I have been slowly getting some dental work done over the last several months. To date I’ve had: a root canal and temporary crown put on, two fillings, and six teeth removed. I have to admit the root canal wasn’t really as bad as the rumors say. It did feel weird for my dentist to insert the files into the deadened root canals and start tapping them against my skull. I’ve never had to force myself not to vomit so hard in my life. I could feel it, it didn’t hurt, but I could feel the tips of those tiny files tap, tap, tapping away at my skull. All the while the brain is going, “this should hurt and I’m far too confused that it doesn’t so I’m going to flip out now, ok.”
But what has been the worst experience by far has been the extractions. I’ve had three wisdom teeth removed and the molars in front of them removed as well. I didn’t have enough room in my head for the wisdom teeth and when they came through, it was at an angle. They really screwed with the molars in front of them and so everything started to decay because of them. I had the first wisdom tooth/molar combination pulled years ago due to the pain, but nothing bothered me up until about six months ago. Now I’ve had dry socket, not once, but twice!
For those of you who don’t know what dry socket is, let me enlighten you. When a tooth is pulled it leaves a hole in your gums that leads strait down to your jaw and the exposed nerves. Normally, this socket fills with blood, forms a scab, and begins the healing process. Sometimes though, when you smoke, when you spit especially hard, or when you don’t keep the area clean enough, the scab process gets screwed up and a dry socket can occur. What this means is that there is no protection or covering for your little nerve ending and sweet baby jeezus does it hurt like hell.
I had the last two teeth pulled last thursday and went to the dentist today about some minor pain I was having. Since I had gone through this on the last round I figured I wasn’t going to screw around. Now that whatever particles were in there have been flushed out it hurts worse, but I guess it beat having an infection in there. From what I’ve been told that is a fate nearly as bad as inquisition torture. It is a persistent dull ache that feels very much like needles are being scraped along my jaw bone while iodine is being slowly poured over the wounds. It hurts clear up into my ear and gives me headaches that can take me to my knees if I don’t keep ahead of the pain with lots of ibuprofen.
Hell, I have found thee and thy name is dry socket.