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RandomGirl's avatar

Is this really all I can do to cope with my wisdom teeth?

Asked by RandomGirl (3352 points ) January 11th, 2013

My wisdom teeth are coming in. The bottom two are impacted and are pushing forward against my molars, and the top two are just too big for my mouth. So I’m trying to get scheduled to have them taken out, but right now I’m at the mercy of the whim and fancy of this nameless, god-like entity called “insurance”, which seems to have people sitting around in an office, pulling names out of a hat to see who gets to have their wisdom teeth out. Sorry, I’m really fed up with this and need to vent.
Acetaminophen does nothing for the pain. Ibuprophen dulls it a little, but it’s risky to take even just one pill because if I don’t eat a full meal with it, it’ll give me heartburn. Major burn. (The dentist made sure the tissue isn’t infected, by the way.)
So now I’m trying other things… It would make sense that the problem is irritation and inflammation, seeing as there are teeth in the wrong spot… So my mom and lots of people are suggesting I do everything I can to ease the inflammation. Pineapple is my friend. Lots of ginger.
I’m also trying heat – a heating pad, one of those rice bag things… It helps a little, but getting up to reheat the rice bag every 45 minutes is getting a bit frustrating.

So my questions for all the wonderful jellies out there:
Are there any other OTC pain relievers to try?
Can you think of any foods for inflammation that we might not have thought of yet?
The heating pad doesn’t really put heat in the right place. Any way to make the rice bag stay hot for longer?
Do you have any other suggestions of ways to stay comfortable while I wait?

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24 Answers

tedd's avatar

Harass the insurance company or have someone do it for you. You need those out asap.

It’s pain, plain and simple. OTC you’re not going to get anything better than ibuprofen. If you can get your dentist to give you a script you could probably get something significantly more powerful, but taking it will likely render you useless for any working or learning process.

wundayatta's avatar

Heat could be making it worse. Try ice. The cold slows the movement of the prostaglandins, which are what cause inflammation. Heat stirs up the prostaglandins and could be making the pain much worse. I think you may be working against yourself here.

RandomGirl's avatar

@tedd: Oh we are harassing the insurance company… Believe me we are. :p
@wundayatta: Ice, got it… Thanks :)

marinelife's avatar

Anbesol available at your drugstore.

Pachy's avatar

Warm (not hot) salt water swished around in mouth often I believe will help.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Be careful of the prescription pain pills. Some of them are highly addictive. If you think the insurance company is jerking you around you could contact your state insurance department. A little heat from above tends to make them move faster. What state are you in? I can find you a link if you’d like.

RandomGirl's avatar

@marinelife and @Pachyderm_In_The_Room: Oh yes, I forgot those two… Tried them both already :/

@Adirondackwannabe: I’m in Minnesota. I’ve got MinnesotaCare, the government one, not a private company. I don’t know if that changes anything…? I’m really clueless here.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@RandomGirl Let me look. If it’s a government agency we may be hosed.

RandomGirl's avatar

Also, it sounds like 3 different entities have their hands in it…. The health insurance, the dental insurance section of the health insurance, and a separate company. Each group’s customer service people keep telling us to talk to one of the others. >.<

Judi's avatar

Clove works for all kinds of dental pain. You can swish with a clove tea or if you have access to pure clove oil you can put it on the area with a q tip.
You could make a poultice with a pestle and mortar and cloves. You can pack the area and get some relief although it might taste strong.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

See if that helps.

RandomGirl's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe That looks like it has to do with insurance claims after an accident or whatever. Not what I need, I don’t think?
@Judi: Cloves, huh. My mom just cleaned out the spice drawer, and I’m pretty sure she found some old cloves. Hey, moooom…

Thanks, everyone!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@RandomGirl Yes, but it gives you a couple of phone numbers that you could contact and maybe get more info on your difficulties in dealing with your insurance. It might light a little fire under your company if they get some heat from the regulators. You’re only real relief is to get the teeth out ASAP.

wildpotato's avatar

Black tea bags. Get them wet and then tuck them against the gums.

