Every one is different. I hemmed and hawed about this post – mainly because of that fact: every one is different. I decided, though, after thinking through my own experiences, that there are some general concerns that should be addressed in this blog.
Let me disclaim: I’m not the dentist. These are only my thoughts and feelings based own experiences, over the years. Your experiences are different. And that is okay.
What happens, though, when you are home and you think that one thought: “What if something is wrong?” Anytime someone thinks something like that, there is something going on that should be addressed. Either because you have a very viable concern, or because you worry too much – you should pay attention to your body and what it is telling you.
If you’ve had a procedure done, and you are experiencing any amount of unexpected discomfort, you should call your dentist. It may be completely normal. You may have a low tolerance for discomfort and pain. Or….it could be something to be concerned about. You shouldn’t suffer just because you’re embarrassed or ashamed to ask questions.
If you haven’t had a procedure done, and you are experiencing pain and discomfort, you definitely need to have it addressed. In an informal survey, mouth pain was listed as one of the worst pains to experience (behind childbirth and kidney stones). It can literally stop you in your tracks. It makes you grouchy. You lose sleep. You can’t eat. You can’t drink.
Believe me; I know how awful all of those things can be.
I once suffered with what I thought was a sinus infection. I had searing pain in my face for 6 weeks. I took several rounds of antibiotics. Finally…. I gave up. I just resigned to taking Vicodin and ibuprofen. But that only took the edge off. I was just tired of talking with the doctor about it. So I gave up and suffered in not-so-silence (just ask my poor husband). Finally, someone said, “Maybe it’s your tooth? That can cause issues like that.” Wouldn’t you believe it? It was. My impacted wisdom tooth was infected and it was the culprit of all my grief. Once I got it out, I was better within hours of the procedure. I could sleep for the first time in weeks. I could eat more than just mushy food. I felt like I had my life back.
But had my friend not suggested a dental visit, I would have never kept asking questions. I was afraid to ask questions.
So…. what’s the right answer? The right answer is this: if it hurts, it is okay to ask why. It may be normal, it may not be normal. If you’ve had a procedure done and you are experiencing an unexpected amount of pain or discomfort, you need to call the doctor and ask questions. If you feel like the pain is more than you can manage, you should ask for a visit with the doctor to check that things are healing the way they should. If you haven’t had a procedure and you’re having pain, you need to be seen. No question about it. Besides the fact that the pain can be difficult to manage, you can have an infection that can cause a lot of long-term damage to your health.
The underlying message is that the only person who can advocate for your health is you. If you have pain, dental or otherwise, it is in your best interest to get it addressed.
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