Thursday, May 17, 2007

Of X-rays and extractions


I went to the dentist today to have the Grand Canyon assessed. The tooth, it seems, is rotten to the core. It is to be pulled out; however, the dentist – a not-scary-at-all woman – says it is a wisdom tooth, “not a proper tooth” and it’s “not worth saving”. Oh.

Far more worrying than the rotten not-so-clever wisdom tooth was looking at the X-rays and what damage my 18-year addiction to nicotine did to my mouth. The dentist showed me where the bone under my gums had dropped down in places. This, apparently, is caused by smoking. No one told me it did that. Admittedly, I was aware that it stained your teeth and wasn’t great for your gums. However, the message that it can make your teeth fall out somehow passed me by. I do not have the zeal of the reformed addict and am not going to hector or lecture. All I’ll say is I’m glad I’ve stopped.

On a lighter note, I have returned home with some brightly coloured miniature ‘bottle brushes’ for cleaning between my teeth. They’re quite a novelty and much more user-friendly than floss. Hopefully, they will help prevent the careless loss of any more teeth.

17 comments:

Sarnia said...

I didn't realise either (what damage smoking did) or rather I did but chose not to take any notice.

My dentist is a tooth-puller-outer whizz kid - nothing he likes better than to pull out teeth!

He's removed two of mine (wisdoms like yours) over the years but now I've put my foot down and told him that that is it!

Actually - I haven't been for a couple of years because he nags me about everything.

Half of a filling fell out a couple of weeks ago so I made an appt.

For Wednesday of this week I thought except when I got there I was told it had been the previous day.

So - am going back next week.

My usual dentist is away for a few weeks so I asked whether the new one I'd be seeing was a nag. I don't want nagging, I stipulated.

They assured me he wouldn't nag me.

I hope not!

Anonymous said...

More information on 'bottle brushes' please, as I am always catching a rollicking from my dentist as I am too lazy too floss. [Well actually it is the thought of having to spend 10 minutes looking in the mirror every day..]

lady macleod said...

Yes my dentist gave me those as well on my last visit. I am a white-knuckler when it comes to the dentist, but I go faithfully as I more afraid of my teeth falling out. Yikes!

You really don't need the wisdom teeth as I understand it. Mine came out ages ago...wait a minute..hmmm...you don't think it affects my "wisdom" do you?

mutterings and meanderings said...

Sarnia, being nagged gets my back up someit rotten ...

Anon, click on the botle brushes link and you will be as wise about them as I ..

Lady M, I believe they used to say people were a 'fool' if their wisdom teeth appeared before a certain age ...

@themill said...

Being nagged, especially by PC nanny state, is the reason why I still, occasionally, indulge. But I think you've just made me reconsider.

beta mum said...

Bottle brushes? Are they quicker to use than flossing? I manage to floss about once a month.
I only go to the dentist because I have to show a good example to the children.
He declared me dentally fit after my first exmaination, asked if I wanted to go onto his dental insurance scam so I said "no thanks".
Then within 6 months I needed 3 old fillings replaced.
Bloody licence to print money down here where there are no NHS dentists to be found.
But he doesn't nag. Probably makes more money that way.

Omega Mum said...

Oh my God - it must be Dental Health Day. I had my first ever chat about receding gums last visit. Felt last signs of youth evaporate with the words.

Drunk Mummy said...

M&M - is it true that you can tell the age of a horse by its teeth? I wonder if its possible to do the same with humans?

Eden said...

Crumbs I didn't realise that either. you're making me remember that I haven't been to the dentist in about three years!

muddyboots said...

yep you can tell a horse's age by its teeth, being a non smoker & a regular attender of dentists, teeth stil cause problems despite me looking after them, something to do with last minute emergencies as opposed to preventative care at the time?

rilly super said...

drunkmummy, 'don't look a gifthorse in the mouth' as they say. If someone looked at my mother's teeth to find out her age they would find out she was six months old and also made in China

debio said...

Why would anyone want to become a dentist?
(I asked this of my obstetrician - actually I asked, why he had become an obstetrician - his reply was none too clear.)
Can't imagine spending the day peering into patients' mouths - and everybody fears and hates you.

mutterings and meanderings said...

@themill, I don't think a couple now and then will do much damage ...

Beta mum, how typical! Bottle brushes,I can report, are easier than floss ...

Omega Mum, the phrase 'long in the tooth' comes from the fact your teeth look longer as your gums start to recede...

Drunk mummy, it is true but more generalised than spot on. Certain marks don't appear on horses' teeth until they reach a certain age...

Welcome Eden -- and get thee to the dentist!

Muddyboots, our bodies are sent to try us!!

Ouch, says Rilly's mum!

Debio, they get paid lots. I recently wrote an article about dentistry and there is massive competition for relatively few places to study.

I once shared a house with the son of a dentist who claimed dentists had the highest suicide rate of any of the professions. "Think about it," he said, "they spend their lives starting down people's throats..."

rilly super said...

I heard the same thing about vets M&M, highest suicide rate, I mean

Brom said...

I got some mini bottle brushes.. they are murder to get between the teeth at the back... specially when the mirror keep steaming up!

Mutterings, I bed that puntastic play on words was not done on purpose??

.. "On a lighter note"... classic!!

mutterings and meanderings said...

Really, Rilly? I never had vets down as particularly emotional types...

Ah, Brom, if only you knew the thought that goes into this blog ...

Orhan Kahn said...

You and I share the same defects in the world of teeth.