It’s Like Pulling Teeth

My dental appointment is today. My dentist will reevaluate this problem tooth and decide if it should be pulled. I don’t believe there is any other course of action that can be done. While I would prefer to keep all of my natural teeth, with this tooth becoming abscessed at least three separate times, I do not believe it is going to improve. If there is a crack in the tooth like he believes, then it cannot be fixed at this point and will have to be pulled. I dread this ordeal, but I hope it will cause these headaches to either cease or improve considerably.

These non-migraine/different headache pains started when this tooth trouble started back in November. For nearly six months, no treatment has helped. My dentist and my neurologist believe that it is likely this tooth is aggravating my trigeminal nerve and causing all of this pain. All of this began six weeks into my first Botox treatment. The Botox should have lasted twelve weeks, but this tooth became abscessed, and I have been unable to get rid of the pain since then. I hope that once this tooth is gone and the pressure on the trigeminal nerve is relieved, these headaches will go away, and the Botox will continue to be an effective treatment against my migraines.

Have you ever hit your funny bone (the ulnar nerve in your elbow)? If you have, then you know how painful it is, and it is unlike any other pain. Well, there is an equivalent. The headaches I have been experiencing, when at their worst, feel very similar to the pain that comes from hitting your funny bone, except that it doesn’t radiate from my elbow through my arm but radiates throughout the right side of my face, which can last hours or days. These headaches are not always that painful. Sometimes, it just a dull ache or throbbing sensation; those days are my good days. Pain medicine almost never helps, so I am ready for this ordeal to be over and done. 

Just pull the damn tooth. If he does, then I will probably either spend the day on the couch or in my bed watching Star Trek. If I’m still recovering on Friday, I may just laze around and watch the original Star Wars trilogy. I have a feeling this is going to be a sci-fi weekend since that is often what helps soothe me.

UPDATE: Apparently, it’s not “like pulling teeth,” at least not today. My dentist can’t pull the tooth because of all the work done on the tooth. The visible part of the tooth is basically filling at this point, and it would likely break off leaving the roots. He said that the roots themselves are very long, and one is even curved, which adds further complications. He basically said that if he pulled the tooth, it would likely be a long, difficult, and painful procedure, but an oral surgeon will have no problem. I have to call this afternoon to get an appointment with an oral surgeon. He said it is unlikely I will get an appointment next week, and it will probably be a few weeks. He is calling in another prescription of doxycycline for me so I will have it on hand if the infection flares up again. He said he did not want me in pain over a weekend and not be able to do anything. Because the tooth wasn’t pulled, I am going to work today from home. There is no point in taking a sick day today because I will need it for the oral surgery. I am very disappointed. I wanted this tooth gone today; I am so tired of this pain. However, I understand his reasoning. He showed me the x-ray of the tooth and explained exactly what the problems were. I guess it will just be a few more weeks of pain caused by this tooth.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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