Friday letters – the “ouch” edition

Forgive me if most of today’s letters refer to the evil that is wisdom teeth. It’s kind of difficult to think of anything else when the pain is all you feel…

Wisdom Teeth
This may actually be my wisdom tooth! (Photo: tarale)

Dear wisdom teeth. According to every single source on the planet, you are supposed to come in between the ages of 14 and 24. This fact led me to believe I had escaped the horror… so why are you coming in now that I am thirty?!

Dear soup. Please forgive me if I go off you completely once this whole wisdom tooth saga is over. I imagine there’s going to be a lot of you in my future! (And my present come to think of it. It’s difficult to chew when your mouth won’t open fully!)

Dear sleep. I hope we get to meet again for more than two hours at a time soon!

Dear wine festival. I am still coming to visit you tomorrow! I don’t want to be stuck at home continuously until evil tooth is gone, and besides, if I can go to work I’m sure I can go to a wine festival!

I can’t think of any more (I told you I basically have a one-track mind right now!), so I’m going to stop now before I bore you all to tears 😉 Have a good weekend everyone!

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This morning, I went to the dentist…

Kawaii Tooth
I inserted this picture purely because it’s cute… (Photo credit: Jenn and Tony Bot)

Yesterday, I woke up with a slight dull ache in the bottom corner of my mouth. It didn’t feel like it was on a tooth, so I figured I had managed to bite the bottom of cheek somehow (I bite the inside of my mouth a lot!) and thought nothing of it, at least until yesterday evening when the pain got worse… and worse. It started getting really painful on the train, and by the time I got home I wanted to cry. Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option, so I tried rinsing my mouth out with warm salt water (tastes disgusting but works amazingly well on mouth ulcers!). It felt slightly better while I was rinsing, but as soon as a spat out the water, the pain came back as bad as ever. Woe, woe, woe, etc. By now the pain was spread, and I was no longer certain whether it was actually the corner of my gum, or a tooth after all.  So I called Jan and told him I wouldn’t be able to do any cooking because a) I had at least an hour of extra work to do if things were going to be finished in time  and b) my mouth was in PAIN! Jan asked if I would want to eat at all if my mouth was sore, and I replied maybe some soup. Then he suggested driking some of the cold water he had put in the fridge to see if that would numb it a bit and volunteered to grab some tins of soup on the way home. Miraculously, the cold water did help a bit (if only for a few minutes at a time) and I was able to do my work without being distracted by pain too much. Shortly before Jan came home, I decided to take an Ibuprofen in the hope that it would kick in before bedtime and allow me to get to sleep…

tomato soup
My soup wasn’t this pretty (Photo credit: sassyradish)

The Ibuprofen started working shortly before we ate, and I was able to consume a bowl of soup and two slices of bread (bread soaked in soup for aaages so it wouldn’t require chewing), then I went to bed. I managed to sleep off and on, with some discomfort, until about 1 a.m. when I woke up in pain again. After tossing and turning for an hour, I went and took another Ibuprofen then lay awake for what seemed like forever waiting for it to kick in. It must have eventually though, because the next thing I knew my alarm was going off.

I had hoped to feel better this morning, but the pain was still there (although not as bad as the night before) and I also noticed I couldn’t open my mouth as wide as usual, so I heaved the greatest of sighs and decided I would have to go to the dentist. Not a good time for it because my colleague is ill and there are only two of us (hence the overtime last night), but there was nothing I could do. Nobody was at work yet, so I logged on and sent an e-mail saying I would work from home and go see a dentist as soon as I (hopefully) got an appointment. Knowing my utter terror of the phone, Jan called his dentist for me and got me an appointment for 10:15. He had to travel elsewhere for work today, so I had to go to the appointment alone…

An image from 1300s (A.D.) England depicting a...
At least my teeth won’t be extracted like this… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Luckily, the dentist was nice and (the part I was more worried about than the dentist itself), I was able to explain what was wrong and understand what he told me. Apparantly, the wisdom tooth is coming through (so basically I’m teething at thirty!), and there isn’t really enough room for it plus it seems to be coming in at an angle… which is a bad thing. So he said he was going to give me a referral to a “Kieferchirurgen” (literally a “jaw surgeon!” – orthodontist, I presume…) so I could get my jaw x-rayed and figure out what to do next. He also said the fact that my mouth wouldn’t open properly was not right, but that could also be caused by the wisdom tooth. Later, when I got my referral, I saw that he had written on it that I need a consultation due to “restricted opening of mouth” (terrible attempt to translate from the German that, but I’m sure you know what I mean). He also gave me a recommendation for a Kiefer-thingy practice. So now I need to make an appointment with said jaw doctor… I actually tried calling a couple of times today, hetting myself all psyched up each time only for the phone to be engaged! SO eventually I decided to give the contact form on their website a go instead. So now, I wait… and take more Ibuprofen, I guess.

One thing is certain… I am going to this wine festival on Saturday even if I have to drink grape juice all day!

**Update: The “Kiefer” practice called me back! I have an appointment for consultation on Tuesday morning, first one available… to get one after work I would have had to wait til the week after next! The woman on the phone seemed nice, so hopefully it won’t be too bad**

Tooth trouble

It’s been years since I last went to the dentist. If I’m honest I’d have to say it’s been 8, maybe 9, years. A long time. Back then I was still in “full time education”, which meant I got to have my teeth worked on for free. These days… well, I dread to think how much it would cost.

I’m sure if a dentist looked into my mouth now he’d be horrified by what’s in there. Lots of tartar and caries no doubt (whatever they are). Every tooth probably has a hole in it. None of that bothers me though. I brush my teeth regularly and try to keep calcium in my diet, as long as nothing in my mouth hurts why should I worry. Right now though one particular tooth is worrying me. I don’t have toothache. It doesn’t hurt. But once in a while I’ll feel this weird sensation… it’s almost like an itch, but not. Whatever it is I’m sure it’s not good. But I can’t go to the dentist. Not because I’m afraid, but because I’m no longer under 18 and in full time education. These days a trip to the dentist costs money. Lots of money. Especially if you’re in Germany where everything is done by insurance and no health insurance fund, whether public or private, seems to cover stuff to do with teeth. I can’t really expect anything else in the land where you have to pay 31 euros for the pill though. (Any country where you have to pay for contraception is slightly suspect to me… uhh, that would be every country outside of the UK/Ireland then I believe?). So for now I’m brushing my teeth extra well, chewing gum like a mad woman and hoping whatever’s wrong with my tooth doesn’t get any worse. I’ve also bought some silica stuff to suck in. I read somewhere it’s supposed to do good things for the teeth by helping the calcium do it’s job properly. No idea whether it’s true, but it can’t hurt.. right?

Does anyone out there happen to know a natural method that will cause my teeth to make themselves healthy again?