Monday, April 13, 2015

Root of my problem

Today I had the second—and hopefully last—periodontal surgery. It seemed to go well, but how I felt about it was a bit different today, as was how I felt afterward. Maybe I’m just getting tired of it all.

Today’s “soft tissue flap surgery” was to see what was going on with one of my lower molars, why it keeps getting pockets. As with my front tooth week before last, he found out that it had abnormalities, but this time it was that the roots of my molar had an unusual inward fold (it normally goes straight across—you can actually see that in the anatomy image with this post). So he cleaned it all out. He later said this was the source of my problems with that tooth.

For some reason, I was really nervous going in today, and I have no idea why. After all, I should be used to all this today. I was a bit concerned it might hurt, I suppose, but no more than my first procedure.

It turned out that it wasn’t at all painful, but it was a bit uncomfortable at times: A couple times I could feel pressure into my jawbone. And, it was weird when he was stitching up my gum because I could feel the surgical thread moving over my lip (I felt that last time, too). It was a very strange sensation.

I’d taken a couple Maxigesic before I got out of my car so it would be in effect before the anaesthetic wore off. This was a smart move, since my tongue was numb afterward.

When everything wore off some hours later, I wasn’t in pain, exactly, but a bit sore in the gum. I took a couple more Maxigesic tablets and lay down for a while—and fell asleep. I think that stress wore me out today far more than I remember any other day doing.

I go back on Friday for a post-op check and a deep cleaning. Today the office lady said I was a glutton for punishment. She was joking, of course, but normally I wouldn’t want to do two appointments in one week. However, I also want all this to be over. Plus, when I put my mind to accomplishing something, like dealing to all these periodontal problems, I like to get on with it.

My previous procedure is healing well, which is good. But my surgery today means that I’ll be careful with food for awhile longer—soft foods for the first 24 hours, and avoiding anything with seeds or husks—probably for a week or so, since I’m getting the deep cleaning on Friday. I don’t really mind, especially because by now I’m used to being careful.

And that, hopefully, is the worst of it. We’ll see. On Friday I hope to get a clearer indication of where I’m headed, and what’s possible cosmetically. Also, I realised the other day that if I need to see him every six months, I could schedule the regular dentist visits so that I’m getting a cleaning every three months. I’m sure that would help to get this all under control.

I’ll never know how much of this is my fault (not being good enough at removing plaque, not seeing the dentist enough) and how much is genetic predisposition. In a sense, it doesn’t matter: It is what it is and I need to play the hand I’ve been dealt. But I’m certainly a convert to looking after one’s teeth. Trust me, that’s far better than going through what I’ve been going through!

The image above is a reproduction from the 20th US edition of Gray's Anatomy, and is in the public domain. It is available from Wikimedia Commons.


Worried about you said...

Careful with those Maxigesics-- 2 is a full gram of paracetamol

Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

Yes, but that's far below the toxicity level and, in any case, it's the exact same dose as in any over-the-counter paracetamol product (assuming one takes the recommend two tablets, of course). The difference is that each tablet also has 150mg of ibuprofen, and it's the combination that makes it so effective against dental pain (and gout pain, as I can attest—for the latter, it's usually better than Panadeine, which is Panadol with codeine). In any case, they recommend a maximum of 8 tablets in 24 hours (unless directed by a doctor), and my 24 hours are now up. I doubt I'll need any further pain relief at this point—BUT, I think I'm coming down with a cold now!