Friday, April 17, 2015

The tooth of the matter

Today I had the last of my periodontic treatments for this series, this time a deep cleaning for two particular areas, all on my left side, both upper and lower. I am so over this. My next appointment is in five months. Yay.

First things first: The healing from my last procedure is going well, which is good in itself. The periodontist removed the last of the “packing” that kept my gum against my tooth. It worked, though its removal smelled like teeth than had spit too long accumulated (nothing worse).

Much grinding and such then ensued, and I endured, until at most an hour had passed. I was very numb of lip of cheek, which meant I couldn't eat anything. This was a problem, considering how VERY hungry I was.

I arrived home with barely any time before, I thought, I needed to leave for the airport to pick up my sister-in-law. As it happens, good traffic allowed me to arrive extra early, by which time the anaesthetic was wearing off. So, a quick cheeseburger took care of my hunger and a bottle of water allowed me to take pain relief, just in case.

As it happens, there doesn’t seem to be any long-lasting pain. I probably shouldn’t have thought there might be, but, well, I’ve been through what I’ve been through.

The periodontist said I should consult an orthodontist about my front teeth, but not for several months. I decided to see a dentist in three months so that such inspections—and cleanings—are roughly three months apart. I’m hoping that all this cleaning can help me keep things under control.

It’s undeniably true that if I’d looked after myself better much of this would never have happened: Brush twice a day, and floss and more as your dental healthcare professional recommends. Had I done that—and seen a dentist every six months—I may not be going through this now. But, is it really worth the risk to do nothing, as I did? That's the bigger question.

Bottom line, things are healing (which is good), but I'm no closer to a prettier smile than I was nearly a year ago. I've come to realise that isn't everything—staying alive is.

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.

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