Last week I started to feel a bit of an uncomfortable twinge on the left side of my jaw and panic set in.
I hate going to the dentist, have an absolute fear of those strange people who work all day with face-masks covering half their faces burrowing around in other peoples mouths. I avoid going as long as I can and then sit on the chair with sweaty palms and my heart beating faster than I ever think possible.
So when my jaw started to hurt I went into panic mode. But deciding to take a plunge, things weren’t going to get better by ignoring it, I went to the dentist yesterday, dreadingly, images of root canals psyching me out.
But when I was there I found out that while yes, I do have a small cavity easily filled, no big deal, but that wasn’t what was bothering me, the source of my pain was my wisdom tooth.
In my late teens I had all four wisdom teeth removed, they hadn’t fully developed yet and since my jaw very tight there was no room for them to come out. I remember it well, it was painful and really no fun.
Several years later a dentist told me that my upper left wisdom tooth was making an appearance, peaking out to view the world and I discovered that somehow I still had one of those buggers … either it redeveloped or I had five, which can happen.
For years now the wisdom tooth has been hanging around, half in half out and not really bothering me at all, except it was always hard to reach with the toothbrush. But now the tooth made the not so wise decision to fully erupt and cause me pain.
Since there is no space for it the tooth is gnawing at my cheek, irritating the gum, causing it to swell and become a little bit infected. So now it needs to come out and a tooth extraction is now a feature in my calendar. And since the dentist couldn’t see if the root of this wisdom tooth reaches all the way up to my sinus it looks as if a specialist will be taking care of it. And I am so not happy about any of this, but I don’t have a choice.
The next few weeks will now be filled with nightmares, terror moments and panic attacks while I debate the question if I should chose to have sedation or not. Sadly they don’t give you the option to sleep through it at all, not even a wallop over your head is allowed.