Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Dentist

Well......I went to the dentist today.

That deserved its own sentence because 1) it's been at least 6 to 8 to 10 years since I've been to the dentist, and 2) the results were not good.

It's not that I don't like going to the dentist because, really, it doesn't bother me at all. You know that drill noise...zzzzzzz!, zzzzzzz!? Yeah, that doesn't bother me. Those yucky x-rays they put in your mouth? Yeah, they don't bother me too much. The water pic doo-hickey thing they get the plaque off with? Yeah, that neither. I just don't go because I just don't take the time away from work to just plain ol' get there.

See, I've been having a little pain in my mouth so I decided I'd better make some time to go. Had my x-rays done, including this way cool x-ray that goes all the way around your head. Awesome. Then, the hygenist took a look at my other x-rays and started to give me the news. I had some decay in the bone on my lower right side. Not good. The plaque on my teeth was REALLY bad. Not good. The plaque was so bad, that it was pushing my teeth out of alignment and I will likely need braces! What?!?!?! I brush, so why do I have such bad plaque? Well, ladies and gentlemen, it's all due to genetics....oh yeah.....and a lack of flossing. I hate to floss. Why? Because the floss gets caught on the plaque!

So, anyhow, she did the little exam where she sticks this really fine poker down inside my gums and measures how deep it goes or something like that. A 1, 2, or 3 is good. A 4 or 5 is not good. I had a bunch of 1-3s, a number of 4-5s, a 7 and a 9! Those last too are NOT GOOD AT ALL. I may have to go to a periodontist and have bone inserted under my gum in order to save my tooth! WHAT THE.....? NO WAY! THIS CAN'T BE!

So, after telling me all the bad news, she proceeded to do a debridement cleaning on my teeth. Ew....that took a long time because the plaque was so bad. But, I can actually feel air coming through my front teeth when I suck through them now!

I have to go back for root planing now in a couple weeks and they will do the right side of my mouth, then a week later, go back again and they will do the left side of my mouth. That is where they pull your gums back and clean the roots of your teeth. Ouch. That one DOES hurt.

This whole experience had taught me two very important things....1) Floss. Floss every day. If you don't floss every day, at least floss a couple times a week. If not a couple times a week, at least once a week. But, really, you should floss every day. I'm going to from now on! I don't want to lose my teeth! 2) I have to MAKE time to go to the dentist every 6 months for a cleaning. I just HAVE to!

Oh, and just to remind me of this whole experience and keep this fresh in my mind, here is a little dental lesson I learned about all of this:

Plaque is the accumulation of bacteria microorganisms and their products (Products? Are we using that word now to describe their "waste"? Ewwww....yuck!) which sticks to the tooth surfaces. Dental plaque is soft and easily removed by brushing and flossing the teeth. Accumulation of plaque can lead to gum disease (gingivitis) and periodontal disease, as well as tooth decay. Calculus is dental plaque that has mineralized. Calculus can form when plaque is not removed from the tooth surfaces. This plaque becomes old and eventually forms into calculus. Calculus can form above or below the gum line. Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. Some common features associated with gingivitis are red and swollen gums, and the presence of bleeding while brushing and flossing. The cause of gingivitis is the bacteria in dental plaque. Recent studies suggest periodontal diseases may impact a person's overall health. According to a report in the Journal of Periodontology, oral bacteria may enter the bloodstream through the diseased pockets caused by periodontal disease and may infect otherwise healthy vital organs.

Okay, I'm heading to go floss and brush now...and maybe vomit. And then brush again. Gag. I'm gonna be sick....


Cindy said...

Yep. It runs in the family and is also a factor in getting older.

I have to go every 4 months for a cleaning.

Go and get a Sonicare Elite toothbrush. It will help A LOT! Use a coupon from BBB or go to Costco. Once you get used to using it you will never go back to a regular toothbrush again.

Lisa Tucker said...

That is what the dentist tells me too. To use a Sonicare. I am not a flosser either. I have to go every three months now. So I do. Girl you have a big mess going on. Sorry.