting over night in your mouth will do that. That night I had squishy macaroni and cheese. The next day I had vanilla shakes and left over macaroni and cheese. All I did was lay in the recliner, sleeping most of the time and spending the rest of it on my phone or computer. The Sunday is the day I brushed all my teeth carefully, still careful to just pour water in my mouth, shake my head gently to move the water, then open my mouth and let it just drop out of my mouth.

I went back to my room I believe Sunday night because people were acting loud and ridiculous so I just wanted peace as I slept. But the recovery was doing fine. Of course I was swollen like hell come the third day but come the fourth it went down. To think my boss tried scheduling me to work on Sunday...

If you're wondering how long to take off work, bet on at least three days - the day of the procedure and two following. Those days are the worst and the third day is the peak of swelling. Overall it wasn't that bad though... I was paranoid the whole time but I also slept probably 80% of the time.


Come Monday, day four if you include the surgery day, I was back to work. Still swollen but not as bad. Still eating liquid only. Solid things like mac and cheese got stuck too easily in my mouth holes so until I could do the syringe I decided a no on that. Soup and water was literally all I drank or ate. Kept talking to a minimal too if I could - just to not over work my mouth. This was also about the time I started having to use the medicated rinse. Again I just shook my head like I was possesed, not wanting to cause that suction from regular swishing. The second it said on my paper that I could use a syringe (day ten) I did. To my surprise, nothing came out. No food was stuck, which was nice at least. That's about the time I started having slightly more solid food, because I could wash it out. I still was careful... soup, soggy bread, etc. Still stayed away from soda or acids even though I was supposedly out of the dry socket range, just to be on the safe side and to avoid infection from sugar in soda.

It was only about week two did I allow myself proper food that required chewing and soda - in fact the first proper food I ate was pizza my friend made that I love to death. This was also the week ALL of my gums at the top did that weird white spots thing that I mentioned earlier, but instead of one spot it was my whole upper gums. I rubbed it off immediately though and it didn't come back. I'm thinking it was just my gums reacting to my teeth probably shifting now that a tooth went missing so that was no issue. From there, since I managed that well enough chewing with my front teeth only, I then started to eat even more solid foods. A chicken pesto sandwich was the next day and a chicken pesto bread bowl the day after that. From there on I was no longer worried what to eat. I stayed away from hard food or chips or anything but was essentially fine. I made sure I did salt water rinses and syringing after all food and plain water rinses after soda (which I was doing anyway because the cavities) but really my diet was mostly back to normal.

This is also when the scab fell off over my right side hole... so now I officially had the hole that you need to be careful about. I had wondered prior how people get food stuck in there while I literally had no hole down at all but now I did... It felt weird to rinse it out when water sprayed right inside of my jaw, but there was no other real issue there. I panicked a but, but a friend and my dad said it was fine.

I think it was about week three everything was back to normal in pretty much entirety. The start of the week I allowed myself to drink from a straw again and by the end of the week I was back to chips. By the start of week four I was shoving food into my mouth but chewing carefully and today, a little over a month later, I literally do not restrict myself at all.

When it comes to chips, it really comes to how likely you are to stab yourself with them. When it comes to seeds, it comes to how easily they get stuck places.

I still use the syringe because my right side seems to have a deeper mouth hole, as I call it, then any other part, but I don't use salt water anymore. I brush my teeth like normal and floss everything again. I'm still healing of course but really my mouth is doing fine.

An annoying side effect of this, however, is my ear piercings have closed up. Now my ears were never pierced very good. They always liked to try closing up after only weeks at a time and were often irritated. I think this may be why they closed. They were never pierced right, so when my jaw started healing (which if you'll notice the place the mouth is healing is essentially the same spot as your ear, which is why jaw problems can cause ear problems) it healed my ears too. I had earrings in, took them out because they were very irritated, and a week later they're totally closed - left side the top doesn't even have a hole and right side there is no bottom to the hole. I tried to force it and blood happened. So that sucks - I'm not an earring person but like the option so I'll get them redone eventually.

But yea, that's the story so far at least. Nothing really spectacular but I wouldn't suggest anyone deal with it if they don't have to or have a diet restriction as it is. If anything else surfaces in relation to this I'll edit this post to include it