Monday, July 23, 2007

Tooth Trouble

Saturday night when I was brushing my teeth before bed, I noticed some sensitivity in one of my teeth. I didn't think much of it, but then last night the same thing happened. I decided to take a look in the mirror with a flashlight. There was a hole in that tooth! It was right at the gumline. It also looked like there was another one forming in the tooth next to it. So this morning I called the dentist so they could take a look at it. It turns out it was something called an abfraction. Basically when you subject a tooth to a lateral force, it bends. Eventually this can cause a piece to break off, which is what happened in my case.

The dentist gave me two fillings for the abfractions. I also had a cavity forming near a previous filling, so I had three fillings done. But hey, it's my lucky day, right? One of the abfractions was so small that they didn't charge me for filling it. So instead of being out $600, I was only out $400! My regular dentist was not in the office today so the fillings were done by one of the other dentists in the office. And I have to say, this dentist was kind of a hottie (and before anyone makes the joke, yes it was a woman)! But know this dear reader, it doesn't matter how hot the dentist is - the things they do to your mouth are decidedly non-hot. I can already tell that the bite need an adjustment. Hopefully it won't take three adjustments like it did last time!

Lateral forces on a tooth can come from three possible sources - the tongue pressing against the teeth when swallowing, an improperly aligned bite, or grinding of the teeth when sleeping. Filling an abfraction without addressing the underlying cause is not a long-term solution. So, it looks like I may finally have to get my teeth grinding problem fixed by getting one of those mouth guards made by the dentist. If I don't my tooth might eventually just break in half, and I bet that's even less fun than getting a filling from a hot dentist. I've been putting this off because it only costs a cool $600. Dammit! Maybe I can sell bald cardinal wigs on ebay.

On a totally unrelated note, did you all see the story about the chihuahua who saved the baby from a rattlesnake by sacrificing its own tiny body? Awesome!



Blogger paintergirl said...

Teeth pictures make me freak out-that was an unexpected link. My sister works at a dentist's and we both used to work at an orthdontist's office, you think I'd be used to it. Get the guard. It's a common thing-really. You're lucky you don't have tmj problems, but hey you might get migranes from grinding too.

aw-that little dog. And why was the baby playing in the bird bath?

7/23/2007 9:20 PM  
Blogger JC said...

Whoops, sorry, I don't want to gross anyone out. I'll change that link!

7/23/2007 9:26 PM  
Blogger Stepping Over the Junk said...

Ah, my friend "D" had to have his teeth worked on a few months ago when he was in between consulting jobs, he was grinding his teeth adn the holes where right where yours were! I had never heard of such a thing. I grind but it grinds the back (which isnt much better).

I have a newfound respect for chi-wa-was. (ha, I could never spell it so I just sounded it out)

7/24/2007 6:07 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

wow. i hope you got that all worked out. i have nightmares about my teeth falling out of my mouth, so dental issues are serious business for me.

7/24/2007 9:36 AM  
Blogger BJ said...

I have always been afraid of dentists since I was a little girl. Keep in mind that you didn't do preventive dentistry when I was a kid. Yea, I'm old as dirt! I only went to the dentist when I had a toothache.'ll be happy to know that I do go to the dentist a couple times of year for check-ups!

Hope that your teeth are back in chewing condition! And that you didn't have to suffer too badly.

7/24/2007 6:20 PM  
Blogger Deb R said...

OMG, the tooth story made me cringe. I'm overdue for a dental check-up and SO don't want to go.

I'd heard about the chihuahua story and thought that was so cool! I was really glad the dog lived too.

7/25/2007 11:51 PM  

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