Tuesday, February 1, 2011

More Tooth Troubles!

Sorry I have been nonexistent as far as posting goes the last few weeks. Between work being crazy and family life, I have had yet another tooth removed due to a raging infection in my mouth...

This one, a lower molar right behind the one that was previously removed at the beginning of the month. That makes THREE teeth out in the the month of January alone-clearly my 2011 is NOT off to a good start!

Strange thing is, I've always practiced good oral health. Sure, I had cavities as a kid and had all my fillings done, but recent dental visits didn't show any major concerns. With my private dental insurance through work, I made sure that myself and other family members went to the twice yearly cleanings and got any work done that was needed as early as possible.

A couple years back, my regular dentist retired and I went to a new dentist. While there, they noticed a small cavity but after taking extensive xrays (which he overcharged for of course!) there was no mention of anything else going on. Then I got a cleaning from a woman who was brutal. It was the initial cleaning with this dentist, and this woman was evaluating my gums while telling me that my previous dentist had done a shitty job with my teeth. It felt like she was literally pulling my gums away from my teeth and going way down deep into the pockets to do her evaluations and boy, did I bleed!

Hubby had the same thing done, and for months afterward we felt that our teeth did not feel "clean", like food seemed to stick to them more easily and that they had a film on them which wouldn't come off even with persistent brushing. I thought it was just me, but when I mentioned it he was surprised because he was feeling the same thing.

We ended up going to Guatemala in the summer of 2010 and one of my teeth fractured, badly, while there. I managed to get a repair done, and was really nervous about heading back to this dentist. Even more so after hearing stories from other people I know about their own treatment. After the temporary repair fell out a few months later, I was due for a cleaning with the dentist. I was hesitant, but went in. The girl who did my teeth was nice, and did another temporary repair for me-and she wasn't as brutal as the first woman either. But I couldn't shake the feeling that something had gone wrong with my teeth after my first visit and this extensive cleaning and poking. I began to wonder if her prodding around in those pockets under my gums actually caused bacteria to form and mess my teeth up. The area she said was the worst was the area in the bottom molar region, where the fracture occurred and where I have now had not one, but THREE extractions in a month.

I ended up switching my family to a new dentist, but because the old dentist had overcharged, I had to wait for new xrays as my insurance would not pay for them. I had planned on going in when my tax refund came in this year and getting those xrays done and switching over to the new dentist, which my husband and daughter seemed to like. Unfortunately, my first visit with him was for two emergency extractions-one for the fractured tooth from this past summer and another one on the other side which was giving me the most horrific pain I have ever been in. (other than labor of course) Both were infected, and needed to come out. I had a leg infection as well, and we both think that the infection may have been caused by these tooth issues.

So out they came. I was fine on the left side (where the fractured tooth had come out) but still pretty tender on the other side where the infected tooth had been. A post op follow up and another round of antibiotics made me feel better a week later, but last week it started getting tender again on the bottom right side. Soon, I began to feel a bubble on my gums and swelling around the tooth directly behind the one that had been extracted 2 weeks earlier. NOT good.

Before it got really bad, (it had woken me up a couple times this past Sunday)I made the call to the dentist and he advised me to come in right away. Sure enough, another emergency extraction was in the works. Pulling infected teeth is no fun, for anyone involved. The dentist gave me the max amount of numbing agent and pulled quickly, with little pain. Today my gum is highly swollen and very ugly looking, even in the area of my previous extraction. I hope that the swelling will go down in the near future and that this infection will stop, and that my remaining teeth will stay in my head for some time to come.

I've been a bit under the weather with all these antibiotics, and just feeling completely blah after having so much done to my teeth these past few weeks. And of course, I am wondering if perhaps that deep cleaning was the cause of all this. Or maybe just my age, getting older is no picnic in the park either. Thanks to all of you who are still following and bearing with me! :)

1 comment:

RN Mama said...

Oh, I can totally relate to tooth trouble! Last week, I broke a tooth (a molar)...and after I went to the dentist he told me I really needed to have all of my fillings replaced because they were so old and starting to crack:( Hope you're feeling better!