Medicines ending in -caine.

Swishing with whiskey, or just rubbing a little on the gums if you can’t stand to swish.

To get something covered by insurance quickly if you are having trouble, pick the doc office (in network if at all possible) and then explain your problem, the steps you have already taken, and the names of the insurance reps you have already spoken with to a biller – not just a front desk person (though if one person handles both these jobs, as is common in very small practices, that is fine). This person will be your advocate. The insurance company will be much more willing to work with the biller than with you, because they know the biller knows exactly what they can and cannot get away with, and that the biller knows how to get through their idiosyncratic system of red tape. Another option is to hire yourself an insurance assistant like Accolade. Heck, I’d offer to do it for you myself freelance – I haven’t had a good yelling match with an insurer since I got laid off – ‘cept that’d be illegal.

KNOWITALL's avatar

You can also try Ambusol, the baby teething medicine, otherwise besides pain pills, I think you’re in for a lot of pain. Government insurance huh, figures.

diavolobella's avatar

If you haven’t already tried this in your process of harassing the insurance company, have your dentist harass them too. He if says that you are at risk of infection in your gums, etc. the insurance company will generally have to cover it as medical rather than dental. Usually if your practitioner will chime in about it being medically necessary, your insurance company will cave.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Oooooh, no no no! Not a heating pad! Lay back with a bag of frozen peas over your mouth. And I know it sounds crazy, but have your mom pick you up an infant’s freezable teething ring, so you can put it inside your mouth, between the uppers and lowers. Aaaaahhhhhhhh, relief!

Have your dentist personally call the insurance company and tell them those teeth must be removed asap. Also, use the hell out of a tube of maximum strength Orajel.

wundayatta's avatar

Thank you, @WillWorkForChocolate! Best advice I’ve seen you give.

RandomGirl's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate No heat! Got it!! And a teething ring. Lol, my friends have been teasing me about how I’m “teething” – now they’ll really laugh! ;)
Oh, yeah, the maximum strength Orajel. I tried that, too! It works, but it numbs my entire mouth!

Buttonstc's avatar

Does your insurance cover Emergency Room visits? It’s the type of thing you don’t tyically need prior approval for since it’s an EMERGENCY.

Just scream about how much pain you’re in to the ER Doc and that you literally can’t do anything else because of the level of pain.

It might occur to some of the idiots in the insurance company that getting those teeth out ASAP will be a lot cheaper in the long run than repeated ER visits.

Just keep up regular appearances in the ER until some insurance idiot sees the light. So just keep screaming to the ER personnel and maybe one of them will chime in with the rest and call the ins. Company and tell them how idiotic they’re being for delaying approval. It’s not as if the problem will just magically disappear.

Those teeth need to come out. That’s the only viable solution.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@RandomGirl Trust me, the teething ring works! I used one off and on from ages 17–21. I finally had the wisdom teeth yanked when my baby was 6 months old, and I stole her baby shower teething ring to help until I scheduled the extraction, haha! Some days, my husband came home from work to find me on the couch, with a Winnie the Pooh teething ring in my mouth, and a bag of frozen peas over my mouth! In retrospect, I’m sure he enjoyed the fact that I wasn’t talking…

OneHotTamale25's avatar

I used to gargle with peroxide before I got mine removed. It soothed the pain for me. I also used the salt water rinse and that seemed to help, too. I’d say the bottom line is to get them out however possible though. Be the persistent widow with your insurance company—or with doctors in your community who may be willing to work with you.

snapdragon24's avatar

Right – cold ice, and what I do, since I also have to take mine out (appointment in march)... I do a lot of mouthwash and then I gently put panadol gel cream around the gums where my wisdom teeth are pulling through and keep on taking pain relievers!

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