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Feeling like I'm fighting a losing battle



Well-known member
Jun 4, 2017
Hello friends,

I'm currently feeling pretty defeated and feel like I've been taking one step forward and two steps back through this whole dental process. My first visit (after 30 years) was in March. I had an exam, xrays, and was told I had some cavities and needed a deep cleaning, which was okay, I expected that.

I went back to go over the first part of the treatment plan (deep cleaning) and go over costs/insurance and was presented with a hefty list of work that needed to be done (20+ cavities, a crown with build up, and the cleaning). I broke down and was embarrassed, ashamed, and soul crushed by the state of my oral health and the cost of fixing it, which maxed out our insurance. I got over it eventually and had my deep cleaning under sedation in May. After it, I felt elated. My teeth looked cleaner (although more crooked than I remembered), I regained a small amount of self confidence and I had minimal pain. I spent the next 6 weeks (before my next sedation appointment which was last week) being super diligent about my oral health, doing everything I was told to do, using the disgusting mouthwash, etc etc. I thought my next appointment would be a breeze since the cleaning was way better than expected.

Now here I am, 4 days after I had all of my fillings done, the build up, the temporary crown, and laser bacteria removal. I have been in misery since then...the pain is worse than expected, I have an infection around my apparently impacted wisdom tooth which is on the non crown side, and I can only eat soft food on the temp crown side. I wont get my permanent crown for a few weeks and it seems like I am going to be subjected to a soft food/liquid diet until then...including during an upcoming vacation which I thought I would have the permanent crown by then (miscommunication on my part I suppose).

So today I went back so the dentist could check on my pain and confirm the infection (he called in a script for me over the weekend) and mentioned I would have to get my wisdom teeth out. To top it off, the roots are very close or right on a nerve which is really freaking me out based on the horror stories I've read online about nerve damage and permanent numbness.

I've also been dieting since the end of last year and I took it a little too far. Now I feel like I'm on the verge of an eating disorder because I was already struggling to eat enough calories...and now I am limited to soft foods, which is just further suppressing my appetite. I can't eat a lot of carbs/sugar either because I have blood glucose fluctuations (but not diabetes).

I guess what I need are some words of encouragement since this journey only seems to get longer and longer. :shame:
Dear Animalhouse,

sorry to read about how you are feeling right now, but rest assured that having ups and downs during a dental journey is normal and the most of people have it like this. From what you describe, you have managed a huge part of the way, but your current situation after your last treatment makes you feel exhausted and down. Recovery can be hard and can make you doubt everything that you had achieved till now, especially if you are in pain and not being able to eat properly. That alone is stressful enough.

The fact is: you have come far. The second fact is: success is not linear and there are parts of the journey that are more difficult than others and it sounds like you are facing such a part right now. I can promise you that you will be very proud of yourself in few weeks. If you need encouragement for the situation right now, just think of how you felt and how your teeth looked like at the very beginning of your journey.

Hope your teeth settle very soon so that you will be able to eat a bit better. Also hope that you will find a way to take good care of you and especially to get enough calories in some way.

As to your wisdom tooth: please, please, stay away from google and from any kind of horror stories. Think of it this way: the most of people had their wisdoms out. If you then take the amount of the horror stories and compare it to the amount of people who had their wisdoms out, you will understand that it's just a very small part. Also remember: dentists and surgeons had studied and trained for an insane amount of time to learn how to do procedures. By the way, I haven't read any horror stories, but I know two people who got 'nerve damage' after a dental procedure and guess what: they were both fine after few not too nice months. It wasn't pleasant and was a bit scary, but they are fine now. If you ever need any information about risks etc., talk to your dentist, do not google.

Sending you plenty of good vibes and wishes, may your pain subside soon, may you disclose a hyper-caloric low sugar very tasty soft food idea that you enjoy and may you remember that you rock and are doing the only right thing and are being very courageous.

All the best wishes and keep us posted, you know that you can always find encouragement and understanding here on the forum.

How are things going now? Any better?
I'm still feeling down and I'm on day 5 of eating soft foods with no end in site. My right side with the temp crown isn't as painful, but I know I'm supposed to avoid chewing on it. My gums on the left side are insanely painful and I hoped the antibiotics would have kicked in by now. The encouraging words here will help me through it and I truly appreciate them.
On the bright side, when I went to have my gums looked at this week to check on my post op pain, for the first time my blood pressure wasn't completely through the roof! (My dentist checks every visit, not sure if all of them do that.) I still despise going, but just a few months ago I would burst into tears when I saw a dentist commercial on tv :(
Well done!

I am proud of you.

So good.
I have an update! I wasn't feeling much relief still today so I called the dentist and he squeezed me in this afternoon. I had a bit of excess/swollen gum tissue covering my wisdom tooth which needs to be removed, but I've been constantly biting it every time I closed my mouth. He gave me the choice of a numbing mouth rinse or to remove some of the tissue with a lot of numbing. I decided to go with his recommended and I sat through the whole procedure (20 minutes) without totally freaking out, although I was plenty nervous. They offered me a blanket to feel more cozy which really does help a little bit to take off the edge. Something about covering my nervous hands makes a difference. Anyway, they did it, didn't charge me anything and sent me on my way. I'm not sure if it hurts yet because I still can't feel my face, but it already hurt before so at least this will hopefully set me in the right direction until I can get the wisdom tooth out.

Thanks again for all of the encouragement and I have to say once again what a difference it makes to find a dentist who is gentle and understanding. My first dentist 10 years ago was very rude, forceful and sloppy. My current dentist truly just wants his patients to feel better. He even said multiple times how well I was doing during the procedure. It definitely made me feel better throughout.
Animalhouse, this is an amazing thing to read! Very well done! :) give yourself a pat on the back - getting through a whole treatment and not to freak out really is an achievment. Awesome! Have a beautiful lovely day and treat yourself like champion - you have all reason to feel like one!
Just decided that I would post an update. I went to the dentist on Monday for another post op follow up and learned that I needed to have 2 of my recent fillings worked on again. I'm not sure exactly why but something was wrong with them exactly, didn't ask. I was also informed that my permanent crown had come back from the lab. I was gradually getting better with eating on my left side, but I couldn't bite down on anything on my right. I thought it was entirely where the temporary crown was but it was actually that and an upper tooth on the same side. The dentist offered me an additional sedation appointment (which I had on Wednesday) since the fillings needed to be repaired and I could get the permanent crown cemented. I also had a bit of excess gum tissue that had been covering my bottom front tooth for years removed.

Now both sides of my mouth feel sore but the permanent crown has resolved some of the pain I had been feeling in that particular spot. I'm still concerned about the top tooth which is sensitive when tapped and when trying to bite down on food. The dentist said it might be bruised from the work I had done 3 weeks ago, it could be that my bite was off from the temp crown, or it could potentially need a root canal which I really really do not want for financial reasons.

So in conclusion, I don't know if I'm getting better. I know I am healthier and look better than I did before, but I feel worse than when I first visited the dentist. It's like I traded my sanity for wee bit of self confidence. I literally almost put my laptop into the refrigerator the other day when I was putting it away. To top it all off, I found out yesterday that leg pain I've been having since January is actually a stress fracture...so now I can't eat or walk. It's all taking such a toll on me mentally and I feel like I can't take much more at this point. I don't know what else I can do.

Has anyone else experienced incredibly slow healing in the mouth after dental work? I know I had some deep fillings, I'm just really eager to get better and move on with my life. :confused: