My wisdom teeth were removed. Any tips?


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Yesterday my wisdom teeth were surgically removed. I have instructions for what I need to do like keeping my head elevated, no solid foods, use ice packs on the face, salt water rinses, those sorts of things, but are there any other good tips while I recover?

Scarab Sages

If the pain gets to you, especially when you are trying to get some sleep, use a q-tip to put a(very)small drop of clove oil on the gums at the side of the wounds.


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I'll keep that in mind if there's a late night pain attack, but my painkillers are spread out to where I'm taking one every 3 hours which makes it more manageable.

Community & Digital Content Director

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No tips, but wishing you a speedy recovery! I'm having mine out in about 2 months and pretty nervous (never had surgery of any kind before).

Scarab Sages

Try not to probe the extraction sites with your tongue, and try to just stay in bed for a few days and sleep through the worst of it. Use the painkillers as needed, but don't overdo them.

I don't remember much of my recovery period, but I do remember feeling somewhat like myself after a few days, and mostly better by the end of week.


If you get sedated you won't feel a thing past the dizzy spell. Then you wake up with gauze in your mouth. The worst of it for me was a few hours after the surgery until I got my first painkiller. After that it gets much better.

Although having gauze in your mouth is really annoying.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Get better fast and don't talk too much. I had a college friend stop up right after my surgery and we talked for hours into the night. My face/jaw was swollen for a week and very painful. Best of luck!

Paizo Employee Senior Editor

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Avoid anything with tiny seeds (even strawberry or raspberry jam) until your gums are all healed up—those seeds are insidious, and while they won't hurt, they will slow your healing. Feel better soon!

Chris, that was my first surgery too. I had all four out when I was 20 and opted to be under general. They had me count down from 10; I got to 8 and then woke up trying to say 7 around the gauze. :P The first day I felt sick from the anesthesia (will avoid that again if possible), but pain-wise I was fortunately able to get by on just ibuprofen. My wife only ever had one wisdom tooth, and had it out with just local in under 15 minutes—they were stitching her up before she even realized it was out. mileage varies depending on how many you're having out at once, how snarly the roots of your teeth are, and whether the teeth are impacted, but if you've ever had a cavity treated, it's not wholly different from that.


I got mine out sometime in the last few years, I forget exactly when. I spent the rest of the day playing video games and made sure I always had a cool glass of water to drink. That night I had spaghetti and by the next day I was back to normal. So, for what it's worth, my advice is to do something interesting to distract from the discomfort.


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No advice.

I had mine out while in boot camp. I was conscious and they did all 4. Then, because I was lucky enough to be first that morning, they only gave me THAT day of rest and I had to go back to normal activities the next day. The next day I only had 1 painkiller, I took it right before breakfast, which then made me vomit.

So I guess my advice is make sure you have your wisdom teeth done before you go to boot camp. Which you did, so well done you!


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Don't try to play a cleric or shaman. Oracle if you really want divine casting.


I had one tooth on one side removed and apart from needing some painkillers the first day I had no problem recovering. Almost no swelling, minimal pain the next day. Just ate liquids and made sure to sleep on the other side a couple days and I was fine.

The actual operation was terrible. They said "about 15 minutes". They had a trainee start but had to bring in a more experienced surgeon because my tooth refused to come out. I had to have more anesthesia because the first batch started wearing off and the opposite side of my jaw was hurting bad because of the yanking and twisting they had to do to get it out. some 45-50 minutes after they started the tooth finally gave up, to the comments to the effect of "I've rarely seen a more reluctant tooth" from the more experienced guy.
However the job was done for free since it was part of an experiment so I'm not complaining. I was not able to convince them to do all teeth at once, which I guess was just as well considering how much trouble I had with one.


Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:

The actual operation was terrible. They said "about 15 minutes". They had a trainee start but had to bring in a more experienced surgeon because my tooth refused to come out. I had to have more anesthesia because the first batch started wearing off and the opposite side of my jaw was hurting bad because of the yanking and twisting they had to do to get it out. some 45-50 minutes after they started the tooth finally gave up, to the comments to the effect of "I've rarely seen a more reluctant tooth" from the more experienced guy.

However the job was done for free since it was part of an experiment so I'm not complaining. I was not able to convince them to do all teeth at once, which I guess was just as well considering how much trouble I had with one.

Yeesh, that sounds rough. My operation meanwhile went really easy since I was sedated. It also helps that these are guys that specialize specifically in removing teeth.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Have someone close to you put on a movie marathon of things you've seen a bunch of times and don't really need to pay attention to. You can lay in bed watching them and it won't matter if you zone out because of the painkillers.

Above all do not drive anywhere. The day after I had mine out I went to see a movie, about a 30 minute drive away. To this day I still do not remember the movie. There's no telling what could have happened.

Judy Bauer: those general IVs are no joke. I made it to 7. The nurses told me when I came up I kept arguing I could walk out of the office by myself even as I was stumbling around and keeping upright only with their aid.

Shadow Lodge

Pretty much nothing to add other than seconding the advice provided thus far.

I was out for a couple of days with mine, and I remember near nothing of the first day. I vaguely recall the doctor asking me what sort of things I was interested in and when the conversation steered to fantasy books explaining why I didn't like SOIAF. Then the countdown happened and the next thing I know I'm being sat up and my head and mouth feel like they're full of cotton.

The next few days were little more than sitting/lying around, watching YouTube, and drinking liquid meals, and trying not to be overly nauseous from the antibiotics. (I also had a bunch of cavity-ridden teeth removed at the same time.)

My only advice would be to make sure there's someone - family, friend, spouse, whatever - you can trust to be around while you're recovering, to check up on you from time to time, and to make sure you don't do something weird while you're a bit muddled.

Dark Archive

Imbicatus wrote:
Try not to probe the extraction sites with your tongue, and try to just stay in bed for a few days and sleep through the worst of it. Use the painkillers as needed, but don't overdo them.

My mother is an oral surgeon, listen to the above post.

Soft food. Eat nice indulgent and rich gelato if you can get some, high end ice cream like salted caramel or tres leches if you can't.

One of the few times in your life you are allowed to.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
The actual operation was terrible. They said "about 15 minutes". They had a trainee start but had to bring in a more experienced surgeon because my tooth refused to come out. I had to have more anesthesia because the first batch started wearing off and the opposite side of my jaw was hurting bad because of the yanking and twisting they had to do to get it out. some 45-50 minutes after they started the tooth finally gave up, to the comments to the effect of "I've rarely seen a more reluctant tooth" from the more experienced guy.

They couldn't get one of mine out so they had to pulverize it in place and remove the bits. I was totally knocked out, though, so it was no difference to me.

My one piece of advice is to avoid ground meat for a couple weeks.


Vic Wertz wrote:
Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
The actual operation was terrible. They said "about 15 minutes". They had a trainee start but had to bring in a more experienced surgeon because my tooth refused to come out. I had to have more anesthesia because the first batch started wearing off and the opposite side of my jaw was hurting bad because of the yanking and twisting they had to do to get it out. some 45-50 minutes after they started the tooth finally gave up, to the comments to the effect of "I've rarely seen a more reluctant tooth" from the more experienced guy.

They couldn't get one of mine out so they had to pulverize it in place and remove the bits. I was totally knocked out, though, so it was no difference to me.

My one piece of advice is to avoid ground meat for a couple weeks.

I second this advice.

I had three they had to fracture and remove, my father said it took about two hours. The trip home was unfun and there where steps to get to my room. As dad was in a wheelchair, I had to crawl to my room on my own. Then all we had to eat was yogurt, pudding and cold chili.

:/


I have pudding, jello, applesauce, and nutrition shakes in the fridge so I should be fine for food until I can eat solid foods again.


Little advice beyond the jello & applesauce.

The worst part of mine was going into the CVS afterwards to get the painkillers - jaw still packed with gauze and novacained up so I could barely talk. I must have looked and sounded like something from a horror movie, but I suspect they're used to it.
I recovered quickly, so it's possible. I stopped taking the painkillers like 2 days later so I could drive to a D&D game. :)

My girlfriend at the time had hers out a couple years later and had a much rougher time of it. She woke up on the table with a chisel in her mouth and had to flap her hands until the anesthesiologist noticed and then she got dry sockets in her recovery. Avoid those. Very bad.


