February 27, 2012

Oh the PAIN! {My Root Canal Story}

Last week I had an Apicoectomy. No, that is not a removal of the appendix, although it sort of sounds like it. It is root end removal on a tooth. You see, four years ago I had a root canal done. My tooth was in pain. A lot of pain and I had the dentist do it as quickly as he could. The pain got better, but still my face hurt. We moved, I had another kid, and off and on since then I've had problems. My jaw started to really hurt, so I tried a night guard. My nasal passages were blocked constantly - and I was told the solution was constant allergy medicine and/or surgery to correct my deviated septum. (Which had never been a problem before.) I started getting more headaches, not sleeping well, and just genuinely being tired and sick OFTEN.

Finally after years of pain and months of trying a night guard and still waking with my jaw completely locked (or having it lock at importune moments like while eating, kissing, or brushing my teeth) I went to see a specialist recommended by my dentist. We were suspicious from the x-rays that a root had been missed when the root canal was done and I would just have to have it re-done.

That was not the case. Cone-beam imaging of my mouth made it VERY clear what the real problem was. The dentist, instead of following my extremely curvy root, had gone straight up. There was a large portion of the root left alive on the end - and it was causing all the pain.

Last week I underwent the surgery. I have to confess the pain medication and antibiotics left me a little loopy. But this morning I woke up after a random dream (I can remember a dream!) without pain for the first time in over a year. I had no jaw pain, no headache, and I didn't feel like I hadn't slept. It was glorious! Do you want to know the best part though? I can breathe through my nose. It has been constantly clogged and infected for a LONG time now. Allergy medicine did nothing to help. Suddenly, since the surgery, I have had no nasal infection, clear passageways, and better than ever lack of congestion! It's amazing! I'm even suspicious that my deviated septum is not so deviated. I know headaches, congestion, and sleepless nights are still in my future. I don't live in a bubble, and I do have seasonal allergies. But I am feeling SO good that it's amazing me - especially considering the fact that I've been given WEEKS or MONTHS to fully recover from the surgery - not 1 week!

Normally I don't complain about my health or share much about myself for that matter. I'm kind of private when it comes to myself and my family. But lately I've been feeling the importance of being HEALTHY and dealing with issue and solving problems sooner rather than later. I've had to push my Dr's and give them the extra nudge in the right direction (describe in explicit detail my long list of symptoms) to have other health issues discovered. I hope that by sharing my story (just one of them) it might motivate others to seek answers to their own health issues. Just get it taken care of and quickly!


Kate Sherwood said...

So glad you finally got some authentic answers and treatment!

Related to this procedure solving your sinus problems: For years, my jaws popped when I chewed anything, and I could not chew anything but very soft food. Later, I had my wisdom teeth out for their own reasons and, ta dah!, no more jaw popping at all. It is amazing how many things are interconnected that we don't even realize--our health and bodies included!

Colleen said...

And my experience taught me that you should not always delay when something needs doing because it gets worse. I'm not completely pain free yet, but compared to a month ago - its nothing! I am so glad for you because it is such a blessing to feel healthy and be able to function!