Friday, July 27, 2012

Learning the Hard Way

Just as I was feeling almost fully recovered from giving birth, an angry tooth made its' presence known in the back of my mouth.

Three months ago, I was eating my mini wheats and minding my own business when I chipped my molar. I chipped a major chunk of it off - like a quarter of the tooth - and I accidentally swallowed it with the rest of my cereal.

I was alarmed and a little concerned, but I didn't go to the dentist. I had some good reasons at the time, something about being pregnant and too busy.

My procrastination came around to bite me in the butt last week. The tooth became infected and I endured the most miserable and constant pain ever. Three straight days of popping Aleve and Tylenol ... wondering why it barely took the edge off, and just barely for an hour. The pain radiated through my mouth and even above my left ear. It was excruciating!

I found out that I needed a root canal. And I needed it FAST because I couldn't take the pain meds they prescribed since I'm breastfeeding exclusively. The closest office that could see me the soonest was thirty miles away. Since I'm breastfeeding exclusively and haven't started pumping or using bottles yet, I had to time the visit for between feedings.

Except that the office was so far away and the procedure so long (TWO HOURS) that my mom had to interrupt the procedure so that I could feed William.

But that wasn't the worst part.

The worst part was right at first when they gave me the novocaine to numb me up. My mouth went all slack and tingly, then the dentist dug right in. Except I FELT IT!! I wasn't numb enough! I was frantically moaning and waving my arms for her to stop!

The absolute WORSTEST part (so bad that I'm making up words here!) was when she had to numb the nerve itself. A direct shot to the actual nerve. I gripped the dental hygenist's hands and screamed and cried as she did it. Worst five seconds of my life.

The bottom line here folks? Don't delay seeing a dentist. That whole root canal could have been prevented if I had had an underlying cavity filled as part of a regular visit. Sigh.

What painful life lessons have you learned recently?


  1. So glad you got it taken care of! That's so scary to think that something so small can have such a major impact. My friend recently had an experience at the dentist where she wasn't numb enough. What's with that?!

  2. Oh no, Sarah! I'm so sorry to hear about your tooth pain. I've heard terrible things about a root canal. So glad you had it fixed and your mom was there to help out too. I hope you have/had a speedy recovery!

  3. Ouch! I feel your pain, I did the same thing many, many years ago - the most painful experience ever. After that I learned, every 6 months to the dentist - I was never going through something like that again.

    Hope it's all better now!!

  4. ohmygosh Sarah!! How horrible. I can't even put into words how awful and heart wrenching it was to read this post!! I already have a terrible fear of dentists and this just makes me even more so!!
    I am so glad that it is all over for you and that your mouth + teeth are feeling better!! (Don't ever let that happen again missy!) ;) xo