Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I Love My Dental Hygienist

It was time for my biannual teeth cleaning yesterday.  Having spent the first seven years of my life in England living through the horrors of British dentistry (true sadists if you ask me) I HATE going to the dentist.  I am very lucky that after I settled down with my husband I found a very good dentist.  I still hate going there but the staff is great.  Yes, I do grip the arm wrests until my knuckles turn white but it is less painful than my acupuncture treatments so I really shouldn't complain.

Since contracting CFS though I've had some extra issues to deal with when it comes to my teeth, mouth and jaw.  The CFS has aggravated a nerve that serves the right lower side of my face, resulting in it being overly sensitive to touch.  When the dentist pokes around during his exam it actually hurts but only on the right lower gums.  Needless to say this has caused some problems with my teeth being cleaned.  The hygienist's favorite toy is an ultrasonic descaler.  This little thing causes me great pain.  She tries to be gentle and actually skipped using it on the lower right side when I had my teeth cleaned six months ago.  Of course the manual descaling and even the polishing makes me wince.  It is a thoroughly uncomfortable experience so I wasn't at all looking forward to yesterday's appointment.

Of course this was the first time I showed up in the office with my walker which caused a commotion amongst the staff.  They all had to come and see it and ooh and aah over it.  Can you tell I've been going there for years??

Anyway, I finally get in the chair and we start discussing my teeth, the fact that I have a new dental appliance which is making my teeth extra sore and of course the nerve in my face is acting up more than normal.  Suddenly she had a brainstorm.  Apparently she has some numbing gel she can rub on my gums.  I was worried about toxic load, chemical exposure (it was a violent blue color), etc but decided to give it a go anyway.  She rubbed this stuff on my gums which not only made them numb but also my tongue, mouth, lips and throat.  She then started cleaning and BLISS.  No pain.  Nothing.  It was the most pleasant cleaning I've ever had.  I could kiss her.  It went so well that she put a note in my file to use the same stuff next time.  Of course I had her write the name of the stuff down on a piece of paper in case I had a reaction to it but more than 24 hours later I'm still good.  So winner winner chicken dinner.  I have a new tool.  Sometimes I love modern medicine!

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