Monday, August 27, 2012

Of Backaches and Cavities

I am prone to cavities. Have been all my life. I brush, I floss, I go to the dentist every six months for cleaning, but I continue to get cavities. Such is my life.

I got two fillings about two weeks ago, and I'm supposed to get another one this week. The cavities are on opposite sides of my mouth, you see, so filling all of them at once would not only cause my numbed face to slide right off my skull, it would make eating impossible.

I was warned that one of the filling replacements - yes, fillings can wear out - was close to the nerve and would be tender for a while. She wasn't kidding.

After two weeks, I can't chew chips on that side. No, I don't need to chew chips, but I do eat granola, and broccoli, and other things that require some pressure on the molars. The second filling to be replaced - I mentioned fillings wear out, didn't I? - is also a molar and also close to a nerve. What happens if it freaks out, too? I'll be eating my steak through a straw.

Just kidding. I rarely eat steak. It would be ground turkey through a straw.

Here's the second half of the story. Replacing fillings causes the mouthpiece I wear to go out of alignment. When it goes out of alignment, I can't sleep, I get horrible back and neck aches, and I lose feeling in my left arm. These symptoms started this weekend. I currently have a stabbing pain in my neck that extends to the base of my spine, and it won't get better until several days after a mouthpiece alignment.

TT: I do wonder if the nightly chewing is what's causing these fillings to wear out so quickly. They're not more than 10 years old, I'm sure. The mouthpiece protects me somewhat, but pressure is pressure. Don't think that doesn't give me something to chew on. Sigh.

I want to reschedule my next dental appointment to give my new filling a little more time to calm down so I can eat on that side, but I don't want to wait to adjust my mouthpiece or spend $85 to adjust my mouthpiece between fillings. I doubt I could get in to do so even if I wanted to on such short notice. My orthodontist is quite popular.

So, do I go ahead with the filling and plan to eat oatmeal for the foreseeable future, or do I reschedule the dentist and live with the backaches for a month or more? It's also possible the filling won't calm down and will require a crown, but it could be the first crown that's giving trouble instead of the new filling, in which case my next option is a root canal and that leads to a whole new set of problems.

I hoped laying it out here would make the correct decision obvious, but I fear no "correct" decision exists. It's all "what-ifs" and wishes. I guess I'll schedule the mouthpiece alignment and plan to go ahead with the new filling. I have three days in which to cancel. We'll see if they make the difference.

1 comment:

  1. I just had two fillings replaced. I feel your pain (literally).

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