Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Teeth and Dentures: Update 1

So I have explained a little about my teeth, but mostly it was in the context of how it was affecting my blog. I forgot that I haven't really made it clear what's going on with my teeth. I'm going to be pretty detailed (no pictures though) so if teeth and mouth stuff freaks you out, uh, flee?

They're falling apart. I mean that quite literally, they're incredibly soft and chip apart pretty much every time I chew. I can bite into most things reasonably well (except hard fruit and veg like apples and carrots, or really chewy-hard things like bagels and whatnot) , but I can't really chew much of anything. While my front teeth are largely broken or missing, they are still functional. Most of my chewing teeth are broken and chewing just about anything hurts.

I try to stick to things that are easier to chew, some of which is surprising (I can eat normal potato chips, but not ruffled ones, because I can break the normal thin ones up with my tongue) and none of which is particularly healthy. I could probably drink Ensure or something constantly but that is both very expensive and, quite frankly, not something I find incredibly palatable as a long-term solution. Mostly I eat stuff that's relatively soft, and whatever I can't chew or get tired of trying to chew, I swallow. (It also takes me forever to eat, and then I have to clean my mouth because there are lots of pockets where stuff likes to collect).

I've always had dental problems, I had my two root canals when I was 6. I had a bunch of fillings to absolutely no effect between the ages of 16-19 (some of which should have been root canals) and no dental care in between. My teeth have been sensitive for a long time, and when I turned 18 I started on the birth control shot and was on it for a few years. I found out later that it makes you leech calcium, and while I cannot be sure, it's likely partially to do with how quickly my teeth have fallen apart. I currently have maybe 4 or 5 teeth that aren't cracked or broken somehow, and that can change at any point due to how soft my teeth are.

I don't have a lot of energy. Partially because I can't eat very well and partially because I get sick a lot. Not very sick, but I tend to have some kind of low grade cold or cough or something more or less constantly. I assume it has to do with the constant threat of infection in my mouth- my body's resources are all spread really thin. I can only assume this, I may be constantly sick due to my diet, or some unrelated cause, but I was generally pretty hardy up until the damage to my teeth started being more than merely cosmetic.

Most of my teeth are still 'alive' when we're talking about the nerves, and that means that my back molars which are cracked and exposed are basically big nerves that anything in my mouth can poke at any time. (I start thanking the Elder Gods when one of the nerves finally dies a death, because that means blessed relief.) Holding my mouth wrong can create enough pressure to cause pain, and so I'm pretty much constantly in mouth pain if I'm not medicated. (I'm not often medicated.)

It's been getting worse over time, and I'm reaching the point where I'm not actually capable of doing any physical work due to my health. (Also, pretty much nobody would hire me anyway because nobody sees anything but my teeth when they look at me.) I'm also reaching the point where I simply can no longer deal with it.

Through a lot of work, no few tears, and the incredible generosity of my father it's looking very much like I'll be able to fix this soon. "Fixing this" means that I will have all my teeth removed, and go to using dentures. While this is not exactly the ideal fix, it is certainly the most affordable, and quite frankly it's the only one I can actually stomach. Patching up my teeth isn't going to solve the basic problem, anyway, because my teeth are still inherently flawed and weak. And, honest to god, if I thought sitting down with a pair of pliers and yanking them out would actually work I'd have attempted that at this point.

So, dentures. In another week and a half (approximately) I'll be going in to have an impression of my mouth done, and that will be sent off to the lab so they can whip up a set of dentures for me. Two weeks after that, when the dentures are done, they'll yank whatever is still in my mouth at the time. Hopefully without incident, but I know for a fact some of my teeth are going to have to be cut out because they are broken down the gum. Of all the dental procedures I've had done, having teeth pulled is certainly the freakiest for me, so I'm a little freaked out all while looking forward to it (because after I heal I will be in NO PAIN y'all).

I don't know how long I'm going to be down and out after I have my teeth pulled. I'd like to go back to delivering pizza as soon as possible, transitioning away from the online work (with tips, I make more as a driver), but I don't know how fast that will be. It took me a couple of days to get my bearings after I had the last one pulled, possibly because that one was an abscess and my body was sorting out the infection part of that while I sat on the couch stoned on pain pills. Could be a couple of days, could be a couple of weeks. I can almost guarantee stoned tweeting so expect that.

I have several blog articles in the works but I think I'm just going to consider myself on hiatus until I get my teeth sorted. I just can't seem to get them written. There will be a Strangers from the Internet still, so expect that.

I've debated about this, but I am going to put up a PayPal donate button. Dad is paying for the thing but I'm going to be losing time during which I can work and, due to my nephew's birth, was not able to get as many hours in on the online job as I wanted to. It's not the end of the world, but if you have a little extra and would like to send it our way, it'd be much appreciated.

(edited to remove defunct pay pal link: 7-4-2018)

I will continue to update this article as I know more, like exact dates and such. If you came here from tumblr and don't follow me on twitter, that's generally where I hang out and it's the best way to contact me, in all honesty. Asks sent via tumblr and any comments made here go directly to my primary email, so I'll get them for sure, it just won't be quite as fast because I generally only check my email once or twice a day.

TL;DR version: Gonna have all my teeth pulled in about a month. It will, on the whole, be better for me than my current health situation. Check this space for more updates.

Update 07/06- I had my impressions done today (well, technically, yesterday, Thursday the fifth). It was weird feeling but not too painful, overall. I was worried one of my teeth would break or something, since they're so fragile, but everything came out fine. My appointment to have my teeth pulled is scheduled for the 19th, so barring any complications, that's when things will go down.