Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Not catching up but jumping ahead to yesterday...I spent much of the day on campus. The upcoming fall semester is getting to be more than a glimmer, and some activity was starting. I had about 50 emails from that annoying virus, then the firewalls or whatever must have kicked in because most email was delayed until today. What jerks have the time to waste creating these annoying things?

Yesterday morning I went to the dentist for my check up and cleaning. I rarely have problems with my teeth, but over three years ago, when I was working on my dissertation, a few of my right upper molars started to flare up. They hurt when I bit down while eating, it felt like something was caught up there, and there was some in general soreness in that area. I freaked and scheduled an emergency appointment.

The dentist couldn't find anything wrong, and he suggested that I was clenching my teeth a lot. I didn't realize I was doing it, but I thought about it and discovered that I was - awake and asleep. He said I was getting to the age where I have some fissures in the bone, and constantly chomping down when under stress was aggravating them. Eventually, I would probably need to have something more done, but a conservative approach would probably be best until it got more serious. So, he recommended that I simply "stop it."

I really made an effort to stop, and I must have been successful, because it went away. But ever since then, every so often, those teeth bother me again, and I will notice that I have been clenching my teeth. So, I favor that side of my mouth, and try not to clench, and after a few weeks, it goes away.

Until this summer, when it flared up again, but this time a new problem cropped up. That area is cold (especially) and hot sensitive now, and sometimes it hurts when I floss. I have been favoring that side, trying not to clench my teeth, and I switched to toothpaste for sensitive teeth. It isn't bothering me as much when I eat, but it is still wicked cold sensitive. It has been like this since June, and it is driving me crazy.

So, I told the dentist about it again yesterday, and after a little torture (only kidding) he isolated the suspect tooth, which has a large filling in it from when I was a kid, and that filling is acting as a wedge when I bite down. It seems that the future time has arrived, and now I need to have something done. The early approach is to get a crown, and I am scheduled for the first appointment on 8/28. In the slight chance a cap doesn't work, I may also need a root canal at some point, but maybe not.

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