It turns out that…wait for this amazing revelation; exposed nerves in the teeth are very painful.
I went to the dentist today and after a week of getting used to this layer of molded bandages in my mouth….they were gone. There was huge holes in my gums (like a millimeter, you know how the tongue loves to exaggerate everything: "There was a fish in your mouth 22 feet long! Honest!") Anyway, after an initial exploration, there was some odd floating stuff in my mouth from under the molded bandage. So I took a swig of Gatorade to clear it out and…...AHHHHHHHH!
When I could speak again I asked the assistant, “Would this be the sensitivity to cold you mentioned BEFORE operating?”
The assistant said, yes and here is a pamphlet all about it. She held out a pamphlet with about 6 pictures of snapped, rotting, bleeding gummy teeth each page.
“AHHH….” I actually held up my hands the way vampires react to having crosses shoved at them, “That’s okay, I don’t need to know THAT badly.”
Only it turned out I did. Because, in case you haven’t read me before, I have a slight OCD/Type A issue which has been solved MOSTLY by a single pill. But I still have little aspects of it (I don’t anymore, for example, have to check the stove element 5-8 times before leaving the house, or drive back to the house to check it again). Today, what it means is that I have drunk cold Gatorade. My tooth (and jaw and the tooth in the lower jaw on the same nerve line) HURTS.
I wait 3-4 seconds and then think, “Wow, that really hurt, I wonder if it is really that sensitive?” And drink the Gatorade again. OW!
Ten second later, I think, “I wonder if I swish it around the tooth, maybe it will become numb to it…” Drink the Gatorade. OWWWW!
“Okay,” I think to myself, “they said that it may hurt for a few days afterward or sometimes a few weeks. If it is a few days, then it should get better as time goes by, right?” I look at my watch. Two minutes have passed since my FIRST drink of cold Gatorade. “I wonder if I can notice any difference in the sensitivity going down yet?” I take another drink.
By this time my Jaw is THROBBING. I panic, “They said the tooth would be sensitive but my whole jaw side is throbbing, what is happening?” (sadly, this is a transcript of how I think)
I wonder, if perhaps, there is some sort of crack or problem they didn't mention about the crown lengthening. To find out I “gently” probe the around the sensitivity with my tongue 40-60 times over a minute or two (yup, once every two seconds!). Gee, the gums actually seems somewhat sore NOW, I have to wonder if it is infected? I decide I should take another drink and see if the pain of this one seems WORSE than the others.
I know in the logical part of the brain that I have had dental surgery and that my lengthening needs to be exposed for two weeks so the gum around it settles and heals and the dentists know exactly where to put the crown. I know LOGICALLY that it will be sensitive, maybe I didn’t expect it to be THIS sensitive but I will need to wait and see in a few days how things are. That’s logic. I know as this is my first crown I have GOOD teeth, that this surgery is something I did so I can continue to have good teeth and this is a good thing to do.
Okay, the other side of my brain says; “tooth hurts, you did something bad, now tooth is rotten and horrible things will happen!” Drink cold Gatorade and confirm.
There also seems to be a part of my brain that knows I have to wait some time for the nerve to calm down and be less sensitive but I kept thinking that I should DO something. Indeed, the idea of DOING something seems wonderful. If I could only figure out what I needed to DO, and do it again and again and again, I wouldn’t have to wait days for the sensitivity to die down.
At 11:00 am, I was given toothpaste for sensitive teeth and told to use that as it would “help”. By 6:00 I had brushed my teeth with the toothpaste TWICE already. I really only stopped because the toothbrush was covered in blood from my opening up the stitches in the gum. But I expect I will be brushing about 6-8 times a day for the next few days. I simply can’t STOP myself (Hey, they said it would HELP!).
Also, because I have the pain and the going to and from the bathroom to brush, I get really tired very quickly. I mean, I have throbbing pain (which I might not have if I didn’t take another cold drink every five minutes and probe the inside gum pocket every 30 seconds; but this is like wanting to have the ability to fly; we can all wish things were different but we know that unless I literally sit on my hands, we are stuck with what is....time for another drink?). And so I go to nap early and sleep for a few hours. And I wake up WITHOUT ANY PAIN.
So what was the first thing I did? First, I went to the bathroom and brushed my teeth. Then, because a few hours had passed and surely I must be all better by NOW, I went and found an ice cold coke and took a big drink. OW! (was anyone surprised at that?)
Well, I was surprised. I was supposed to be better by now…..this is wrong, I took another big drink. OW! I can’t go on because it really is far too pathetic to talk about how I tried to guzzle it and see if that was better (wasn’t), waited a long time to see if it got better (like maybe 45 seconds), etc.
I can’t help it, I’ll admit it, I’ve always been a scab-picker! Even with the molded cast in my mouth protecting the gum surgery, Linda would ask, “How is it today?”
And I would say, “I’ve found that if I push hard at the part where they did the surgery with my tongue 40 or 50 times in a row, it hurts…..and keeps hurting……do you think that is normal?”
Linda laughs and says, “Oh Beth, at least you make ME laugh.” Then she knocks me on the head with her knuckles when I look puzzled.
“Do you think I should push that place again with my tongue?”
Linda smiles and walks away with a “Like I am going to manage to ever stop you doing things like this” sort of shrug.
So, that’s been my day, in pain, and probably in MORE pain than I should have been due to what I will charitably call “my scientific nature.” I really hope this sensitivity goes away soon. And for those who have already condemned me as a hopeless idiot who is determined to hurt herself, I want to point out that THIS time, I have matured enough over the years to not put toothpicks and sticks in my mouth. See, normally I would do that to find the EXACT spot it is sensitive and then check it by poking it again and again. Admittedly, I’m not likely to win an award for that accomplishment but it is an accomplishment all the same (It is almost like "being adult" isn't it?).
I hope by tomorrow I am used to the new shape of my mouth and gums, my tongue has gotten bored of poking the area and I can mentally move on to solving world peace and the other projects of my normal day.
Actually I would just like to have any kind of non-tooth obsessed life back. I hope that happens soon, because right now I have to go brush my teeth.
3 hours ago