I recently had all four of my wisdom teeth extracted. It was not a fun experience. However, I am here to help my lovely blog-followers who happen to have them out next. These are just my personal words of wisdom. Of course with this and other things pertaining to medical advice, consult your physician, or in this case, your oral surgeon.
Gosh-where to start. Besides being uncomfortable for longer than normal (apparently you are NOT supposed to be uncomfortable for three weeks), my biggest issues are listed below and what I would suggest if you need to have your wisdom teeth removed:
1. Get enough protein
Protein is important in wound healing and it was so difficult for me to get enough after I had my teeth extracted. I didn’t want to eat anything in the first place, so eating a typical source of protein seemed out of the question. I would suggest Clinical Strength Ensure. I don’t know what I would have done with out this stuff. It has 13 grams of protein per bottle, 350 much needed calories (especially when you have no appetite) and contains Revigor- the amino acid metabolite HMB- which slows the breakdown of muscle and increases protein synthesis. I actually started drinking the Muscle Health Ensure first, but they both have the Revigor in them, so they both worked for me in the same regard. Keep in mind that Ensure also has a high protein shake option, but it doesn’t contain the Revigor. I would highly suggest getting one that contains Revigor.
2. Follow post-op directions to the T.
Around the end of the first week, there were so many people I talked to who thought it was crazy that I still was not using straws, or chewing regular, crunchy foods yet. The oral surgeon gave me a list of things that I was told to-do and what not to-do and I followed them religiously. I followed them religiously and still ended up having issues down the road…can you imagine if I had not followed those directions? I’m sure I would have surely regretted it. You are told not to use a straw, consume a soft food diet, rinse with 3 parts water and 1 part Listerine. These really are quite simple to do. Just do it-trust me; it’s worth it.
3. Consume something substantial if you’re taking narcotics.
I wasn’t thinking properly and didn’t eat anything but one pudding cup in 24 hours. Needless to say, since I was taking the prescribed narcotics (Vicoden), I needed something in my stomach at the same time. Eventually I got nauseous and ended up vomiting. Luckily, it only happened one day and I quickly learned from it. Eat something (even as small as a pudding cup) before you take your narcotics—each time. The 3 Vicoden that I took over 24 hours required more than only one pudding cup.
4. Take ibuprofen regularly and the antibiotics as prescribed.
Many people do not know the difference between ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and Acetaminophen (Tylenol). Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory. It actually decreases inflammation present in the body. Acetaminophen only blocks the pain receptors, tricking the brain into thinking that the pain is gone. In other words-Acetaminophen, in my book, is a big fat cheater while Ibuprofen is out there doing all the Mother Theresa healing that it can.
You will be told to take Ibuprofen on a regular basis (usually 400mg every 6-8 hours) and to take your prescribed antibiotics regularly. Do both of these like your life depends on it. Honestly, I took the ibuprofen for the first 2 weeks even if I didn’t feel any pain. Why? Because like I said above, it soothes inflammation and HELLO-you just had teeth ripped out of your mouth. You’re going to be inflamed for at least 2 weeks while those holes heal. The antibiotics need to be taken until they are completely gone-no matter what. The last thing you want is an infection in your mouth. Yuck and ouch.
5. If you are still in pain of any sort two full weeks after surgery, call your oral surgeon and get into see him. You should not be in pain. Don’t worry, just get in and have your surgeon look around to see what is going on. I went in 3 times over the first 3 weeks and got everything straightened out and my questions answered. I do hope you find an oral surgeon as awesome as mine!
Questions? Please feel free to comment or share your own experiences with us!