Tooth Hurty

Posted by JoshDreamland on Oct. 28, 2015, 9:26 p.m.

Scene: my bed, yesterday morning, 2:30 AM.

I wake up, and it feels as though someone has punched me in the lower jaw. I can't believe how bad this hurts; what have I done? One of my teeth must be acting up, I assume. I grab a dental floss stick and begin agitating between the teeth to see if any one tooth would give a response. Nothing. So I turn the pick over and begin gently biting down on the broad side using the teeth that hurt. No… no… no… no… crunch. The wisdom tooth directly above the teeth that hurt shattered, sending pieces of tooth throughout my mouth. In a dazed, sleepy state of shock, I began fishing around my mouth for pieces of tooth. After I collected them all, I grabbed a dental mirror to explore the damage. It was ugly.

The four or five teeth under my now-shattered tooth immediately ceased to hurt, but the tooth in question eventually resumed in their place. Interestingly, there was a period during which I felt no pain. Perhaps if I had just taken some ibuprofen and gone to bed, could have sorted the affair in the morning. But that's not what I ended up doing.

As I probed the tooth with my finger to see what had happened, the pain set in, and coupled with the horror of what had just happened (I had actually had a nasty dream about this a month prior), I decided that the tooth had to go. I went into the other room, grabbed a screw driver, and began prying.

Over a year ago, I had a similar experience with the wisdom tooth on the other side of that row of teeth. It didn't hurt; I just discovered one day that a lot of it was missing, and for the most part, I left it be (I gave it a small tug with some floss to see if it would come, but I gave up quickly enough). The dentist took some sort of dental screwdriver and quickly pried it apart from the neighboring tooth, then grabbed a pair of forceps and twisted it out of my skull. It was a painless, simple procedure. How hard can that be to reproduce?

Guided by horror stories about my father having failed to extract his wisdom tooth using pliers, instead shattering it to where it had to be cut out of his head, I decided to stick with the screwdriver. My prior dentist had left a passing remark that my father should have used one if he was going to attempt that sort of thing on his own, so I figured this was the best place to start.

No amount of force was going to get this screwdriver to successfully pry this tooth from my head.

I started just by twisting the screwdriver to separate the wisdom tooth from its neighbor, as my dentist had done. No real issues. But when I started applying the serious torque to remove it, shit hit the fan. I couldn't get enough grip, and I couldn't apply enough force. Not to mention I was salivating in hyperdrive. I was about to soak my clothing in drool. So I got in the shower.

This continued in the shower until I had enough area on the tooth to begin pulling on it with my fingers on the screwdriver shaft. At this point, I decided to add more tooling. Unfortunately, all I had at hand was a few shampoo bottles. So I opened my mouth, shoved the shampoo bottle in, placed my head against one wall and my foot on the opposite, put my knee cap to the shampoo bottle, and just started shoving. I crushed the shampoo bottle quickly.

Each one of my ankles can put out about 300-400 pounds of force. I wasn't anywhere near that to crush the shampoo bottle. So I went to get something more durable.

After some choosing, I settled on a hammer. Not ready to return to the shower, I sat in the hallway and repeated the operation using the handle of the hammer in place of the shampoo bottle. I must have put 30-50 pounds of force on this system. It wasn't enough. The only thing that happened is the occasional miss, which would result in the screwdriver scraping into the roof of my mouth.

I was at this for four hours, until the fifth occurrence of the screwdriver missing at about 5:00 AM. At this point, the pain was dying down and my need for sleep was reaching a breaking point. I crawled into bed with my screwdriver, and after a few more prods, finally managed to roll over and fall asleep.

The rest is pretty much history; after I woke up, I booked a dental appointment for today at 10:30 (about a 26 hour delta from wakeup time). I went in, to a totally new dentist now that I live in PA, and after a 15-minute numbing window, he removed the tooth in two minutes with some forceps. No prying was needed, for reasons left unspoken. He awarded me an A for effort, after some opening remarks that he found the damage I did to my mouth "pretty stupid." He apparently was telling his assistant about it, because when he showed her the screwdriver crater, saying "see is?" and she nodded with a brief "I see what you mean," I could basically hear an entire conversation of him explaining. "see, this is that retarded shit I told you this dumbass did yesterday night," and her replying "Yeah, that's every bit as retarded as you indicated."

But hey, I enjoyed myself, and that's the important part. As a souvenir, I requested the tooth in a to-go box. He did as requested; the roots are pretty whacky, but not as bad as the last one; they're good and thick this time, and they converge instead of snaking out in all directions. Where two of them converge, there's a small piece of my jaw bone. Also it's bloody as shit, but like, what do you want?

Bonus fun fact: I occasionally get headaches. Some of these headaches really suck. In fact, I'd go through all of that again just to save myself a headache in the future.


JoshDreamland 8 years, 7 months ago

I don't think they typically replace wisdom teeth, and I don't honestly miss it, so probably not.

Anyway, the saga continues, jawbone-wise. I pulled out some minuscule pieces again, today, which resulted again in incredible bleeding. Having learned from my last experience, and wanting more leverage for healing, I just packed it full of gauze and let it clot again.

This has dragged on for quite some time, now. Maybe I'm remembering my last one as being shorter, or maybe it's the fact that last time, there were no giant shards of jawbone involved, and the gap wasn't a problem because it was quickly filled by a new wisdom tooth. In any case, the saltwater hurts less every day, and I think I'll be out of the woods shortly.

And I wouldn't fear the dentist—the extraction procedure was the least painful part of this entire experience. But if you're getting a tooth extracted, you could be in for some fun, yeah.

Cpsgames 8 years, 7 months ago

All of this makes me feel uneasy.

Last time I was at the dentists for a simple checkup they pulled one of my wisdom teeth. Luckily for me it was a straight pull with no problems. I also lucked out by having no pain whatsoever the following days. They told me that all the others need to come out at some point, but are in no rush. I really hope they come out as easily as the first one.