Saturday, April 12, 2008

Dry Socket!

So everyone tells me that the one thing to try to avoid in this whole wisdom teeth extraction deal is something called "dry socket".

This apparently is where a blood clot does not properly form or is lost prematurely and raw bone from your jaw is exposed to the Hades-like environment of your mouth and you end up with the mother of all jaw aches.

Well, MY oral surgeon said I would know if I had dry socket if my jaw didn't start to feel better by four days after the operation.

WRONG!

My jaw WAS starting to feel better four days after the operation. A couple of days after that things weren't so good.

Now the right side was healing up just fine. The left however had a gaping hole the size of Meteor Crater, Arizon that was picking up every cotton picking thing I tried to eat. You ought to see what happens to a carrot shred from pre-processed salad when you have a hole in your head that big.

Well, I figured that diluted hydrogen peroxide was just enough to "lift" all the crap down in that hole and at least keep it from getting infected.

HOWEVER, apparently that little maneuver even MORE exposed the nerves and my jaw and the throbbing began.

FORTUNATELY I had a follow-up with the oral surgeon scheduled eight days after my surgery, which was yesterday - Friday.

He took a look and was somewhat puzzled. He told me it was the right one that he had trouble with - the right one he had to leave partially there to spare damaging vital nerves on the right side of my jaw. The left, he gave me the distinct impression, was relatively easy.

I'm guessing it's because the left was partially erupted. From the time I was 15 years old the left one had been poking its ugly head through my gums. Most of that time it had a HUGE flap of gum over it that would get inflamed on a regular basis when junk got stuck under it.

Now it's gone.

Drilled, chiseled, subjected to nuclear explosives, pliered and toss in the biohazardous waste bucket.

Replaced with an REALLY nasty THROBBING hole.

The doctor told me he could help me.

"Oh, thank God ...", I'm thinking.

He takes these little, teeny-tiny pieces of gauze soaked in this brown sh*t and starts shoving them in my socket.

Ouch!

He says within an hour I'll be feeling no pain.

He wasn't kidding.

Whatever it was he shoved in my jaw was potent.

It faintly tasted like certain brands of toothpaste.

However, in much less than an hour, my jaw and the better part of my tongue started to go to sleep.

Oh GREAT - I hadn't had lunch yet.

Like an idiot I went ahead and had lunch.

They say most of the experience in eating is from the smell anyway, right?

Don't bet on it.

Not with a boat load of that stuff in your mouth.

Don't get me wrong though.

When you DO have a nasty case of dry socket, losing your sense of taste is a fair trade.

MORE than a fair trade.

It's sort of like that episode of Star Trek where the doctor had to blind Spock to kill the creatures that had taken over his nervous system.

"An equitable trade, doctor - thank you."

Of course when you are healing up from wisdom teeth extraction you drink alot to help you eat, and, sure enough, one of the gauze pads floated right out of the socket.

I think I lost the other one in the shower last night.

Apparently it did the job though - looks like there is some really disgusting scar tissue forming in the socket - yellow in color.

The damn thing is STILL big enough to snag a corn kernel though.

I've been able to get the bigger stuff out once it gets in though.

HOPEFULLY this healing process will get underway now.

I mean - it was a nagging pain on that left side why I got all this done in the first place ...

Update:
Wisdom Teeth Extraction And Dry Socket Update

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4 Comments:

