..... It all started Monday. After laying down I woke up almost exactly 40 minutes later with fairly intense mouth pain. The whole right side of my jaw ached. So I got up, drank some water and went back to bed and slept fine the rest of the night. So I didn't think much of it .... Until Tuesday night when the very same thing happened again. This time it woke me up twice!! So I stayed up for 4 hours and then I slept through the next 2 hours before I had to get up and go to work. Wednesday same as Tuesday and Thursday even worse. I had to leave work early Thursday because I was too tired to think. Before heading home I called a dentist and made an appointment for Monday to have my mouth looked at. I went home and tried to sleep and caught about another 2 hours before being woken up with mouth pain again.
Oddly enough the pain would affect the entire right side of jaw top and bottom. I could not even come close to figuring out if the pain was being caused by a single tooth. Also, it only seemed to hurt when I was laying down. Thursday I went for a bike ride with Tiff and Tom after my nap and a quick dinner. That turned out to be a big mistake! Afterwards my mouth hurt like hell!! I loaded up on Ibuprofen and luckily the pain only lasted for about a half an hour.
Friday rolled around and the pain comes and goes all day long from 8am to 5pm. Then somewhere around 5 the demons in my mouth decided to unleash their grand finale of furry on my poor nerves!! The pain kicked in worse than ever before and refused to let up. I quickly discovered that having cold water in my mouth (i.e: Keeping the nerve numb?? Maybe keeping the swelling down??) made the pain subside to barely detectable levels so water I did drink :) And lots of it! At this point I had fooled myself into thinking that the pain would go away and I would be fine until my Monday appointment.. hehe.. that was a mistake. Every 20-30m or so I would stop drinking water just to see if the pain had stopped but, on the contrary, it kept getting worse and worse. Around 8pm I had decided I'd had enough and called my dentist's emergency number. He got me in one hour (and about 6 bottles of water) later for an emergency Pulpotomy which was an interesting experience.
Step 1: Figure out which tooth is causing the pain
This involves banging on all of the affecting teeth to find out which ones cause sharp pain. If this fails the next step is to heat (with a small torch) a small rubber-like thingy and touch it against each tooth until the right one is found. The 'cause pain via heat' method was successful in isolating the pain to one of two teeth in my upper jaw. Now we get out the novacaine needle and numb the lower jaw to ensure I still feel pain after its numb. I still felt pain. Now we numb the suspected tooth and see if the pain goes away... 3 injections later... wait for it.. ahhh yes :-D BEST I HAD FELT ALL DAY!!!! We found the right tooth.
Step 2: Drill off the top of the tooth and rip out the dead part of the nerve
I hate having power tools in my mouth. This actually went ok with no pain at all. Thank you modern medicine and local anesthetics!!!
Step 3: Apply medicine and a temporary filling
Easiest part... was done before I knew it had started!
Step 4: Sleep!!
Best I had slept in days!! I did wake up after the novacaine wore off but I was able to get back to sleep after eating a (sliced) apple.
It was a fairly painful and somewhat nerve racking experience but the dentist who did the work (on a Friday night when he should have been spending time with his family) was very professional and thorough. He gave up the start of his weekend and did a good job making my pain go away... thank god... I didn't want to have to jump off the balcony!
I have an appointment Monday to finish the root canal. I am less than excited but it has to be done. I hear its just like having a deep filling done.