THE WHOLE TOOTH  how my health went to hell

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You are here: Hell On Earth / Health / The Whole Tooth / 2001 In Review

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Current Status: 2001 In Review

Wednesday, January 2, 2002

So, did the Whole Tooth eventually end? How did it end?

You might recall that about three years after the traumatic first root canal, I had another. For the most part, everything went fine. But because of the way I grind my teeth, the tooth continued to be heat and cold sensitive for six months after the event.

Then the tooth next to the root canal had to be crowned. After the procedure, the crowned tooth became extremely sensitive to temperature changes. I found this out the hard way, when I developed a bad cold soon thereafter. To combat the symptoms, I drank ginger tea by the gallons (recommended in principle, but read on). Apparently, the hot liquid irritated the tooth, causing it to ache. This ache got worse every day until I was again forced to take pain killers.Eventually, I made the connection between sips of hot tea followed by flashes of pain. I stopped drinking tea and my condition gradually improved.

Later in the year, the neck of one of the front teeth became exposed. Apparently, due to the way I grind my teeth, the gums tend to recede from the teeth. When too much of the neck of the tooth was exposed, it became sensitive to everything: Heat, cold, pressure. Lovely.The dentist covered the neck of the exposed tooth with a transparent plastic coating, desensitizing it, in theory. My nerves wouldn't hear of it, the pain levels didn't diminish. So I went back to Diclophenac -- one tablet at noon to keep the pain from building up during the afternoon, another one in the evening so I could sleep, for two weeks. The fact that I was back on pain killers depressed me a bit, but eventually it helped.

After two weeks, I decided to try an afternoon without the tablets and while the pain was still here, it was bearable. It evenually decreased significantly.

At least I found out the main source for my pain: stress. (Yeah, I know: Einstein...)

The reason why I have all these teeth troubles is because I grind my jaws when I sleep, with crushing force. Add to this the fact that I permanently seem to keep my jaw in a state of tension, which overtaxes the musculature, which irritates the nerves next to the muscles. The nerves within my teeth tend to overeact to any degree of stimulus -- it's as if there was but a single reaction to any kind of problem: maximum pain. My jaw is like a radio with a broken volume control, where the only choices are "off" or "deafeningly loud".

Whatever the source, the pain was always the same, as was my reaction. When I bury myself in activity, the pain takes a back seat -- thus I overwork myself. This causes the jaw to clench itself even more, which causes the nerves to overreact even more. There's always pain at the edge of consciousness, gnawing away at my concentration. Sometimes the concentration wins, sometimes the pain does.

Summer 2001

In the summer of 2001, it became imperative to close the gap between the teeth around the one that got extracted by Dr. Dietrich in 1997. The tooth in front of the gap was beginning to move backward to fill the void, creating a new gap in which a lot of food was getting stuck. This essentially meant that I had to floss after every meal, to dislodge pieces of carrot, meat, orange, melon... dreadful.

Dr. König took the matter into his more than capable hands. He filed the two surrounding teeth down, which reads much scarier than it turned out to be. Actually, the experience was almost painless. When he had filed the teeth down, I asked him whether my teeth were too yellow and whether they should be whitened before proceeding with the rest of the procedure. He calmed me down, saying that the exact color of my teeth was in his color chart for prosthetics -- therefore my teeth are colored within normal parameters. No pearly-whites for me, I suppose...

Less than a week later, the gap was closed with a nice, inconspicuous-looking bridge. It hurt at first, and it is still sensitive to hot, cold and pressure. I took Diclophenac for three days and then decided to grin and bear it. Sometimes, when I don't get enough sleep, the bridge feels more sensitive. This tells me quite unmistakably I should get some rest, soonish. Which I am going to do, right after I finish this last update.

Free advice.

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"The Continuing Health Crisis" is an 100% true account of MOATMAI's health problems. It is intended to keep all friends and enemies informed about his current status. The Whole FAQ.

First Visit? You might want to check out the summary before continuing.

Current Status: The root canal, it is done. The tooth is dead. And the pain? Well...

The whole mess began in June, 1997. The Whole Tooth starts here.

Content & Form © 2002 by MOATMAI at HELLONEARTH dot COM
This Section Last Updated: 2002/01/02

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