My son had his taken out last Monday. He's only now feeling worth a darn. His pain lasted longer than his meds and they wouldn't refill them, so he had to put up with that over the weekend. I haven't spoken to him in a few days, but I assume he's doing ok since he hasn't texted or called me to ask what should he do about the pain.

Sovereign Court

Chris Lambertz wrote:
No tips, but wishing you a speedy recovery! I'm having mine out in about 2 months and pretty nervous (never had surgery of any kind before).

Dont be cheap like me get knocked the @#$% out! I went full on gas and novocaine and it was a terrible experience. My wisdoms came out no problem though. The worst part is when the gas wore off....

Anyways, I didnt even need them out the pain returned and I ended up getting a root canal a few weeks later, so ya I hate my old dentist. Hope you have better luck.


I should note that the painkillers I'm on are basically Tylenol but a lot more powerful, not morphine or something that impairs my judgement and motor skills. Gives me a serious case of the hiccups though.

Shadow Lodge

Pan wrote:
Chris Lambertz wrote:
No tips, but wishing you a speedy recovery! I'm having mine out in about 2 months and pretty nervous (never had surgery of any kind before).
Dont be cheap like me get knocked the @#$% out! I went full on gas and novocaine and it was a terrible experience. My wisdoms came out no problem though. The worst part is when the gas wore off....

I can't have the gas >_> it causes something in me to freak out when my arms start going numb and I have a mini-panic attack. Being unable to move is one of my biggest phobias.


1. Don't be afraid to use your painkillers.
2. Learn how to make pudding (if you don't already know how), or some other soft dessert that you like. Soft stuff is good (it was hard for me since a lot of my favorite foods are hard and crunchy).
3. You might want to avoid things that make you laugh too hard, because laughing too hard can hurt.

Sovereign Court

Orthos wrote:
Pan wrote:
Chris Lambertz wrote:
No tips, but wishing you a speedy recovery! I'm having mine out in about 2 months and pretty nervous (never had surgery of any kind before).
Dont be cheap like me get knocked the @#$% out! I went full on gas and novocaine and it was a terrible experience. My wisdoms came out no problem though. The worst part is when the gas wore off....
I can't have the gas >_> it causes something in me to freak out when my arms start going numb and I have a mini-panic attack. Being unable to move is one of my biggest phobias.

Thats really too bad because the gas is honestly pretty awesome.

Shadow Lodge

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Pan wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Pan wrote:
Chris Lambertz wrote:
No tips, but wishing you a speedy recovery! I'm having mine out in about 2 months and pretty nervous (never had surgery of any kind before).
Dont be cheap like me get knocked the @#$% out! I went full on gas and novocaine and it was a terrible experience. My wisdoms came out no problem though. The worst part is when the gas wore off....
I can't have the gas >_> it causes something in me to freak out when my arms start going numb and I have a mini-panic attack. Being unable to move is one of my biggest phobias.
Thats really too bad because the gas is honestly pretty awesome.

I'm presuming you mean the giddy, happy feeling most people associate with it? If so, I've never enjoyed medications or other things that are supposed to induce that reaction... which is probably another reason added to the list of why I'll never do drugs.


When I had wisdom teeth removed, I was unable to take Tylenol-3 (With Codine) without... side effects. Be aware that, under the influence of that medication, I called my place of employment, said something, and then later, when I was lucid, but in pain (having no idea that I called the first time) I tried to call out for it. To this day, they have not told me what I said the first time. (I have also refused that medication ever since.) >.>

Other than that, I hope you have a swift recovery!


