For many years now, science has linked gum disease and infections to heart disease and other illnesses. We are more and more coming to see our bodies as one whole system. Like a well-written story, everything works together. Blood circulates throughout the entire system and can carry health or illness with it.

I have attempted to do right by my remaining teeth. Over the years, I have made poor food choices, been too tired or depressed to brush my teeth, and been scared to see a dentist or hygienist. I’ve accumulated many cavities and lost teeth as well.

But I still have many teeth, all my front teeth, and that’s better than my parents did. I eat better these days, avoiding sugar and starches. I brush regularly. I use a post-brushing rinse that kills germs. I floss after brushing and before the rinse.

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Recently I returned to a dentist after about a decade without regular check-ups. Of course, I had pain in several teeth. In fact, one tooth came out in my hand.I put it under my pillow but the tooth fairy didn’t even leave a note.  Another tooth felt the same way. And I had lost the filling in a tooth that didn’t really hurt but still remained a problem.

I picked a really good dentist. Of course, that meant I had to go into debt to pay for the repairs, but that’s my own fault. The tooth that came out left nothing behind and the gum healed nicely. The second loose tooth and the broken tooth required surgery but all went well. A round of antibiotics was prescribed to kick the gum disease and prevent any infections. Pain relievers were also prescribed but not needed after the first four days.

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It looks worse than it felt.

 

I saw the hygienist before the oral surgery, learning that much of what I had been doing for my dental health had prevented the loss of more teeth but I did have gingivitis. Gum surgery could be in my future. This wonderful lady used a laser to clean the gums and a lot of elbow grease.

With great relief, I saw the gum specialist and got a pretty good bill of gum health. The gingivitis is gone and the sockets are healing. My “pockets” are not that deep any longer. The assistant to the specialist talked to me about flossing so I had more information to deal with keeping to my regimen.

Bottom lines, I will continue to see my hygienist every 3 months. I will get a new toothbrush every month or no less than every three months. I will brush my teeth twice per day. I will floss my teeth after brushing, using either the little picks, string floss, or brushes. I will use an antibacterial rinse after flossing.

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I still need to be fitted for the partials which they took impressions of when I had my first appointment. When I get the bridges in, I will no longer be putting inappropriate pressure on the remaining teeth. I expect to keep them for a long time. We will live Happily Ever After.

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Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.

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