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So when I was 19 years old I joined the U.S Air Force. When you join up, they check out your body out from head to toe. They don’t want anyone in there who can’t perform their duties. One of the checks I had was with the Air Force dentist. I remember he looked at my mouth, did some x-rays and then said to me, “You need to get that wisdom tooth taken out, it’s impacted. Do it before boot camp.”
I smiled, agreed and then just went to boot camp. See, I’m not a fan of the dentist. I’ve had horrid experiences throughout my life at the dentist. This was especially so during my childhood. My teeth were so messed up that I was literally put on display during some oral surgery at a university hospitals. These inconsiderate fuckers were demonstrating my teeth like some sort of damn masterpiece.
Hey Johnson, look at this weird case! This kid has a tooth all the way up in his nose! Don’t worry, he’s drugged up on that happy gas, he can’t hear us. Ramirez, hold his tongue he’s trying to shove it into the hole.
Oh, I could hear them and I was aware of mostly everything that was going on. That damn experience was horrible and has stayed with me until this day. As such, I am no fan of oral surgery at all. As stated earlier, this wisdom tooth was an issue nearly half my life ago, but I didn’t take it out until now. Back then I just nodded and then I went to boot camp.
Here were are over 20 years later and once again that wisdom tooth has come up during a dentist visit. This time my dentist said that if I didn’t remove it I stood to damage and eventually lose the tooth next to it. Ducking this thing was no longer an option. Mind you, it was over a year since my first visit with this same dentist and over 5 years since my visit to a dentist before that one. Like I said, I don’t like going to the dentist.
My gums were bleeding again and I also wanted to look at Invisalign to straighten out my teeth. In order to start moving teeth around, he said that I needed to have deep cleaning and get rid of the gum disease. He also said that the wisdom tooth on my bottom right side had to go and that it would be a good idea to remove to other ones as well. I agreed with him as did the oral surgeon when she looked at my mouth. The problem is that they are hard to clean and though only one was impacted, I had red pockets and inflammation in the area, despite having had a very deep cleaning and practicing good oral hygiene.
In any case, I opted to get them all done at once. I didn’t want to deal with this crap on more than one occasion. My thought process was go through it, deal with it and do this all in one shot, ONCE AND FOR ALL! I definitely didn’t want to deal with these limitations and discomforts more than this one time in my life. Of course, there are no guarantees in life, but at least I know that I won’t be dealing with wisdom teeth problems going forward.
Today is day 8 since I had the procedure done. I’d been on a mostly liquid diet for the first few days. I had fruit and veggie shakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Surprisingly, my body adapted fairly well and I felt pretty comfortable with it. I once did a 7 day juice cleanse so I treated this as just another cleanse. I tried to eat some solid food around the 4th day, and though I was able to do so, it was exhausting, stressful and really didn’t feel worth the hassle. Anyway, I decided to go back to liquids for the time being. Now I’ve been slowly reintroducing solids and since I’m able to chew better, it’s not as stressful or exhausting.
My biggest concern at this time is the fact that I still have 4 holes inside my mouth. These holes can hide food particles, bacteria and if disturbed can become a major source of pain. I have done my best to avoid this thing called dry socket and so far I have been successful. Eating solids greatly increases the risk of getting dry socket. If you don’t know what that is, think of it like loosing or removing the scab on a cut on your skin. Except that this scab is made out of a blood clot and actually covers BONE and a damn NERVE below your jaw. Yeah, you don’t want none of that dry socket shit. I’ve been so damn careful because of that, almost to the point of being ridiculous. But like I said, I don’t want anything to do with that.
I recently had my follow up, and my surgeon told me that I shouldn’t worry too much about that at this point. She said its not likely to happen after 3-4 days post surgery. I’m 8 days in now so she told me to chill out. She had told me that a while ago, but like I said, I was scared of that damn dry socket crap. But I’m finally relaxing a bit and was finally able to enjoy some food again.
Overall, this experience wasn’t as terrible as I expected. Sure, it was uncomfortable, and it hurt, but nowhere near as much as I though. The bottom line is, if you gotta get it done, then just get it done. I’d read dozens of horror stories, but thankfully I wasn’t one of them. All things considered this process was a great success.
What I ate: Fruit and vegetable shakes.
Medicine: I took motrin 400 instead of the potentially addictive opioids I was prescribed. I also took a round of amoxicillin to prevent infection.
Hygiene: I carefully brushed the front and flossed. I tried to avoid the back teeth as I was afraid to disturb the wound.