Celiac and Wisdom Teeth: Part 1

Rights-of-passage moments abound for teens. Some are sweet. First kiss, for instance. Others...not so much. Getting my wisdom teeth removed tomorrow morning falls in the second category. 

Now, no normal teen enjoys having a dentist yank 4 deep molars out of their jaw bone (besides the ice cream). As I prep for my trip into dental adulthood, however, celiac disease has, like usual, stolen the wheel. 

This will be me!
First, there's the obvious obstacle: avoiding gluten. A few sheets of paperwork and phone reminders to the office checked this problem off the list rather quickly. Luckily, my surgeon is very educated on the topic of celiac disease and didn't need a crash course on how to keep my tummy and my teeth safe. 

Then came the second, more complicated issue: medications. When I told my surgeon of my diagnosis, he immediately adjusted his normal plan. Rather than automatically prescribing antibiotics and narcotics - both of which are repeat offenders for tummy trouble - I'm going to follow an as-needed approach. In other words, Tylenol and Motrin will be a food group for the next couple of days. 

My cereal for next week!
This leads to the last problem: food. Or, more particular, that I don't lose any weight along with my four wisdom teeth. Celiac already took too much of that, thank you very much! The traditional wisdom teeth diet involves anything soft and rests mainly on ice cream and microwaveable breakfasts. Which aren't real options for this gluten-hatin', dairy-downer tummy of mine! The last thing I'll need is to be glutened on top of losing four teeth! 

So, like usual, I'm crafting my own plan of attack. My secret weapons? Quinoa flakes loaded with chia seeds and nut butters and bowls of banana nice cream. I think the grocery store clerk thinks we have a pet monkey by the number of bananas we bought this morning! 

Lots of this!
For some variety, I also grabbed some portable fruit purees, lots of gluten free chicken noodle soup, and cooked up some delicious ground turkey to devour with fresh avocado

As I count down the hours to my surgery - which starts at 11 tomorrow morning! - I can't help the fear pooling in my stomach. Sure, some of it is normal - It's gonna hurt! Am I going to look like a chipmunk? What if no good TV is on? - but celiac worries also dominate my brain. What if I have a reaction? What if I have to take the medicine and screws with my  gut? What if-?  

And then I take a breath. I remember Celiac Awareness Month and the #positiveceliac movement. Because while celiac does like to tangle life's strings - wisdom teeth removal included - it strengthens them at the same time. 

Savvy Celiac says it right!
I've survived destroyed villi, malnutrition and - the bane of every celiac's existence - I have survived being glutened. And, no matter if celiac makes it a little rougher than the average teen's, wisdom teeth removal can't be more painful than what a celiac experiences daily. We turn down homemade fresh rolls and Dairy Queen - what shows more pain tolerance than that? 

Teenage years are full of triumphs and tears, and celiac disease doesn't ease the load. While I'm scared, I know that tomorrow morning, I have my family, celiac experience and some drugs on my side. Plus (a lot) of banana nice cream

This is only Part 1 of my wisdom teeth journey! Part 2, full of my experience, tips, and favorite recovery foods, will follow! Next time you hear from me, I'll be four teeth less

How did you wisdom teeth removal go? What is your #positiveceliac experience? Comment below! 


  1. Good luck, Casey! You're right, you'll survive this, too! My dentist kept raising the issue of wisdom teeth and dropping it again throughout my visits during college, and somehow or other we wound up just leaving them. Now they've been coming in very, very slowly for a year or so and sometimes it hurts like crazy! I haven't been to a dentist since my celiac diagnosis (bad, very bad at being a grownup) and I need to get on that, stat. Not looking forward to yet another conversation about "is there gluten in your toothpaste" but I guess that's just life.

    1. Thanks for the luck! I'll definitely take it! Ouch! That sounds painful! Good luck with figuring out your solution too :) teeth…can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em!

  2. Best of luck Casey!! I had my wisdom teeth a few months before I went gluten free, but I was having a lot a lot of stomach issues still at the time. I ended up taking only advil because the pain meds/antibiotics made my stomach go nuts. Just make sure you eat enough when taking it. You will do great. :)

    1. Thanks for the luck! I'll definitely take it! I'm hurting like the devil right now, but choking down the advil! :)

  3. It's great that you always seem to find the positive side of things. Thank goodness that you have a very knowledgeable surgeon who knows just what you needed, and could offer you the insights and medication you needed that will not compromise your existing condition. Cheers to that!

    Warren Fitzgerald @ Brockington Dental

    1. Definitely! Thanks for the comment and praise. And for being a dentist - it's a necesary occupation, but definitely not one I could do! ;)

  4. Good luck, Casey! Your thorough preparation is impressive and ensures that you need not worry. Great foresight in shopping before hand rather than trek the grocery stores aisles with somber, chipmunk cheeks! This blog was very helpful for healthy post-surgery eating solutions.The banana ice cream sounds wonderful. I think you may have inspired my dessert this evening!

    Best wishes!

    Tyler Williford @ Marzo Smile


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