Tuesday, November 6, 2012

All I Want for Christmas is my missing right molar ...

Who would have EVER thought I'd be writing to promote dental health??  Life is sure full of surprises!

The Burden of Oral Disease

Oral health is often taken for granted, but it is an essential part of our everyday lives. Good oral health enhances our ability to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow, and convey our feelings and emotions through facial expressions. However, oral diseases, which range from cavities to oral cancer, cause pain and disability for millions of Americans each year. For example,
  • Tooth decay (cavities) is a common, preventable problem for people of all ages. For children, untreated cavities can cause pain, dysfunction, school absences, difficulty concentrating, and poor appearance—problems that greatly affect a child's quality of life and ability to succeed. Children from lower-income families often do not receive timely treatment for tooth decay, and they are more likely to suffer from these problems.
    Tooth decay is also a problem for many adults, and adults and children of some racial and ethnic groups experience more untreated decay.
  • Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection caused by bacteria that gets under the gum tissue and begins to destroy the gums and bone. Teeth become loose, chewing becomes difficult, and teeth may have to be extracted. Gum disease also may be connected to damage elsewhere in the body; recent studies link oral infections with diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and premature, low-weight births. Further research is under way to examine these connections.  

(Above article from the CDC web site.)

My story began back as a child at the age of 4 mom took me to the dentist and I had 13 cavities.  Mom said I breezed through getting those fixed.  I don't remember it thankfully.  I had a sickening fear every six months when it was time to go - and it wasn't helped by an old-time gruff dentist who popped me in the mouth and told me "you are making a mountain out of a molehill".  Being the 1960's no one argued with a doctor - funny - I can picture me if that had happened to one of my kids - I think I might have swung back.  Pulled teeth, braces, etc. and I vowed when I left home - no more dentists for me.  That didn't work well for me.  Have only been to dentists now for toothaches that four advil every four hours (an overdose by the way) won't handle.   3 dry sockets.  More rude dentists.

I kept hearing more about sedation dentistry.  I am very embarrassed about a missing tooth I have that shows when I really laugh.  I began to fear that I was going to lose all my teeth.  So - when on a recent trip to Texas and yet another tooth broke apart - I immediately got on the ipad and looked up a female dentist I had heard of in a nearby town.  She was also a girl from my home town originally and had played basketball with my daughter from time to time - so I was drawn to her to perhaps be the answer for me!  The next day before I landed back in Kansas the office called me - was kind on the phone and set me up with an appt. fully understanding my fears and needs.

Two visits now and I have had one crown, 5 fillings, multiple xrays, and a teeth cleaning.  Have been introduced to sedation dentistry and love it.  Most of all - people who are kind and caring.  The absence of fear I think might be a huge pain killer itself!!!  But I'll keep the "laughing gas" too!

Blessings in finding a new dentist.  I can have a pretty smile and a healthier lifestyle.

Not advertising for anyone special - just the things I have picked for my new healthier routine.

1 comment:

  1. So glad you're getting this taken care of. And conquering a fear!! That's a blessing.


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