I never thought wisdom teeth were that much of an issue until just about a year ago. Usually, I’ll get one or two inflammations if something I eat gets stuck under the skin over those long-forgotten molars, a day or two passes, and so does the inflammation. That’s it—I get over it and move on with my life, none the worse for wear. This time, however, the pain was God-awful and had spread to about half my face. I knew it, the teeth knew it, heck, the oral surgeon I dialed knew it, too—it was time to find my wisdom teeth a new residence that was not the corners of my mouth.
They asked me two things when I walked into the surgeon’s office—did I want my teeth extracted, and if so, would I like the local or total anesthesia? I fought against the idea of extraction tooth—hah—and nail, but the doctor warned me that I would be experiencing these flareups for the rest of my life unless I did something about it. As for the anesthesia, well—in the room next to me, they were shaking awake a woman who had decided to let them put her under. All I could hear was the resounding sound of slaps and a firm voice saying, “Sonia, it’s time to wake up—slap slap—time to get up, dear—slap.” “Local anesthesia, please,” I told the dental technician firmly.
- There are things about the wisdom tooth extraction process nobody tells you. Sure, they warn you about the possible swelling, numbness, pain, and the possibility of damaging a nerve. But nothing prepares you for:
- No comfort food. You try chewing with the whole side of your face devoid of feeling. Goodbye chicken, goodbye carrots, goodbye cupcakes that taste oh-so-good.
- The difficulty involved in talking when your anesthesia wears off and that pain comes back.
- The special relationship you are going to develop with the prescribed painkillers. Come into my mouth, sweet babies.
- Dry socket. This one was by far the worst. After you get a wisdom tooth pulled, there is a hole left in your jawbone where it was pulled; usually, a blood clot forms here to protect the bone and nerves underneath, but in my case, that clot dissolved a few days after I had my tooth pulled. This basically meant that the bone and nerves in that area of my jaw were exposed to all the food and water that was coming into my mouth. Ow. Ow ow ow. I had to go back to the oral surgeon and have him put a special paste on it to promote the healing over of that area.
At the end of the day, however, I was glad I went through with the extraction. Now I don’t have to worry about feeling pain in that area ever again. I suppose now it’s time to wait for my wisdom tooth on the other side of my mouth to start acting up. If or when it does, I’m going to open my mouth, look dead at it in the mirror and think, “You’ll be sleeping with the fishes tonight, sir.”