Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wisdom Teeth (or Tooth) Extraction


I remember when I was younger being told I had ONE wisdom tooth. My mom didn't have any and I thought it was pretty neat that I got her luck (at least most of it, having 1 instead of 4.) My dentist, Dr. Meadows, told me I might not have to get it out because it was "high up there and might never calcify." I never thought twice about it... until now. Last month I went to my dental check-up and the hygienist (who I LOVE!) took x-rays of my teeth since it had been awhile since the last ones were taken. She compared the new x-rays with the old and said my single wisdom tooth had moved down quite a bit and advised me to get it out. The dentist and my mother-in-law (Jan is the office manager) also said I should get it out to prevent future problems. I decided to wait and schedule an appointment with an oral surgeon later this year. Well, the last two days I have been having some throbbing and discomfort in my upper left gum area where my wisdom tooth is. (So much for waiting a couple months!) I decided now is the time to get it out, so March 7th at 10:30am, I will have one less tooth. The oral surgeon will have a panarex done just to make sure there really is only one and then I'll get some drugs (maybe knocked out) and the fun will begin. To be honest, I'm a tiny bit nervous about it. I know, I know, thousands of teens have this procedure done every year and it's not a big deal. I guess I shouldn't have been googling information about it or watching home videos of actual extractions on YouTube (some of them are pretty sick!) If you have stories (positive ones!) to share, feel free. For those who haven't done much research on these pesky teeth, here is some info I found:

Wisdom teeth derive their name from the fact that they form in the late teen years, making them "older and wiser". In today's world, the softer diet and shorter jaw of modern humans have rendered wisdom teeth unnecessary. In fact, the onset of wisdom teeth can be a painful and potentially dangerous development. In most cases, a relatively simple and straightforward surgery can extract the wisdom teeth before they cause permanent damage to the teeth and mouth.

Wisdom teeth are located at the back of the mouth, the "third" molar at both ends of the top and bottom row of teeth. As the wisdom teeth begin to grow, they can become impacted, or trapped in the jawbone and/or gums. As they continue to grow beneath the gum line in an angled or horizontal direction, displacement of the original line of teeth and wearing into the back molars can occur. Wisdom teeth that are unable to "erupt" above the gum line can lead to inflammation and infection. In the case of a partial eruption, a pocket often forms under the gumline, which can lead to the formation of a cyst or tumor. If left untreated, wisdom teeth cause permanent damage, including cavities, nerve damage, gum infection, bone infection, and a weakening of the jaw. Unfortunately, wisdom teeth often grow unnoticed until they cause problems in the mouth or outlying areas, such as the face. These problems can cause headaches, pain in the ears, neck, upper or lower jaw.

11 comments:

Becca said...

I was fortunate enough to have all four of my wisdom teeth come in. After several years of use, one of them of course had to get a cavity. So instead of shelling out the money to fill it, we decided to pay three times as much and get all of them out. Thank heavens I was knocked out for it! Those aren't memories I care to have. It all went smooth though and I didn't have any complications - I don't recall any swelling either. I did it over Jeff's spring break last year so he could help take care of me and chase Emily around. Maybe that's why my memories of the event aren't so bad. It was nice have some time to myself and not feel guilty if I took a nap. :)
I hope it all goes well for you. Good luck!

Iliana said...

I had all mine pulled in high school and I was totally put under for it. It wasn't bad at all. I ate ice cream for two days and was all better after that. My brothers both were out partying the SAME NIGHT. So, it could go really well. Is this after Jake takes the bar? I think you should get at least one full day off! Like the WHOLE DAY. So you can sleep in, eat crap, sleep some more and then sleep some more. In a way, I'm jealous you have a reason to take a mommy leave of absense.

Ashleigh said...

That sucks! My experience was very uneventful. I remember counting backwards and then waking up, going home and having to constantly stick gauze in my mouth as well as squirt a water bottle on the incisions to keep them clean. That's about it...except the medication they gave me made me really dizzy, so I didn't take much of it. Other than that, I didn't bruise at all, I didn't swell much at all either. You'll be fine. It'll be a good excuse to lay around and be pampered.

West Family said...

Its fine! I had all ofmy ssurgically extracted(cut into 8 pieceseach) when I was 16. My mouth waspuffy for 4-5 days, and the first 24 hours after was kinda uncomfortable, but it wasover after 24 hours. You will do great.
Ifyou couldhave waited a year Chauncey could have done it!
love you jamie,
mel

Mindurs said...

It is funny how your tooth didn't hurt you until the dentist pointed it out to you. Not knowing something is sometimes better. I am with your other friends milk it for all that is worth baby you can have a couple of mommy vacation days! Wahooo!

I went back to school the day after I got my wisdom teeth out. That is only because pain killers totally make me hyper, so I was all hyped up and probably shouldn't have been at school. He!He! Same problem when I had my c-section with Asher. Dr. told me to take it easy because of the major surgery, but who can take it easy when they are all hyped up on pain killers.

mindurs said...

I like the new page design! Super cute!

To make a long story short when I went into labor with Ashie my Dr. was out of town for less then 24 hrs. The on call Dr. really didn't care that I was about to have my baby, she took her time to come in so the nurses stopped my labor. Because my labor was stopped Ashie got stuck on my pelvis and I had to have a c-section. Grrrr!

Coach wasn't a c-section because I certainly didn't want another C. I had to make my wishes clear with the Dr. and he was very hesitent about the vaginal birth, but in the end it was an easy delivery. Some times doctors just want to do what is easiest for them. I am glad I fuaght for the vaginal delivery. It was lovely and an easy recovery!

Jeff said...

What Becca also failed to mention was that by having it done over my spring break, it was also during March Madness, so I occupied the TV most of the time. Although I feel I took very good care of her & Emily (neither of them died), she has claimed that she will never have anything major done during a major sporting event (Emily was born during the World Cup)

Chad, Ashley, and Logan said...

Good luck with that! I won't tell you about my wisdom teeth experience ( I had 5, yes I know i'm a freak), but with just one I bet you will be feeling great. Let us know if you need a frosty.

peter said...

The new page is way cute, Jamie. My wisdom teeth experience was not bad at all. They all came out for the mission, I was put under and was singing in the ward choir two days later. And...any woman that can handle three c-sections will have no problem with a measley little wisdom tooth. Would one wisdome tooth be a wise tooth?

Whitney said...

I only had three (I kinda inherited mom's luck) but one was sideways and was going to hit a nerve so they had to break it into a few pieces and pull it out piece by piece. I know it sounds really crazy, but I was just fine. I closed my eyes and the next thing I knew, I was loopy and in the car going home. I'd say the worst part was taking the medication afterward, just because it made me nauseous. But it was not a bad experience at all. You'll totally be fine, as long as you don't suck on anything for a while afterward. Good luck!

Timothy said...

My daughter's wisdom tooth is about to be extracted pretty soon, and she's currently feeling anxious about it. We all do, one way or another. Telling her that my dentist in Goose Creek is very good actually helps her. I feel relaxed with my dentist. He's skillful and one of the best.

As soon as she drops by my house, I'll accompany her to one of the dentists (Goose Creek area).