January 24th, 2008


Rage Against The Sinuses!

Who Designed These Things?

As someone who is plagued by bad sinuses, sinus infections and sometimes nights where I have to sleep in a comfy chair because it is too uncomfortable/annoying to try to sleep lying down, I don't have a lot of charitable feelings for whomever it was who designed the festering facial sewer which consists of the sinus cavities. Bad design, bad implementation.

In 2004 I had a small filling in tooth number 14, the 1st molar on my left upper jaw, replaced with a much deeper filling. "Any deeper and it'd be a root canal," I was told. I've not had a lot of dental work, so this was the first filling that has ever caused me any trouble. To whit: (1) it can be sensitive to cold and (2) it lies just below a sinus cavity, which when it is screwed up, can press on the nerve and cause a false pain in my tooth. (1) is just an annoyance -- one I am glad is only on one side of my mouth so far. (2) could be "treated" by chewing gum, which would not be the case if I was about to have a root canal or an infection, methinks! (grin)

Which Brings Us To Monday

... while I was eating some chili for dinner and felt some sort of burning sensation in my mouth that had nothing to do with the chili. By Tuesday morning, eating cereal caused pain starting in tooth 14 and extending to 15, 13 and maybe even 12 -- as well the molars below. What the...? At first I thought I'd caught something between the teeth, causing pressure, but floss revealed nothing. The pain came in waves and practically brought on tears. How weird.

I've been getting over this cold, but I've been so pleased that this has been the first cold in years which hasn't been ravaging my sinuses as well -- it's just been a cold. Alas, I think that was somewhat wishful thinking, as well as frequent nose blowing and a weekend of driving and hotelling in dry air may've done some irritation.

What was strange was that sometimes chewing food or gum was okay, and sometimes it hurt and throbbed unbelievable.

Which Brings Us To Thursday

So today I managed to slip into the dentists' office, have them take a fresh X-ray and poke & prod around. My dentist apologized in advance, saying he wasn't really trying to hurt me, but he progressively both poked with a probe and struck the various teeth with increasing effort. There could be a infection, of course, which hasn't quite shown up yet. But the offending sinus "looks" clogged in the X-ray and other than some tenderness along the gum/jaw line, nothing really registered. He was expecting me leaping up from the chair if he hit it just right -- so we were both relieved.

I've been treating the cold and the toothache with "criminal" Sudafed and Advil -- pretty much exactly what he'd suggest. And naturally, since I've left the dentists' office, I've hardly any pain from tooth 14 or environs.

Ah well, we'll know more by next week... or later... but otherwise it was good to check.

Stupid sinuses...

Dr. Phil
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