Thursday, December 02, 2010

Life - Bone Grafts

I'm typing because I can't do much else. My mouth hurts. Aches really, not a sharp pain, just a dull aching one. I can't smile because it pulls on my gum, and my gum... let me explain.

Today I went to the peridontist. A good guy, really, but I seem to be in pain after I leave there. First they deep cleaned my teeth, below the gum line. This involved literally a dozen shots of numbing stuff (not a dozen full shots - more like a dozen "little bit here, a little bit there" kind of pokes), including the dreaded "roof of the mouth" shot.

This work attempted to enable my jawbone to grow a bit back so it could properly support a bunch of my teeth (five of them). Without bone structure, and we're talking something like 8mm of bone missing, my teeth would be vulnerable. Their roots would be mainly exposed and the teeth would fall out.

I like my teeth and I want to keep them.

So yesterday I went back to the House of Pain and got another bunch of shots. Then, working in a mostly numb area (once they poked, I grunted, and the doc muttered something about, "You're really burning through this anesthesia quickly"), they cut open my gum, cleaned out the degraded bone, put some "calcium attracting substances" in, and sewed it shut.

The calcium attracting substances are pieces of bone. Since I didn't donate any bone, they came from someone else (a dead someone else to be exact).

I wonder if they did a DNA swipe there if they're be two DNA things. That'll be an episode for CSI, take note!

"Hm, according to the DNA the body remains are those of an Asian male and a white (do you say Caucasian?) female. Waitaminute... two DNAs?"

Anyway, it's 10 days before the sutures come out. I hope the ache goes away earlier. I'm on some kind of penicillin so I'm bacteria proof for a bit - now's the time to volunteer at a cat shelter I guess, or use up my "step on a rusty nail" luck.

I'm also taking pain killers (over the counter) and have to gargle with antibiotic mouthwash (I can't brush there and it need to "stay clean").

So all in all it's kind of a, shall we say, "period of postponement" as far as the riding goes. I can ride in a couple days, definitely the weekend, but I figure I won't be in the mood if I can't eat very much.

Maybe I'll lose weight. Yeah. That's the ticket.

I do have some other things to keep me occupied. I'll post about one of them tomorrow, I promise, since I realized that, in email conversation with friends, I hadn't mentioned it in font, only in actual conversations face to face.

Of course my face is a bit glum now. But, look, Cavendish went through this. And he won all those stages in the Tour.

Hopefully this procedure is worth, oh, at least a town line sprint. That I can smile about afterward and have a full mouth of teeth.

Ah life.


Ron said...

I wonder if your periodontist just needed some extra holiday money.

Aki said...

If that was the case it was a long term plan :)

I knew about the bone degeneration for 3 or 4 years. I chose to do one procedure (of three) this year so I could deduct the expenses. Next year I'll max out my deductions with the other two procedures.

atsuko said...

Oh MAN, that sounds rough!!! I had some shots in my gums for something years ago. Those suck!!!! Having your own teeth is worth I think, though, right? Hang in there....I've been looking at your FB so much, I haven't been reading here as much. This makes me want to brush, floss and rinse with Listerine. Going to the dentist would help too...

Aki said...

I think a waterpik and a philips sonic toothbrush would do much of the trick. I used them for a while and got my gum numbers down pretty well (how far down the dentist can poke next to tooth root, i.e. how far down the gum has receeded). Went from, in the good sections, mainly 3-4 mm to mainly 1-2 mm. In the moderately bad sections 4-5 mm to 3-4 mm. In the really bad sections not much - two went from 7-8 mm to about 6 mm, and one didn't change from 8-ish. 8mm is a LOT of unsupported tooth root.

Actually... do you have either gizmo? Pik kind of is a easier to use floss, the philips toothbrush rocks.

atsuko said...

we've been using braun toothbrushes for a while but they seem to have died. I guess now would be the time to try the philips...

really? waterpik really helps? maybe we'll have to try that too. I don't think my teeth are in that great shape...

Aki said...

The water pik is nice, esp the little one with the tube attached. It really helps with the gumline and between the teeth. I got a strong recommendation from one of my co-workers who has mega dollars of teeth work done due to a car accident when she was younger.

The Philips things are great too. I had a cheaper Crest brush thing but that was kind of primitive compared to the cleaning by the Philips. They use ultrasonic technology to clean bike and car parts so I figured it's got to work on teeth pretty well. That and quarterly visits to the dentist heh.