Teeth grinding, tooth sensitivity, and dental hell

I went to the dentist’s office this morning because I’ve been having extreme cold sensitivity on three of my top teeth. This all started in September, but gradually got worse and worse as we headed into December. During our cold early morning photo shoot on Brighton Beach our first week in Melbourne, it hurt me every single time I smiled with my teeth exposed with the cold wind hitting my teeth. In many outdoor photos, especially while in Japan, I just smiled without my teeth because I wanted to avoid any unnecessary tooth pain. That’s how desperate I was getting with the cold sensitivity. This past week, I couldn’t even eat room temperature fruit (grapes were not fun; apples were horrendous biting into) without wincing. So I ended up eating far less fruit than I’d normally eat.

The dentist asked me about my symptoms, tested a couple teeth by blowing cold air onto them and asking for my (not so pleasant) reaction. Then, he took x-rays of the teeth to see how bad the enamel had worn away due to my grinding. The good news, he said, is that the enamel had not worn away to the point of exposing the pulp; that would require a root canal and a crown. In my case, he said he was confident that I could simply have one to two treatments of a desensitizer (like a medication) on top of my teeth, and I’d be fine in the end. I might still have some sensitivity, but it wouldn’t be anywhere as bad as it had been in the last week.

So we took the conservative treatment. I had the desensitizer applied with two coats, and when I went home, I did notice that eating fruit wasn’t as scary of an action. But it only made me hope and hope that my wine cork strategy for stopping my grinding would be fruitful. And in between, the new mouth guard I’d get would help more.

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