Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Abscessed Tooth

Okay, so... a couple of weeks ago I had a bit of Pulpitis in one of my top front teeth.

This tooth has a bit of a history. Back when I was... I don't know, seven or eight years old... about half the visible tooth got broken off. It was some sort of Scouting event, and I was swimming in a pool, and some idiot was rolling pool balls (like, from a pool table) into the swimming pool. I surfaced on the side just in time to catch one with my mouth. Pow! Broken tooth.

That memory still pisses me off, if only mildly. I got a cap put on the tooth - or possibly it was an "extension"; the dental terminology confuses me - and life went on.

Back in December, as part of an array of overdue dental proceedures, I finally had the original extension removed and a proper cap placed on the tooth. I say this was overdue; when the original dentist first put the extension on, he said we'd probably need to replace it sometime in my teens. Instead, I had it for three full decades.

All of that is basically to explain that the bout of Pulpitis was not entirely unexpected. That tooth has reacted that way before, usually as a result of being bumped in some fashion. It generally lasts for a day or two, and then settles back down. In this case, though, I couldn't figure out anything that I might have done to it, and the sense of pulsing wasn't settling down. It wasn't painful, but it was... distracting.

So I called the dentist, she prescribed some antibiotics, and that took care of it. Everything was fine for a couple of weeks, in fact.

...Until Sunday, when the tooth started doing something even stranger. The sense of pulsing was similar, but instead of being up near the cap, it was further down in the bone. I wasn't even entirely sure it was the tooth - my allergies have gone completely insane, and I thought it might be some odd result of sinus pressure. That impression was reinforced by the fact that I felt the pressure most acutely when I was blowing my nose.

Yesterday, though, I found an odd little double lump on the front of my gum, just below the spot where the lip is attached. So, I called the dentist.

She saw me this morning, and said: "Yes, that is an abscess." So, now I have antibiotics, and an appointment for a root canal on Thursday.

Three thoughts about this:
  1. I love modern medicine. I don't even want to know what people did about these things in ages past.
  2. It's no wonder I was so &*^%$ing tired yesterday... and today, for that matter.
  3. Sorry for spending so much time talking about a relatively minor medical condition, and not even a very interesting one. You could say that I'm a little abscessed with the topic.


  1. How did I miss this post? So sorry! I hope the root canal went okay?

  2. It did; I actually wound up getting two. (Did I mention the part about overdue dental work in the post?) My dentist started the first one, decided that it needed a specialist, and sent me over to an endodontist. While we were there, I had him look at a second tooth (which we needed a consultation on anyway), and he agreed that it was probably going to need a root canal also.

    So, the day's stats look a bit like this:
    Money spent: lots
    Naps: 3, taken in two different dentists' chairs.
    Travel: Quite a bit
    Root Canals: 2
    Successful Root Canals: 2
    Crowns that came apart during the proceedure: 0
    Movies watched: 1/3 of Drunken Master (Jackie Chan)

    It was a long and somewhat chaotic day, but all in all it wasn't too bad.

  3. The lesson about not "nursing" a toothache was something I learned the hard way. Just two weeks ago, I felt a jaw-breaking toothache on a weeknight. For the next few days I just tried to calm it down with pain relievers. Long story short, the toothache shooed my way into one of Colorado Springs' dental care clinic. The dentist did his thing and pulled the offending tooth off.

    Yep, I also can't start to think how early people deal with toothaches and all these stuff.

  4. Toothaches are no fun at all. I'm glad you got yours taken care of.


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