I am a Sugar Police, as someone once coined a term for me when I was too strict with her with respect to eating healthy and how less sugar can make our life healthy. And ironically she is a dental student, a dentist who loved sugar.
So, being a sugar abstaining pedant, when I realised that a grave seed got stuck on my third molar from inside upper right, I started using toothpick. Since 2 months, I had been clearing it off every time using the toothpick. One day, panic struck me, when I realised that the toothpick went deep inside the tooth, as if there was a well in the centre of the tooth. It freaked me out and I went into denial, that maybe its normal and I just noticed it. After 1 week of being used to the hole in my mouth, I decided to look at it, to notice the beginning of discolouration on one tooth. Just one, and I searched for plaque and tartar, nope. It’s all clear. It made no sense.
So, I went to the dentist, for the first time in my life and the person tells me root canal is the only option. X ray first and then based on the severity, root canal is quite possible. If you know me by now, I started googling the shit out of root canal and tooth cavity and discolouration. It made no sense, how can I get a cavity without tartar and plaque formation. I feel no pain and the person was suggesting a root canal. My first search term, “Is root canal painful?” “Is root canal necessary?” “When should I think about a root canal?” “Signs of tooth cavity?” “What does discolouration mean?”. If you are here through google search about root canal, you might have been on the same path. I will tell you how mine got avoided.
So, I was mentally prepared for an RCT. I had made myself strong. I asked my mom, if I ever had any procedure done in the childhood, for which she denied outrightly. I still think, maybe she is lying. I don’t know why though (Ha Ha). It feels vaguely familiar. So, I book an appointment with the senior dentist at the organisation and go to him. He made me wait for 4 hours, that’s when I realised that this tooth cavity sharade is an excellent business opportunity. So many procedures in one day. People should really follow good oral hygiene (I know, I was there too, but come on, let this one slide please).
So, after 4 hours of hidden nervous smiles (under my mask) to the others patients eyes that I could see, I was the last one there. It was lunch time and the doc was kind enough to take one last patient. He reclines me on that multifunctional sofa (the one in dentist’s office with all the cool functions). The doc made me open my mouth and I felt ashamed and disgusted. Honestly, completely embarrassed. He asked me, “Do you feel any pain?”. “No”. It’s just an old cavity, from years ago, nothing to worry about, a small filling would do. he took a drill, made the hole bigger (WTF). And filled it with a putty like thing. He told me not to eat or drink anything for next 30 mins. I smiled like the Batman’s Joker for next 45 mins (That hurt my facial muscles BTW).
I asked the doctor, if I had any chance of developing more? He just told me to brush as frequently as possible. Possibly after every meal, at least clean my mouth with water. Even that should suffice. I had panicked for no reason.
Key Take AWAY:
- If it hurts, root canal might be needed.
- If it is discoloured on the outer surface, it might be salvageable.
- If its sensitive, root canal might not be the result, there are other reasons too.
- And clean your mouth, its important, oral hygiene is as important as any other part of your body.
- Always check your mouth, for tartar and plaque.
- At least look in the mirror once every 3 days. That is enough to find out.
- Most importantly, teach these things to your kids and friends.
I am writing this article so that, someone who is where I was then, might find it helpful in calming himself/herself.
Also, all that you read about cavity reaching pulp and all, dentists can explain better and you would have read about it already. If not. Just type tooth pulp when you click on the link.
Of course its google. What did you expect? Ha Ha. Anyway, do not panic. The point is stay calm, it is nothing serious, Your teeth can be saved if you consult ASAP. Stay strong. I am ROOTING for you (you see what I did there??? He He)