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Monday, September 17, 2012

When an Abscess Isn't an Abscess

What I thought was an abscessed tooth during the ride this summer wasn't really an abscessed tooth, it appears. At least that's what I'm thinking given the pain came back full force and then some last week. By Thursday I was in enough pain that I called my dentist who graciously worked me in that afternoon. Two xrays later, both of which showed absolutely nothing, the diagnosis was I have begun grinding my teeth in my sleep, and in the process of said grinding, I have bruised my gum. Seriously? A bruised gum becomes so painful that my teeth throb, my jaw feels like it's cracking apart, and my cheek swells up? My dentist suggested a treatment of ibuprofen to reduce the inflammation, and if needed, I'll have to wear a mouth guard while sleeping. I went home and took some ibuprofen, hoping this would do the trick.

It didn't. Friday afternoon, the pain was so intense I was reduced to a wimpering puddle on the couch. The dentist wasn't in on Fridays, and yes, he had given me his home phone number in case the ibuprofen didn't work, but I couldn't bring myself to call him. Not on a weekend. So I took more ibuprofen and resorted to eating only liquids Saturday and Sunday, going so far as to put chicken ramen noodles in the blender to puree. Not chewing seems to have done the trick. The pain eased considerably. While I can tell there's still something going on with the teeth/gum in question, I've not had the searing pain up into my jaw and ear like I had Friday.

Today's menu consists of a banana and strawberry smoothie for breakfast, pureed vegetable soup for lunch, and most likely another pureed food for dinner. I'm thinking a Big Mac and Fries. Yes, I see an experiment with junk food in a blender shaping up. It's all going to the same place anyway, right? I know I really should return to the dentist, but since the pain is gone, I've decided to  give the liquid diet a few more days to see if there are further improvements.

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