Thursday, May 20, 2010

Teeth Woes

I just love my periodontist Dr. Sakamoto. Well, I don't love having to visit him, but he always tells interesting stories, like the friend who gave him an iPad because he did a guest lecture for him.
I read somewhere that the biggest beauty tip to help women look young is to preserve their teeth. Losing a tooth is devastating to the bones in the face. That's why I was worried when I started to feel pressure on a tooth when I would bite into something. Guess which tooth? A front one of course.
I went to the dentist and he saw a lot of bone loss, but only in that one tooth. He couldn't figure it out. That's why I went to Dr. Sakamoto.
He agreed with my dentist that the one tooth, well, about half of that tooth, had bone loss. He doesn't know why and guesses it must have been an injury somewhere in my past. The rest of my teeth are fine.
So he came up with a plan to clean out the area under the gum and pack it with cadaver (that's right, I said cadaver -- dead people) bone to see if he could regraft it to the bone.
And that's what he did yesterday. I'd been taking 800 mg of Motrin for 24 hours. He said that helps with the swelling and the pain. I'm not a wimp about pain. I had two of my kids natural. And I hate really heavy duty pain medicines, like vicodin.
So Dr. Sakomoto numbed me, told me the iPad story, talked about the touch pad benefits and drawbacks. Then (WARNING: this may gross you out because it still gives me shivers) he basically split open my gum and started scraping like mad on the bone there. It reminded me of when my nose was broken 20 years ago and they had to pull the bones apart to try to get them back together straight.
That scraping noise from inside my head...ugh. But it didn't hurt. I just felt the pressure and that scrape of metal on bone. I did kind of wonder if Dr. Sakomoto had a plan because he seemed to be going at the scraping with great gusto.
Finally, the scraping stopped and the packing of the cadaver bone commenced. Again, I'm okay with the cadaver because my ACL (the ligament in the knee) is cadaver ligament after I tore mine roller blading. (I do seem to have a lot of injuries, don't I?)
Then Dr. Sakomoto gave me stitches to hold my gum in place. They are lovely long black stitches above my front tooth. He told me that he tied the knots on the back side of my teeth because no one wants black knots on the front of their gums. He neglected to mention the long black stitches on the front. And I couldn't really see them until my mouth was un-numb again.
Here's a funny thing. They told me not to workout the day after and then do only a half workout on Friday if I felt like it. So I asked about my usual run on Saturday with my friends. We run about 7 and a half miles. The nurse was skeptical about that. "If you're feeling light-headed at all...."
So I have gum surgery and I should skip my run, but my friend Dream Girl has a lumpectomy and a drainage tube but she can run? She has chemotherapy two days before, but she can run? This seems like a lame excuse to skip my run this weekend. Maybe I'll take my roller blades!


Anonymous said...

Giggles n grins and a few cringes mixed in. You always manage to be funny. ( I hate the sounds at the dentist worse than anything.)

See you at xix>

Stephanie said...

OMG! I feel woozy just reading that (even though you did warn me)! You are WAY too descriptive.

Ok, I might have felt somewhat woozy even reading the word "periodontist".

Linda said...

I hate dental work-I have to have it all of the time. I've had the gum scrapping and two root canals. Just not fun but I guess it beats losing your teeth.

Dream Girl said...

My doctors are cooler than your doctors.

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