Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Oh, No!! I broke my tooth!!

Everything is going great, and then disaster strikes! Oh, no! I broke a tooth! Not again!!! 

I wonder if there's a "Law of averages" as to how many times breaking a tooth can happen in a lifetime. If so, I think I have far exceeded the allowable amount! Murphy's Law really seems to apply to my teeth!

Why does this always seem to happen at such an inconvenient time? Either I break a tooth on a weekend, a holiday, or just before some important event. The most recent occurrence was on a Friday night while I was just brushing my teeth. I had flossed just before brushing, so I guess that this tooth was ready to break, and I helped it along! What did I eat that evening prior to this disastrous event?? I remembered that dinner was soft foods, but a snack included -

almonds - the culprit! 

This break was on the side, and really not noticeable, so I decided I would contact Dr. Todd Babineaux's office (my dentist) with a request to contact me Monday morning to get my tooth taken care of.

This chair is becoming too familiar!

Thanks, Dr. Todd, for another pain-free visit!
TVs are in the treatment rooms at Dr. Todd's new office.

Watching TV while waiting helps provide a relaxing atmosphere!

A trip to the dentist is not fun, especially when you have TMJ disorder like I do. It is difficult and painful for me to open my mouth very wide, and I usually have facial pain, some headaches, and need to wear my lower mouth guard about a week after dental visits, even if it's a Clean and Check. I sometimes have very painful episodes that necessitate heat, ointment, and facial massage. 

TMJ Disorder Diagnosis
I have had numerous "tooth troubles" since I was diagnosed with TMJ which resulted from my second car accident many years ago. I now wear an upper mouth guard at night and a lower mouth guard during the day as needed. Even with the mouth guards, TMJ has certainly taken its toll as far as my teeth are concerned. At first, I would wake up with tremendous pain from grinding my teeth at night, and I have been told that I have "traumatized" the nerves as well as cracking many teeth, resulting in many Crowns and several Root Canals. Now that's a real nightmare! 

Prior to being diagnosed with TMJ, I had quite a reputation at my previous dentist's office for handling pain at the dentist office - with no Novocaine! I could simply pick a spot on the ceiling, concentrate, and "control" the pain! It was great to leave the office without being numb with a "warped" face! Since the TMJ diagnosis, however, I no longer try to be "tough" at the dentist. I now allow my dentist to medicate as needed, and they also use the "gas" to relax my jaw when it is a crown and/or root canal or other major dental procedure.

My Prevention Plan
Besides brushing several times a day and flossing, I use ACT Fluoride Rinse and Listerine rinse daily to restore and strengthen my teeth. I try to avoid foods that are hard, gooey, and chewy. I limit sweets, and I rinse or brush afterwards.

Just in case disaster strikes, I have an "Emergency Dental Kit", and I always take it with me when traveling. These kits are available at pharmacies, and allow you to make a temporary filling, etc. I have had to use my kit twice, and Dr. Todd said I did a good job! It pays to be prepared!

Dental instruments and mouth guards - ready to go (again)!

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