Tooth Stories

First of all Happy New Year to all my visitors. I’ve been off-line for quite a while I know, very sorry about that. Special thanks to those who sent me messages enquiring as to my whereabouts and wellbeing!

For several years, deep under a very old crown on a bottom tooth, I had an abcess. My excellent dentist had been monitoring it and a couple of years ago put in a drain right down through the crown, through the root canal into the infection. (Those of you who don’t enjoy the thought of a long slow root canal had better skip the rest of this post) While having a check up between Christmas and New Year, the temporary filling was taken out from the drain, because from the outside it seemed that the abcess was no longer there and perhaps it was time to put in a permanent filling.

Unfortunately a tiny trace of infection was found to be still in place, so I had to go on another round of antibiotics to see if it could be wiped out once and for all. Within hours of being home I could feel some pain and swelling. Foolishly, instead of ringing my dentist I left it for a few days believing that the antibiotics must work. Also it was holidays and the surgery was closed. That was my mistake because it let the bacteria spread beyond the lower jaw and throughout my body. I began to have hot and cold fevers and then as it advanced I got the shakes. I had developed a fullblown case of blood poisoning. Now, after much medical treatment I am beginning to feel better. Part of the treatment involved removing the tooth and making an incision in the side of my jaw. And more antiobiotics of course.

I was very sad about losing to tooth. I was attached to it, physically and emotionally. I even cried. It had served me well.

I was, however, very glad to live in an age of modern medicine. In earlier times
I may well have died, blood poisoning was often fatal. My maternal grandmother died of it.

On the other hand, days and days of high fever was quite interesting. It’s an altered state of consciousness. I was reminded of hearing novelist Elizabeth Knox describe how The Vintners Luck came to her during a high fever, seemingly out of nowhere.