Why You Should Not Remove Your Impacted Wisdom Teeth Unnecessarily

No wisdom teeth? You can skip this post cos it will only be a long, boring acount of why you should think twice before plucking any impacted wisdom teeth.

I’m writing with first-hand experience of this traumatic event for the benefit of those who are considering this option.

I had 3 impacted wisdom teeth; the upper one was starting to rub against my cheek and give me ulcers. Almost two years ago, at age 31, I happily decided to remove all 3 under GA to save the hassle of having to remove any more in future. Here’s the process:

1) Surgeon did an X-ray. Told me that 1 of the 3 teeth located on my left, lower jaw was close to the nerves. But he said chances of the removal having any side effects was just 3%. I took the chance.

2) Underwent GA to remove 3 teeth at one shot. Thought it would be value-for-money for this least traumatic experience. Had a peaceful slumber and woke with wads of blood-soaked gauze stuffed in my mouth. So far so good.

3) Ate fish porridge and silken tofu and drank from a straw for the next 2 months. Lost 5kg. Not a bad deal.

4) Realised that even after two months, the left side of my chin and lips were numb, with perpetual pins-n-needles. Couldn’t even wash my face or chew on the left side without wincing. Needless to say, brushing teeth on the lower left jaw was out of the question. Dentist said it’s normal, I should regain feeling soon.

5) Talked with a lisp. Bone wax started to leak out of the stitched wound every now and then. Had to go back to the dentist every week to remove the wax and clean out the wound and my teeth. Was given some bitter mouthwash.

6) Lisping lessened. Could eat normal food after 6 months. No more nuts and other crunchy hard stuff. Chin and lips were still numb with pins-n-needles. Still couldn’t brush properly. The tartar build-up was worrying.

7) Went back to dentist. Horror of horrors, dentist reveals that if I don’t regain full sensation in my lower jaw within 6months, this condition would most probably be permanent. WHY-WASN’T-I-TOLD-EARLIER??? O-but-you-already-signed-THE-FORM-but-don’t-worry-you-can-take-some-Vitamin B pills-to-help-the nerves-grow-back-maybe-it-will-help. MAYBE.

8) It’s now 1 year and 8 months since the wisdom teeth removal. Lips and chin are still numb with pins-n-needles. But I can gingerly brush teeth on the lower jaw and chew a little more on the left side.

9) Recently, my left-side jaw makes popping sounds when I yawn. I’m getting neck aches, tension headaches and back aches more often. Lip and chin is still numb and tingly.

10) Even more recently, it hurts when I yawn. It hurts when I open my mouth just enough to bite on a regular fish burger or move my jaw from side to side. Went to another dentist yesterday. He said sorry there’s nothing much he can do… Recommended some professor who might be able to advise better..

Going to see that specialist today. SO…

If you are above 35 years old, and your impacted wisdom teeth aren’t giving you any problems, please don’t remove them.

If you have four impacted wisdom teeth near your jaw nerve and only one is giving you problems,PLEASE just remove that one, even though you think it would be value-for-money to remove all four since you are doing the op with GA.

If you have a wisdom tooth that is touching your jaw nerve, but the tooth itself is not giving you problems and you are coming on in years but your dentist says you’ll-definitely-be-back-to-normal-after-a-few-weeks-just-sign-this-form, DON’T. PLEASE don’t. Seek a second opinion.

If all else fails and you still need to remove your impacted wisdom tooth, PLEASE, PLEASE do get a reputable, experienced surgeon who specialises in this to do it. Spend the extra few hundred or a thousand more to ensure as safe a removal as possible.

It is worth it.