gloved hands grinding down fake teeth

Beware the Ides of…Teeth?

Welp, I don’t know why I thought I was done with all of my dental woes, but apparently that is not the case…

I have documented all of the dental problems that I have had on this blog from getting my wisdom teeth out to my root canals to my gum graft. I neglected my teeth for much of my young life, and I only recently started going back to the dentist for regular cleanings when I started this blog (and now I actually go for 3 cleanings per year to help keep my teeth healthy). It was no wonder I needed so much dental work done!

My first root canal had me absolutely panicked. I had no idea what to expect, I just knew that the tooth had been causing me trouble for a long while. It was quite the journey for me, as that tooth caused me one problem after another. First it was the root canal, then I needed a second appointment to finish the root canal, then a piece of the tooth chipped off, then getting the crown on was a whole ordeal, then I mourned the loss of my tooth…for some reason. It was one of my first experiences in a long journey of dental issues.

While last year was one dental catastrophe after another, this year started off better. I still had some work that I needed to get done, but nothing new. Beyond the gum graft I had done in March, I had a few crowns put on earlier in the year. The one weird thing that happened was getting high bite after they started working on the teeth for those crowns.

If you’re unfamiliar with having a high bite/off bite/occlusion, this occurs when one side of your mouth doesn’t touch at the same time as the other. This is typically caused by a crown that hasn’t been ground down enough. So if you get a permanent crown on and the dentist accidentally leaves it too large in your mouth, your teeth won’t match and your bite will be “too high.” I feel like this sounds like it’s not a huge deal, but in reality it is SUPER painful. Not only that, but it’s a compounding pain. Days 1 and 2 are a bit painful, but by day 7 you’re living on Advil.

When I had work done on the right side of my mouth back in February, I ended up with high bite…on the left side. The offending tooth was actually that first root canaled tooth! This baffled the dental assistant and periodontist when I told them. They had no idea why there should be an issue with the other side of my mouth. I actually cried when I got home from that appointment, not from the work they did during the appointment, but because the high bite was leaving me in agony. When I went back later that week and the dentist fixed my bite, she explained that sometimes people grind only on one side of their mouths, leaving the other side high. 

Leave it to me to not only screw up my teeth by grinding them, but screwing them up further by grinding only one side! I swear, I will end up in a medical journal one day.

Jump ahead to last week, I woke up one morning with a high bite on my left side again. I figured I must’ve done the same thing I did before where I only ground on the right side of my mouth. Dan and I were going on vacation at the end of the week, so I went in the day before we left to get my bite fixed.

Fixing a dental occlusion is actually not a huge deal. The dentist has you chew on occlusion paper (which, don’t get me wrong, is painful if your bite has been off for more than a few days), then grinds down your tooth/teeth where they see the paper has rubbed off on your teeth. This grinding is actually very gentle and doesn’t hurt at all. Going in to get an off bite fixed is one of the easiest procedures that you can have…that is, as long as that is the actual problem…

I have had instances where my high bite was not corrected the first time I went to get it adjusted. Sometimes you’re just in way too much pain to fully bite down on the occlusion paper and then they can’t see exactly where they need to shave the tooth down. When I walked out of the dentist’s office last week, I had a feeling that my bite wasn’t still right, but I wasn’t sure that I could go back in and bite down on the paper again. I figured I would just wait until after vacation to get my teeth fixed.

When I returned from vacation and went back to the dentist, I was sure to harass him about the fact that I had to deal with tooth pain on my vacation. We ribbed each other a bit before he went in to see how he needed to adjust my teeth…and he couldn’t see anything wrong. He asked me if I could tell which tooth exactly was the problem, but I couldn’t identify it. He shaved a bit more of my teeth down and sent me on my way.

By yesterday, I was in agony. I was living on Advil, sucking on ice cubes, and only eating soft foods on the right side of my mouth. I returned to the dentist today extremely apologetic. I was in too much pain to not have the issue resolved, but I felt like I was wasting everyone’s time. The dentist of course reassured me that he understood that I was in pain and that we needed to get my teeth fixed. He pulled out the occlusion paper and I bit down on it best I could. I let him know that I was pretty sure the offensive tooth was that first root canaled tooth again, so maybe he should focus on that one.

He looked at that tooth carefully, then reached in and wiggled it carefully.

“Yeah, that tooth is moving a bit.”

Since I am very much not a 6 year old whose teeth are falling out, I knew this couldn’t be a good thing. He asked the dental assistant if she could get an x-ray of that tooth, and I started to panic. I asked her if I would need an extraction and she empathetically told me to just relax and let them get the x-ray. She encouraged me to not go to the worst-case scenario, but I had no idea what other scenarios there were! MY TOOTH WAS LOOSE!

Apparently, I have an abscess forming in that root canaled tooth…tooth number 15. The ides of teeth.

They’re sending me back to the endodontist so that they can go in and re-treat the tooth. While the endodontist is a lovely person, to be candid, I was really looking forward to never seeing him again. I had thought I was done with my dental woes, but alas, it seems as though I will have at least one more dental adventure. Ideally only one more dental adventure. After all of the work on this tooth, I would really prefer to not need an extraction. I’d love to break the curse of the ides of teeth.

Hopefully I can get this procedure done and not be in pain sooner rather than later, but until then, it’ll be soup and milkshakes for me! On the bright side, that means that #soupszn is starting early this year, which is definitely something to be grateful for.

Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash

4 thoughts on “Beware the Ides of…Teeth?

  1. Oh no! I’m so sorry. A tooth abscess is no joke! I had one in the middle of the pandemic when no dental office was open. Not only was my pain through the roof; my anxiety was off the charts! Hope it gets taken care of quickly and with minimal suffering.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been so bad! I scheduled my appointment for Tuesday morning, but I’m currently sitting in their office waiting to be taken back for an emergency appointment because my swelling went from moderate to severe overnight 🥴 thank you for the good vibes!

      Liked by 1 person

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