At May 13, 2008 at 4:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can totally relate to this, I am another poor victim of that damn dry socket, and yes I had all wisdom teeth taken out 6 days ago, 1 impacted tooth through surgery, and 3 useless wisdom teeth through extraction. Nobody really told me about the risk of developing dry socket, or maybe I was told about it during my initial check up but I was too nervous anticipating the whole experience of the surgery and dealing w/ anesthesia choices: should I just take local anesthesia? or local anesthesia plus laughing gas? 3rd choice was put to sleep--NOT! I went for the 2nd choice--yes local anesthesia w/ laughing gas. Laughing gas did not do much of its job, I could easily get the same feeling from drinking lots of booze, I had to tell the surgeon to raise up my laughing gas during the surgery. And what's the deal with that nasal rubber for the laughing gas, always gets yanked out of place during the surgery I had to maneuver my face to make sure I get my money's worth by inhaling all the nitrous oxide and reap all the benefits fr it! I had hold it to put it back in place, and the medical assistant would always tell me stop fr moving my arms and hands. Anyway, I thought after the surgery, I was a whole new person, I did it, and I was so proud of myself. Hah, that was just the tip of the iceberg, that post-op experience was actually worse than the actual surgery. How come I just learned about Dry Sockets now??? I should have done a better job researching on my case before the actual surgery. I thought the pain on the 4th-6th day was just normal, so I just kept on popping vicodin to relieve the pain, but it wasn't enough. Monday morning when I woke up (today), I was already crying in pain and frustration. I called the doctor's office and they sent me in. Yup I got that medicated gauze w/c made all the difference in the world! Now my right socket feels better, but the left socket is now starting to feel a little pain, pls don't tell me it's another dry socket!!! I am sick and tired of all this pain, and I can't eat normally! Yup you'll be amazed at how much food can fit right in that hole! I stopped taking vicodin bec. it just makes me so drowsy, just taking tylenol now, 'coz I'm allergic to ibuprofen/NSAIDs/aspirin. This has been one experience worth telling those who are just about to have their wisdom teeth extracted, good luck. I guess the younger u are the less risks u have. Better to have them taken out as early as u can, and believe me this is something u cannot procrastinate on. It took me 7 yrs to really decide on this.

 
At May 13, 2008 at 7:37 AM, Blogger Axinar said...

Yep ... it is harder to recover from wisdom teeth extractions when you're older.

The good news is that the black gauze DOES help. It does take I'd say about three weeks before you're really back to eating normally and the socket still picks up stuff for quite a few weeks after that, so hold on to your syringe.

It's just VERY slow healing. I thought it would be maybe six weeks to heal up like any other bone but I'm figuring it's going to be every bit of 3 - 4 months at the rate it's going.

The pain DOES go away in the 2 - 3 week range even if you have the dry socket, but I'm guessing the dull ache is going to take a while longer to hit the road. I'm guessing you get that any time bone is healing.

I wonder if anyone will stop by to comment who has had REALLY bad complications ... :)

 
At August 13, 2008 at 8:52 AM, Anonymous dry rot or socket said...

You have to read the url I have attached and then weep and cry holding your ribs which will break with laughing, I was crying. I have dry rot or socket, and it is an unending, unremitting, unrequited devildamn-awful pain. Excruciating is not even close to describing what I am going through. The thudding pain, the speech impediment I have when I add microdrops of clove oil to the gaping gumhole, is another difficulty added to the scream that has the neighbours posting a nuisance order against me!

 
At January 13, 2012 at 3:23 AM, Anonymous Clarissa said...

So I had all my wisdom teeth pulled on January 3rd because I start spring semester on Jan 17 at UT Austin because I figured that would be enough time to recover... WRONG 😂 I too was the victim of dry sockets in my bottom two teeth. Thr pain became unbearable by the 3rd day, even after things already felt better. I realized that I had a majority of the symptoms for dry sockets (aching pain to your ear, unable to do anything except pop pain pills). After doing a lot of googling I discovered lower wisdom teeth have 30% more likely to develop dry sockets... Who knows why... Also that women in general have a much higher chance then men to develop dry sockets ESPECIALLY if you take birth control/ oral contraceptives due to the estrogen blocking the bodies natural healing process. (google for better info) so I called at 7 am since i didnt sleep anyways and showed up 15 mins later and they packets socket with a clove, zinc, other stuff filled gauze and put it right in there. Hurt like hell but instant relief 25 mins after. Today is jan 12 I had my follow up and they removed the old ones and re-packed them. Btw it tastes horrible for the first 3,4 days and everything you eat tastes like cloves it's disgusting. But idk why this is taking so long I'm pretty annoyed cause school starts next week and I don't have time or effort to worry about this. I pulled them for relief not to lose 15 lbs from starving myself and immense pain. I'll update when I go back next week to hopefully get these out for good. Goodluck

 

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