I Had My Wisdom Teeth Removed!

Remember on Monday when I lamented my ongoing headache and jaw pain? And how I was like, “It’s probably just TMJ or something” and “I doubt it’s my wisdom teeth coming in.”

Well, it wasn’t TMJ at all! It totally was my wisdom teeth!


I went to the dentist Monday afternoon and without even doing an x-ray or anything beyond looking in my mouth, the dentist said I needed emergency surgery.

Apparently I had developed pericoronitis, which is an infection that’s caused when saliva or a little piece of food gets stuck in the flap over an incoming wisdom tooth. (Gross. Am I gross? I brush and floss obsessively, WTF.) And, since I haven’t had dental insurance in years and therefore haven’t been to the dentist in a while, it appeared as though my wisdom teeth were, in fact, coming in. (Plus, since I’m Crohn’s flaring, it makes sense that my autoimmuned body couldn’t fight off the infection. I’m a mess.)

I liked the color of her scrubs. Pretty, right?
I liked the color of her scrubs. Pretty, right?

So the dentist took one look in my mouth and said I needed to get my wisdom teeth removed now. As in he wanted me to get it done that night. (Cue meltdown in the office.) He said that because my throat and head were hurting so badly, that meant the infection was spreading “at an aggressive rate,” and that if it spread to my brain, lungs, or heart, I would die. Not a huge deal. But OK.

On top of the Crohn’s flare and the pain I was in and the fact that I’m leaving the country this weekend, this was not welcome news. And I was slightly hysterical.

But now, on the other side of surgery, I’m happy to report it really wasn’t all that traumatic!

Post-surgery, and stunning.
Post-surgery, and stunning.

My surgery was scheduled for Tuesday at 10 AM, so Brian drove me the half hour-ish to the oral surgeon’s office. Everyone at the office was very nice, and I was pretty relaxed. Probably because I wore my tracksuit jacket.

LOOKING EXCITED! And thoroughly documenting the day.
LOOKING EXCITED! And thoroughly documenting the day.

They brought me back for x-rays, determined that I had three wisdom teeth, and said they’d remove all three of them. I said I wanted the strongest drugs and deepest sedation possible, so that’s what I got.

Laughing gas really makes you laugh!!!
Laughing gas really makes you laugh!!!

Brian hung out in the room with me right up until they gave me the laughing gas. First they gave me some numbing gel, then the laughing gas, and finally the IV with the good stuff. I remember laughing hysterically at absolutely nothing, and the next thing I knew, I was awake and they were telling me the surgery was done.

I HATED THE NUMBING GEL PART. I hated all of it, actually. But I loved the laughing gas.
I HATED THE NUMBING GEL PART. I hated all of it, actually. But I loved the laughing gas.

And I did not believe them. Even though my mouth felt huge and weird, and even though I was completely drugged and out of it, I really didn’t believe they had taken my teeth out until they showed them to me. (They’re huge!)

But apparently the surgeon and his staff knew all about me, so I must have managed to talk throughout the entire procedure. They knew that I met Celine Dion on the Today show, they knew I was a runner, they knew how I met Brian, and they knew all about Ellie.

Pre-surgery: happy, no drugs.
Pre-surgery: happy, no drugs.

I slept for a good part of the day, and once the drugs wore off, I was in quite a bit of pain. But with some Vicodin that eased up, and I took some Ambien to get a good night’s sleep. The post-surgery pain has been nothing compared to the pain I was in before.

LOOK HOW SAD AND PATHETIC I WAS. This was when the meds wore off and I was really in pain and didn't have proper ice packs so I had to use vegetables.
LOOK HOW SAD AND PATHETIC I WAS. This was when the meds wore off and I was really in pain and didn’t have proper ice packs so I had to use vegetables.

Today, I’ve mostly felt nauseated, probably from the Vicodin, so I won’t be taking any more of that. My mouth doesn’t hurt at all and I’m not really swollen — but I’m definitely still Crohnsing, and I’ve had a fever off and on all day, which is annoying. I was hoping that somehow all my problems were intertwined, and that when they removed my teeth, my Crohn’s would magically heal itself. So far, no luck. My skin is a mess, my scalp psoriasis is in high gear, and my hair is falling out in big chunks every time I shower. I am beautiful, no matter what they say.

Ellie is taking great care of me. Obviously. She's amazing.
Ellie is taking great care of me. Obviously. She’s amazing.

I’m glad I had the surgery, even if it did cost a damn fortune without insurance. (Consider this your PSA to go to the dentist regularly, people!) If you’re in New Jersey and need dental work done, I would very highly recommend the good people at Riverside Oral Surgery. They were the best, even though the dental assistant said she “thinks Beyoncé is overrated.”

Dr. Auerbach was the BEST. Apparently I called him Dr. Alfredo the whole time, though. Oops.
Dr. Auerbach was the BEST. Apparently I called him Dr. Alfredo the whole time, though. Oops.

And now, for your entertainment, here is a little video showing my state of mind immediately following the surgery. Enjoy. Turtle.

THANKS FOR ALL THE LOVE THIS WEEK, FRIENDS! You’ve made my recovery a whole lot better!



18 Responses

  1. Omg you are hilarious!!!! I want to hang out with you! I laughed so much. Also want to cure your chrons! Ugh. Long time reader first time commenter and forever supporter of your strength, perseverance and humor when it comes to your health. Keep on keeping on! You’re amazing! Also please make more video. Do you snapchat?! Haha xox

  2. Thank you for suffering to bring us this hilarious video. Totally worth it! You were right, of course–Beyonce is NOT overrated! Lemonade put her in a whole new level of epic.

  3. So glad that you are feeling better – wisdom teeth are no joke. Your videos cracked me up, so thank you for sharing!

    I may be the only one who doesn’t like laughing gas or Beyoncé. I hope you have a wonderful time in Paris and I think you look great!

  4. OMG, what an experience! Sorry about all of that pain (and $$$$), but as you said, it’s for the best and you will be feeling better soon. Oral surgery is no joke. Feels like someone smacked you in the face with a board, right? Luckily you’ve got a great husband to take care of you, and a doggie to snuggle with 🙂 Speedy recovery!!

  5. Hi! Long, long time reader but first time commenter. The video literally made my week! I’m so glad you’re able to see the humor in life in though you are dealing with such an awful disease. Keep your head up, Turtle

  6. Oh boy, what a weekend. I am glad though that they took care of it so quickly and that they didn’t send you home and told you to come back in three weeks. I guess it actually was a real emergency.
    The video was funny… I hope it’s ok that we’re all chuckling along at your expense 😉

  7. The videos totally cracked me up! Glad video on cell phones wasn’t really a think when I had mine out – pretty sure I was similarly silly!

    Happy the removal helped some of your pain, hopefully the Crohn’s follows suit!

  8. I am glad the surgery was successful and your wisdom teeth are gone.

    As for Brian, those videos did make for a good laugh only knowing you were OK. I apparently bit my doctor mid wisdom teeth extraction and he never saw that coming or ever…So keep calling him Dr. Alfredo.

    Hope you start feeling better soon and you get to enjoy Paris!!!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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