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No painkillers for me either time -- they prescribed some opiate (might have been codeine plus some other evil stuff) the first time, but I got cold feet about taking them (and was already sick from the local anesthetic turning out to be less local than average -- fortunately no general anesthetic or sedative), so I threw them away, and haven't regretted it. Main problems were mechanical, not pain -- sutures were advertised as biodegrading after several days, but ripped after a few hours, which was probably just as well, since the oral surgeon sewed my gum to my cheek. The same oral surgeon had almost made a hole in the bottom of my mouth a bit earlier from slipping while trying to topple the lower right wisdom tooth out. Fortunately, the lower left one never developed, and the upper ones were not nearly as advanced at the time, but this one was an emergency, so I couldn't shop around, and had to get it removed at Harvard University Health Services (NOT a good place to go for health care in the 1980s). When I went in for the follow up visit a week later, I told him about the sutures ripping after a few hours, and he side "that's normal". Unfortunately, I had to use Harvard University Health Services several times for unrelated reasons.

The second wisdom tooth removal was much better, done by an oral surgeon in Atlanta, to remove both upper teeth. Local anesthetic only again, which was different xylocaine instead of I think novocaine) and less sickening this time (although it still gave me trouble swallowing), and I refused sedative (which wasn't offered the first time).

I don't remember special eatingadvice either time except for the first few hours, but the first time they gave me a strange syringe with a curved plastic tip instead of a needle or attachment for a needle -- hence not for injection) rinsing out the wound. This has been useful on occasion since then.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I made the idiot mistake of spitting out my clots trying to deal with the blood flow. Spent days drooling blood into cups as a result.

My advice: Overdo nothing at all.


I had mine out years ago. You got lots of solid advice in here.
-Enjoy the pudding!
-Avoid spitting/sucking too hard so your blood clots aren't screwed up
-It is definitely alright to use painkillers

My wishes for a speedy recovery for anyone going through this and if you are going to be going through it soon, I hope it goes better than mine.

I had to get all 4 removed at once and I woke up in the middle of the procedure and I attempted to pull the arms off the chair before they knocked me out again. *thumbs up*

Like I said, hope it goes better than mine.


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Man, I am so thankful mine never gave me any grief like everyone's saying.

I didn't even need to get them removed initially. My mouth was big enough that they grew in smoothly and without issue. The problems came years later when they started to rot away. Turns out being way back there meant food easily got caught in them. (And I will admit I was never the most fastidious with dental care past brushing.)

I did get three of them removed, but I had no issues with painkillers or difficult procedures. Oh, they had to yank a bit, but the painkillers held nicely. I mostly zoned out during the procedure, and beyond having to watch the blood clots in the holes for a day or two, I was walkin' and talkin' just fine.

(Actually, in genreal, I don't fear dental procedures. I've had root canals, and slept through it. I hate routine tooth cleanings, because they jab your gums with sharp metal things, and there are no painkillers for that.)

Still have one wisdom tooth left. I'm saving him for a special occasion.


Having a milk tooth remaining, since no permanent tooth developed under it. Now having that removed next week, to be replaced in a few months with a prosthetic. I am an old hand at cavities and such, but never had a tooth extracted. I suppose most of what you guys are saying here applies for this as well.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have two 'half' teeth that didn't come out fully and two that were removed.

Thanks to the US taxpayers of the late 80's early 90's, the gas that was used by the naval dental specialist began to wear off about two thirds of the way through the procedure. Thankfully, they noticed it before *I* did, and really dosed me up just as I was starting to come around with a mouthful of tools.

The sutures (that was a thing they did then, that isn't done as much any more--it's easier to let natural healing close the wounds than put thread through it, then have to remove the thread) took a week to slow down the bleeding, and then another week after that after they were removed.

At the time, all I could say was 'thank goodness for strong painkillers'. Dropped about twenty pounds because I couldn't eat and barely drink fluids, but mileage may vary.

Take it slow, take it easy, try not to touch the areas worked on as best you can, and good luck.


Sissyl wrote:
Having a milk tooth remaining, since no permanent tooth developed under it. Now having that removed next week, to be replaced in a few months with a prosthetic. {. . .}

What's the reason for removing leftover milk teeth anyway? I have met somebody else who seems to have been convinced it needs to be done, but nobody seems to be able to say why.


For me, it became necessary due to other stuff done in my mouth. The roots are flimsy now. I suppose that means it will hurt less having it extracted.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If you smoke, don't. The result is painful

Also, if you smoke, you should probably quit anyway. It took me 30 years to figure that out.


