21 December 2012

Have Yourself a Merry Dental Christmas

I just finished my lunch of applesauce and yogurt, courtesy of my latest visit to the dentist. I got my blood work done; I got the dental scan done (that experience is a whole short story unto itself that I've been working on); I was on antibiotics for five days. I went back to the dentist on Monday and the swelling and pain were very much reduced. The scan showed some sort of growth -- either soft tissue or bone, it's still unclear -- in the area where my wisdom tooth was removed four years ago. The dentist wanted to do a deep cleaning around the back molar and "snip" off the growth with a laser. I talked to the American doctor who determines what amount of dental and medical stuff can be done here and what needs to be done in a more reliable location. She told me to get the deep cleaning done here; depending on the amount of pain and discomfort afterward I can be sent to Singapore for immediate surgery or I can wait until I'm back in the United States in July.

I got my deep cleaning done yesterday and they did a pretty deep investigation of the area, all but snipping off the growth. Oral surgeons, oral pathologists, root canal specialists, radiologists, have all either looked at my scans or into my mouth -- and in some cases done both at the same time. They stuck these acupuncure-like needles into my gum and took x-rays so they could see exact angles of things going on in there. They concluded that my wisdom tooth extraction was "complicated." There may have been damage to the nerve that supports the back molar and there's a gap between the molar and the gum; it's that little gap that's filling up with whatever's growing. (My theory is small gnome or dwarf.) There wasn't any food stuck in there causing decay, which is good news. But no one is 100% positive of what's going on in there.

I feel like I've been punched in the jaw. Tylenol and cold, soft foods for another day, although I felt up for some slightly warmer than room temperature coffee this morning. I should be able to nibble on the five-star, black-tie dinner we're going to tomorrow night. (There's panna cotta for dessert, and that's cold and soft!) I'll go in for a follow-up visit in a week, assuming the pain and swelling continue to go down.

Why did I get this done so close to a big holiday? Because I want answers as soon as I can get them and if I'm going to be in discomfort I'd like to get started on being on the healing side of that discomfort.

I haven't been working out, but I haven't been eating much either. There's nothing like the threat of oral surgery to help you lay off the holiday snacks.


Becky said...

Oh yuck! I'm so sorry. I hope it gets resolved quickly and with minimal trouble.

Suz and Allan said...

Ouch, hope this will be sorted out quickly. It sounds so painful!