A few weeks ago, this strange throbbing started in one of my teeth on the left hand side. The throbbing was sporadic, though. It would happen only once in a while, and it was never terrible, mostly just annoying. The vast majority of the time, it wasn't even annoying, I just felt like I knew my tooth was there. It was worse at night, but didn't seem to be affected by anything. I could eat hot foods or cold foods, hot drinks or cold drinks, crunchy food, hard food, it didn't matter. It would come and go, and sometimes I went 2 days without feeling anything.
But I worried. I'd go over these horrible scenarios of what it might be- I'd need a root canal or maybe the tooth would be so bad the dentist was going to have to pull it. I stressed and fretted and felt anxious over what the dentist might tell me. In the meantime, I started having crazy allergies and sinus pain. I know from experience that tooth pain often means a sinus infection, so I calmed down over the whole random throbbing and attributed it to sinus problems. But last week the sinus problems improved, although I'm still having what I assume are allergy headaches, and the tooth continued to bother me. I guess "bother" is the right word. It is such a weird problem to be having.
Finally, on Thursday I bit the bullet and called the dentist, got an appointment for this morning, and then worried myself to death over the weekend. I kept telling myself to let it go because it is what it is and there is nothing I can do about it, worrying won't change the tooth situation and I just have to hope for the best and not ruin our weekend over it. The tooth was about the same, maybe a little better, and I realized that the gums around the tooth were also swollen. Another worry added to my list, of course. Now I thought I might have some crazy gum disease that was infecting teeth. It was a fabulous weekend.
This morning I went to the dentist's office, and convinced myself that even a trip to the dentist, alone, with a great book, was really a good thing. Practically a vacation, right? The dentist whacked away at my teeth, did x-rays, chatted with me over symptoms, poked around while I yelped in response, and guess what?
I have apparently "shredded" my gums by flossing zealously and am aggravating the cuts every night when I floss again. I have been interpreting the throbbing as tooth pain when it was really GUM pain.
I'm thrilled by this diagnosis, of course, although I feel like a giant fool. I made Josh take off from work, made an extra long dentist appointment so he'd have time to repair the tooth if needed, worried for WEEKS over this, and now I have strict orders to STOP FLOSSING. I'm doing gum massages with my finger (which cracks me up), salt water rinses until the tissue heals, and no flossing for at least a week and even then, I'm resuming with a different brand and method.
Of course, Josh claims this is proof that his teeth care method is superior to mine- i.e. never, ever, under any circumstances, floss your teeth. Brush only sporadically.
Life is so unfair sometimes.