Oh, probably too late for the OP, but if you need a liquid diet I'd suggest trying Soylent. It's a smoothie mix that's fairly complete, nutrition-wise. The base flavor I describe as "inoffensive". It doesn't really taste like anything and just kind of barely exists. You can put a little chocolate milk mix, water flavoring (like Mio), or powdered peanut butter to give it a flavor.

I like real food too much to subsist on it entirely, but it's been about 1/2 of my diet for the past 15 months and has been super convenient. I brought it with to GenCon even and saved quite a bit of money on food.

I had a filling put in last week, so it was convenient to be able to live off the soylent until the filling set completely.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I had two out about 15 years ago. (The other two are fully embedded in my jaw and won't be a problem.) My oral surgeon used a local anesthesia cocktail: Vicodin, Valium, Novocain, and nitrous oxide. They had me take the two Vs about an hour before the procedure. That was the first (and only) time I took Valium, and I see why it's a controlled substance: It makes you just not care about what's going on. It was pretty weird.

I was awake in the chair for the procedure. My surgeon had me wear a CD player with over-the-ear headphones to block the sound. (I chose an Enya CD to listen to.) they used clamps to hold my jaw open. I could feel the pressure of the surgery, particularly the pulling, but no pain at all. Again, under the calming influence of the Valium, I just didn't care. My wife drove me home, and I slept for a few hours.

I stopped taking the Vicodin the next day, because it makes me loopy, and switched to OTC extra-strength Tylenol. I ate a lot of soup and yogurt that week. I never thought the pain was too bad, but I do have a pretty high pain tolerance.

Good luck!

Silver Crusade

I had one of mine out just two weeks ago, and it was all I could do to not give in to the splitting headaches, especially when I woke up. I also felt cold all over, and my cheek/jaw was especially swollen. Of course, soups are good, but it might become difficult to open your mouth wide enough to even get a spoon in!

Just keep up any antibiotic treatments you might be perscribed, and normal strength tylenol or something equivalent should keep you alive long enough to recover. Once a few days pass, if you still have swelling on your face, you can gently massage it to start reducing its size. And yeah, ice packs work quite nicely. Sleep helps too, plus all the usual tea with honey and such.

Dark Archive

Vic Wertz wrote:
They couldn't get one of mine out so they had to pulverize it in place and remove the bits. I was totally knocked out, though, so it was no difference to me.

Same for me. I woke up when they crunched one of the teeth, which felt like an explosion in my head, and (being drugged out of my mind) attempted to have a conversation with the dentist who was elbow deep in my jaw. I head him shout for his assistant, and then saw his assistant reaching for a syringe taped to my arm that was already in the vein and waiting to go, and then woke up four hours later, in a dark room, all alone.

All my friends gave me horror stories about days of pain, but I felt nothing at all. Just an irritating flap of skin that broke free of the stitches and flopped about, before everything healed up. I ended up not using a single painkiller they gave me. (That was pure luck, not anything macho. I'm a big wimp when it comes to pain.)

As mentioned above, avoid things with seeds (like poppyseed muffins, one of my mistakes!) or 'jimmies' (chocolate sprinkles) or candy that includes coconut flakes (or just Mounds bars in general!). Avoid anything that has pieces or that gunks up your teeth and you'd need a toothpick afterwards. No nuts. No sticky candy or caramel or (mostly) cheeses. Absolutely no popcorn!

Might also be a good idea to avoid foods that are either too hot, or too cold. What can hurt like the dickens is hot coffer or ice cold soda (mmm, carbonation on an open wound, might as well gargle with hydrogen peroxide!) rushing across those areas!


Had all four of mine out about two years ago. The bottom ones were growing in almost perpendicular to the rest of my teeth. Those wound up healing poorly and I got dry sockets in both. I also have a really high tolerance for most drugs, so while I was able to shake off the general anesthesia after only five minutes of lying down and stayed lucid while taking opiate painkillers, it also meant that said opiates only sort of managed the pain.

I'd like to echo the clove oil suggestion. It sounds stupid, but it really works. If you like cloves, the taste is even tolerable. I also suggest avoiding anything you need to make chewing motions to eat, even if it's soft.

