An alternative look at life in the Land of the Rising Sun, coming from its southernmost prefecture, the island of Okinawa.
Posted By Dave on July 8th, 2014


Those who have known me a while will know that I just about kept my body shape in control (mainly in Okinawa through sweating generally due to the heat and humidity) or because of walking so much with my car dying.  It definitely wasn’t due to exercise though!  But after a couple of months of being back in England […]


With Great Wisdom Comes Great Pain

Posted By Dave on January 30th, 2013

A little cryptic title for my long-overdue first post in 2013, but I’ll quickly explain.  Having a wisdom tooth removed is not an experience I would wish on many people, yet is something I had to go through this past week.

A couple of weeks ago I got a pain at the back of my jaw on one side.  As soon as the pain came on I had a feeling what would be the root of the cause (pun intended).  I’d been told before by my dentist (at Piece Dental Clinic in Chatan, Okinawa – an excellent place with some of the most modern equipment I’ve seen in Japan) that my lower wisdom teeth would impact at some point more than likely, and would cause problems.  I’d told them in the past I’ll leave it as long as possible, but this was the first time it had given me any pain.  The dentist saw me a couple of days later and confirmed that I’d got an infection in the gum, and that it was swollen.  Then dentist gave me 2 options:

  1. Take antibiotics and it will clear up, and wait for it to happen again… and again… and again.  And it will.
  2. Take antibiotics and once it has cleared up get the tooth pulled.

One gum infection is enough for me so I told them to book me in and get it done.  so the following Friday I was in the dentist’s chair after work, a little nervous, as a needle entered my gum and started to anesthetize the area.  Once numb, they told me they were going to laser some bits around the tooth first.  Slightly disturbed that they might whip out a gun from Star Wars, they started doing something that I don’t really have any knowledge about.  All I knew was that every so often I could smell something that can only be compared to the time I dropped a hot soldering iron on my arm which then stuck onto my skin.  Fun times.

Once lasered they started drilling away at different areas.  They had to take the top off the tooth in order to get an angle to pull the wisdom tooth out.  Once the cap had come off they got what I can only describe as medical needle-nose pliers.  Unfortunately, by the time they started tugging at the tooth, the anesthetic was starting to wear off.  So I was not only getting the noise in my skull of the tooth being ripped from the gum, and little bits of tissue breaking, I had the added joy of starting to feel it too.  Combined with the not insignificant amount of pressure they had to put on my mouth to get the thing out made it quite an experience!

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It came out eventually though and 2 stitches were put in (which will be removed later this week).  I was told I might have, “Some discomfort” the first night and day.  Luckily I know that’s Japanese speak for, “Expect hell”.  I was given some antibiotics to prevent infection and 3 painkillers; one to be taken every 4 hours if needed.  They were all finished off by about 3am the following morning!  Went the next day with a slightly swollen jaw for a final bit of lasering and check up, and they said all looked well.  the pain has subsided now and my only real problem is that my mouth won’t open fully just yet.  I’ve been doing some reading and have found this is quite common, and to do with the fact that your jaw muscles have been stretched.  The best thing to do is rest and speak as little and as softly as possible.  Not easy when you have to shout to hear yourself over a bunch of teenage kids you’re attempting to educate.  Imagine, if you will, you’re running and you pull a muscle.  And then you keep running on the pulled muscle every day.  Kind of like that feeling in my mouth!

The swelling is going down though and I can open my mouth about 50% of the way now which means I can stop eating soup for every meal!  I can’t really cook anything apart from soup and curry so that’s not a huge benefit to be quite honest.

And that’s been my excitement in the last week.  Will be back very soon (honest) with updates about cars, life in Japan, the UFC coming up next month, and much more…

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