The Problem with Wisdom

What is wisdom exactly? The dictionary tells me it’s: The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight. Some say it is knowledge, but I believe that wisdom and knowledge are different things and that wisdom comes with age and experience. Yet some people never find wisdom.

Then there is the artificial getting of wisdom. This comes in the form of what is known as the “wisdom tooth”. There are four all up and they are the rearmost molars in your top and bottom jaws. They are called wisdom teeth because they usually come through in your adult years and I guess that is saying that you should have some wisdom by then.

I call these teeth, especially lately, painful! I would have liked to have placed some nice descriptive words in front of “painful”, but I don’t know who is reading and don’t want to encourage swearing.

Three of my wisdom teeth pushed their way through the gums many, many years ago. The fourth, being stubborn and selfish, decided that it would follow suit, and then changed its mind half way. For twenty years, I’ve had this half a tooth causing me trouble two or three times a year. However, being a lazy tooth, it never did much more than ache for half a day…a full day at most. By the next morning, I would be back to normal and it hardly seemed worthy of a visit to the dentist. Besides, dentists are expensive and, more importantly, I have a fear of them.

And then on Friday I woke up with that familiar ache. Hmmm, never mind, it will be better by the afternoon, I thought. It wasn’t. In fact, it was worse. Never mind, it will be better in the morning. It wasn’t.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. That’s not an afternoon, or a day at the most. And it wasn’t an ache. It was … painful! I want to use that colourful description again.

It was so painful, in fact, that I braved my fear and went to the dentist. I endured having to have a treatment – you know, cleaning, fluoride, and some other fizzy green stuff that makes you dribble everywhere. I sat rigid in that seat, staring blinding at the poster stuck to the ceiling, listening to the awful sound coming from the machine they use to clean your teeth. At one stage, the dentist pulled everything out of my mouth and asked if I was alright. I discovered that one leg was shaking so badly, they thought they’d hit a nerve or something. I was only having a clean. Heaven forbid, what would happen if they actually tried to inject me or, worse still, use the drill.

I was given a lecture and then x-rays were taken, and then I was told that my tooth is large and weird shaped…and runs deeper in my jaw than the nerve. Great!

I’ve been referred to an oral surgeon and have to have the tooth out. The good thing is that I will be put to sleep for this to happen. I think the dentist feared for her safety and that’s why she referred me. However, it might have something to do with my warped tooth and the nerve too.

What am I going to do? A quarter of my wisdom is going to be removed. Thing is, I don’t have all that much to lose. 🙁

4 thoughts on “The Problem with Wisdom”

  1. Karen,

    Good luck with your tooth. Jenn had 6 removed yeras ago (yes I said 6). I only have two (they are impacted and willnever come in, they might need to be removed some day, but I’m putting that off).

    As for wisdom you are right, there is a difference between wisdom and knowledge. Knowledge is knowing something, the facts. Wisdom is being about to know when to use and not use the knowledge.

  2. Karen, you poor thing. I know exactly what you’re going through. One of my wisdom teeth came up and another decided to only half appear. It never caused me any problem until the gum got infected. There was a flap of gum which allowed stuff down and around the tooth itself. The pain was awful and I succumbed to a trip to the dentist because it was that bad. I had to have it out. Not only that but x-rays showed the other ones were going in funny directions as well. I was knocked out to get all four taken and after a little discomfort, loads of custard and a weekend spent in front of the telly I have to say it was the best thing I’ve done for my mouth.
    Wisdom? You’re much better off without it. 🙂

  3. 6? Oh, my, that sounds painful indeed, Terry.

    Sasha, that is *exactly* what has happened with me. I have an appointment with the surgeon on Tuesday. I believe it will be worth the few days of pain. I hope. 🙂

  4. Karen, Krista had her four out just a few weeks ago and didn’t find it a terrible experience (well, there were a few small complications afterward, but we won’t mention those). Mine are of the lazy variety as well and are half-in and have been for many years, but they never bother me. Some day, perhaps, but for now I’m letting sleeping dogs lie. Good luck!

    And while the teeth might signal the coming of wisdom, I don’t think they’re the actual repositories. So don’t worry about losing one! 😉


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