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Saying goodbye to my wisdom teeth

Where will you be when the pain strikes?

Audrey Leong
Audrey Leong

Published: 10 October 2016, 12:00 AM

Dear wisdom teeth,

It’s been six months since you left me for good. After a long battle of pain and agony, all four of you are finally out of my life. And most importantly, my mouth.

While you sit in a little box, together with all my baby teeth on a dusty shelf, I’d like to say that I’m doing fine without you, maybe even better than I thought.

 

My “trophy” for being such a sport.

 

Remember when it all started? It was in early March last year, when my dinner ended with the taste of blood. My mouth felt like it was chewing on a piece of cactus covered in nails, instead of the delicious chicken rice I had that evening.

As luck would have it, all the dentists in the area had closed for the night. Since my mouth would not stop bleeding, I had to rush to the next available clinic, which was about 20 minutes away.

“You’ve been chewing your gums raw,” said the dentist, after looking at an X-ray of my teeth. My wisdom teeth were slanted into the gums on both sides, giving it a good angle to slice through my cheeks as I ate.

For someone with a small jaw, it’s not uncommon for my wisdom tooth to be “stuck”. As the path of my wisdom tooth was obstructed by another tooth, my gums could not “push” out the tooth fully, causing me much pain.

 

I felt like Brandon Urie in ‘This is gospel’.

 

The entire process was a battle between my dentist and my stubborn wisdom tooth. She tried everything from drilling, slicing, and even yanking the tooth out with pliers. After half an hour of intense pulling, the tooth finally popped out. The gaping hole was stitched up promptly.

Just when I thought my ordeal was over, the process repeated on the other side.

By the time it was done, I was exhausted from dealing with the pain. Thanks to the anaesthesia, I looked like a chipmunk, and my gums were bleeding heavily on both sides.

My dentist prescribed me a cocktail of medication, including antiseptic mouth wash and pain killers which had to be taken at different times of the day. Thankfully, it could be covered by my parents’ Medisave fund, which I was eligible for, due to the position of the affected tooth.

I guess that was an upside – if my tooth did not causing me much pain, it would have been treated as a normal extraction, which is not claimable under Medisave.

 

This was a fraction of the medication I had to take.

 

During the first week after the minor surgery, I could still feel the ache and swelling in my jaw from the stitches in my cheeks. It was a real challenge not to get pieces of food stuck in my wounds, especially when my favourite food, such as chicken rice and pasta, needed plenty of chewing.

I often longed for the day where I didn’t have to pick at my teeth, so that I could eat without any fear. Thankfully, I removed my stitches two months later. I finally felt the sweet taste of liberation…in my mouth.

While I sometimes tend to chew on only one side of my mouth, at least there isn’t any pain to bug me while I eat. So thanks, wisdom teeth, for showing me what pain feels like.

I’m really glad you’re out of my life.

Yours truly,
Audrey Leong

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