So, a few hours ago, I got back from the university dentist clinic…with one tooth less. Finally my odyssey in finding why I’ve been in having pains when chewing with this tooth and lately simply constant extreme pain on it and around its area, are at and end.
You see, this particular molar had been torturing me for years, I initially noticed a few years ago, shortly after I got my wisdom teeth removed, chewing particular foods with it, (especially “chewy” ones like rump steaks and the like) sometimes caused extreme pangs of pain, but it was infrequent enough that I could dismiss it. Unfortunately it wouldn’t dismiss me.
The pains started getting more frequent and later on affecting other kinds of food as well. I mentioned this multiple times to my dentist when I visited for my regular check-ups, but every time he looked at it and said that it doesn’t look as anything more than pressure from my grinding issue. With alarm I kept mentioning that the pain was growing in frequency and intensity as time passed but nothing else came of it.
Eventually, one week ago, things came to a head, ad this tooth simply started hurting constantly one day. It started as a weak pulsing pain but day by day it increased to annoying, then distracting, then intense, then “the painkillers, they do nothing!” to “Gawds please kill me quickly” kind of pain. At around the point where it was just “intense” I decided to get a second opinion, since my regular dentist couldn’t find anything wrong with it (“But it’s a perfectly healthy tooth!” were his words – granted this was before the pain become a constant experience, rather than only present when chewing on this tooth). Frustratingly, this second doctor made the same exact remarks and thought it was simply pressure as well and gave me a small drilling to alleviate it. However to his credit, he did passingly suspect the true cause and said that I should return if the pain persists.
However after the pain didn’t dissipate and one particularly painful night, and a suggestion by liriel and my mother-in-law, I decided to go for the ultimate investigation and visited the university clinic. Unfortunately I didn’t know the correct time, so I ended up in the emergency care, after roughly 3 hours of waiting around, I got to sit on the dentist chair, and the doctor that checked it, announced that I have aggressive periodontitis. She did some cleaning and said that I should visit the clinic again during daylight hours and go see the Periodontology experts.
Fortunately, the cleaning she did seemed to stop the general pain all around the area (until then, the pain was a “throbbing” kind that seemed to move from tooth to tooth, and even reached my ear), which allowed me to sleep easier. Unfortunately, it focused all that pain into the problematic tooth itself which made the pain constant, rather than throbbing and made it so that even the slightest touch hurt like a motherfucker.
So into the periodontology clinic I went, and after significant waiting again, I got looked at by a certain long-haired expert who announced that I definitely do not have aggressive periodontitis. Dismayed I asked “Then what do I have doctor” who then, to my frustration announced “I have no idea, but it looks very healthy, albeit suspicious”. Fortunately he had the good grace to say that a healthy tooth shouldn’t be hurting like this, so he would refer me to some other experts who would drill in to check the nerve itself…next day. I went into the clinic at 1pm and left at 5:30 so they were about closing at that time and I had to practically run to an arranged meeting I had for Mage Knight (Note to self: Not a good idea to try to explain very complex board games while having intense tooth-ache).
Anyway, so next day (i.e. today) I started quite early on and went for a visit to those other experts. Fortunately the waiting time was much less and soon I was in to figure out what the problem was. After a few tests on how alive my tooth was, where I didn’t even neither cold nor electrical shots to it, they declared that I had…aggressive periodontitis. Their suggestion was they should simply clean the area and make me come back next week. Fortunately I managed to convince them that this was definitely not a good idea with the amount of pain I was in, and that they should go and consult with the Periodontology expert who said that I don’t have periodontitis. More specifically, I asked them to look for the long-haired blond dude1 and see what he thinks because I damn well was not going home without a definite diagnosis today.
Fortunately the guy was still available so they went to fetch him. After a while however, rather than him, I saw yet another dentist come in, in a rush, wordlessly grab his utensils and start banging on my teeth once more. Once I made it clear that the molar really really fucking hurts when he’s banging on it, he discussed a bit with the others and then got to the anesthetics. At around the time, the long-haired dentist (by now I knew he was dr. Roellke) arrived as well and he got to see them drilling it to figure out what the hell was wrong with it. Fortunately, they suspected correctly this time (I must have got the drilling expert this time) and they saw my tooth had a small fracture right down the middle…vertically.
This kind of fracture was positioned in such a novel way2 as to make it invisible to x-rays as well as to the naked eye, which is why my regular dentist as well as everyone else couldn’t see anything wrong with the tooth and announced it as perfectly healthy. Unfortunately, all this time, the fracture as deepening until it eventually reached the nerve area, which allowed germs to pass through and wreak merry hell on my pain receptors. I suspected something was horribly wrong with the tooth for years now, and perhaps if we had caught the fracture when it was still beginning, we might have saved the tooth, but everyone was so focused on my grinding problem that they didn’t believe me that this tooth has a special kind of pain.
Unfortunately this meant that the tooth was unsalvageable, so this time dr. Roellke himself took me to the surgeons who would extract it. 3 different anesthetics and some serious pulling later, I had the bad tooth lying in front of me, looking all ashamed for its act. However, I really don’t care. Testing my teeth now, I finally bit down without any pain, which is something I haven’t had for years no, so one bad tooth is a small price to pay for this.
Time for my first golden tooth methinks!