So much blood...


I had 4 removed simultaneously.

Soft foods, pain killers, and stay unconscious as much as possible.


Well, when it comes to dental stuff, I've had ... just about every procedure I can think of. Bridge, crowns, root canals, inlays, and many, many extractions. I once had a legendary local dentist tell me that my Native-American name would be "deep roots" and most of my extractions as an adult are the break-the-tooth-up, add more painkillers because it is taking 45 minutes, followed by stitches, long recovery, etc.
A couple of years ago, I broke my jaw fairly severely, but did not know. That resulted in the jaw first getting stuck open, then the doctors at the ER taking turns trying to pop my "dislocated" broken jaw back into place. Finally I got some morphine, and after some stuff I was "awake" for but don't remember I woke up the next day with my top and bottom jaws connected by a piece of wire. A week later, I had a titanium plate put in my jaw, a few teeth removed and "arch bars". Oh, dear god, arch bars. Once the morphine from the operation wore off, it felt like someone had packed my mouth with bottle caps and whacked me in the face as hard as they could with the flat of a shovel. Then it was about seven more weeks of nothing but liquids.

As others have recommended, avoid foods that have lots of tiny bits, or are hard. No rice, seeds, nuts, etc. I would also avoid foods that require a lot of chewing for a few days. No meat, carrots, crusty bread, and even beware of things like corn chips that can have sharp edges. Go for mashed potatoes, blended soups, mac and cheese (not baked), bananas and that type of thing. Nothing too hot, too cold, and no straws.

The highlight of my wired days was having ice cream in my coffee everyday. Also, get your hands on a blender, (vitamix if you need to drink stuff) and start making shakes. This is a great excuse to make peanut butter (creamy, NOT chunky!), banana, chocolate ice cream shakes, and not feel guilty at all. Oh yeah, and throw in one of those meal replacement, ensure, type drinks while you are at it, but just be warned that some of them are mostly corn syrup, and probably do more harm then good. You can also make amazing fruit blender drinks, with coconut milk, banana, pineapple, peeled apple, etc. If you can juice, do that- it is 100 times better for you then some processed goo.

Finally, you just had an operation, so TAKE IT EASY. Rest, don't talk much, eat high calorie, but not junk food. Drink a LOT of water! Take vitamin pills. Soft massage around the area will help blood flow, and speed healing. After a few days of rest, make sure to do some no impact exercise to get your heart rate up, this will also speed healing, and is probably more important for mental health then physical health.

If anyone has any questions about any of this stuff, please feel free to post here, or PM me.

Feel better!


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Hope your pain medications are good and you heal quickly without any complications.

I've got no advice, as my wisdom teeth never came in. (Seriously.) {goes back to poking hair pins in electrical outlet}


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Sleep through as much as possible. Time pain medication so you take the next dose just before the first wears off instead of waiting until you feel pain. Don't be shy about asking for help from friends or family if you need it.


I've been really lucky with wisdom tooth removal. The first two they had to demolish and pull out the bits. I could only do local anesthetic, because I had to drive myself home. Half a painkiller and some ice cream when I got home, and took the rest of the day off. Made sure to do the salt-water rinse as recommended. Was back to eating beef jerky within a week.

The second two they just yanked with pliers. Same procedure otherwise, except recovery was even faster -- solid food within a couple of days.

I attribute my success to (1) lack of general anesthesia (it takes me longer to recover from that than from surgery), (2) minimal use of pills afterwards, (3) positive thinking, and (4) pure dumb luck.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

My advice is Tylenol 3.


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Irontruth wrote:
Oh, probably too late for the OP, but if you need a liquid diet I'd suggest trying Soylent. It's a smoothie mix that's fairly complete, nutrition-wise. {. . .}

Just don't get Soylent Green. You never know who what is in it . . . .


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Alright, it's been a few days, I'm doing fine, jaw's sore as hell but whatever. Only issue, aside from a serious pretzel craving, is that my cheeks are a bit swollen. My instructions say to apply moist heat to it but I'm not sure how to do that. I tried running a small towel under hot water but it cools off too fast. Any ideas?

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