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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Toothache ……and ways to get rid of em……and a digression on dry socket

For some unexplained reason I had a toothache today. And I *really* wanted to get rid of it….without doing an emergency dentist visit (is there even a dentist open after 5pm around here? I doubt it…..).

So I headed over to Walgreen’s and hit up the toothache section. After reading a billion boxes, I came to the conclusion that all of the pain relief stuff had the exact same active ingredient! Even the one claiming nighttime relief was no different from the “regular” stuff, except in price. So I grabbed a tube of regular… but I remembered last time I had a toothache that stuff only worked for a few minutes until it wore off. Not to mention too much of it and you’re drooling because you can’t feel your mouth! I felt like I’d need more….

Digression time!

When I had my wisdom teeth pulled, I ended up with something called “Dry Socket”. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Wellllll let me tell you-that was the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. Breathing through my mouth hurt (and I had a cold and no choice), swallowing hurt, my ear hurt, my throat hurt, everything! I was willing to do ANYTHING to stop that pain. I clawed myself up pretty good trying to even scratch away the pain through my cheek….OW!!! Called the dentist up and told them that it reallllllllly hurt-the receptionist basically said oh, that’s normal. I said NO it’s not-I’ve taken 4 ibuprophen, 2 aleve, half a bottle of toothache liquid and I’m still dying here! She still sounded dubious, had that someones-being-a-big-baby tone, but told me to come in.

My tooth was hurting so bad I could barely see straight but I drove back there. The receptionist kinda poo pooed me as I signed in, but the dental hygenist who knew me walked by and saw the look on my face and immediatly got the dentist. I was in the chair in a minute flat! The dentist was a nice guy, did the “Ok, what’s going on here?” Told him owowowowowowowwwwwwwww and pointed. He got out the mirror and had a look…..

I’ve never seen a dentists’ face go pale after looking into someones mouth before! He goes, “Oh you poor baby” and takes off down the hallway… I’m in the chair with a reallly puzzled assistant standing there too! He comes back with this little jar and goes, “You’ve got dry socket. I’m so sorry! This stuff is going to taste horrible but it’ll take away the pain immediatly… up!”

Hey, at this point I don’t care if the stuff required me to stand on my head for 10 minutes to work, HAND IT OVER! Open up I did…..and awful it was. Cat butt awful…….but oh man, the pain…… like someone dialed the guitar amp from 11 down to 1. ahhhhhhhhhhh blessed relief! He told me it was an all natural paste made from ground up cat butts and clove oil. Ok, maybe I exaggerated the cat butt part but the clove oil was true. Turns out I was the first person in 5 years at that practice to end up with dry socket, hence the disbelief. Well, at least I wasn’t just being a baby! He explained that dry socket meant the blood clot fell off leaving the bone exposed to air, and that it is a very painful thing (duh!). Usually only happens if you smoke (I don’t), throw up (nope), or suck through a straw (nada) after a tooth extraction.

I was sent home with a socket packed with cat butt clove oil paste and gauze and firm orders not to smoke/drink through straw/toss up my cookies. No problem! The gauze stayed in for about 3 days (as did the cat butt taste) but the pain never came back like that.


The reason for the digression is that I remembered how well that clove oil stuff worked and was hoping I could buy something….found nothing that said “clove oil”. Did find a little kit that had tiny cotton balls, tweezers, and a vial of liquid….directions made it clear not to get it on anything but the hurt tooth… I figured that had to be potent stuff. The main ingredient was Eugenol oil. So it was buy one get one free …..added that to my basket. There was some of this gum stuff to cover sensitive areas, added that. Hey floss that whitens as it goes! Added that….. out we go.

Get out in the truck and immediatly try the benzocaine gel. Numbed my gums and tongue but didn’t get to the tooth. BAH. Headed for home.

Now kinda desperate, I immediatly went and scrubbed my teeth, flossed with new floss (hoping it was just stuck food) and used my water pic. I put hyrdogen peroxide in the water tank of the water pic, about 25%, figuring it wouldn’t hurt.
Then I busted out the super do-not-put-anywhere-else stuff.

Guess what? Eugenol oil *IS* oil of cloves! WHOO HOO!!! Grabbed the tiny ball of cotton, tried to soak up just a little of the oil, ended up with a dripping ball of cotton. The instructions had it in BOLD not to spill it, so I squeeze it out….stuck the little cotton ball on the hurting area and got…….cat butt flavor! Got it in half my mouth somehow, I wasn’t so good that holding the cotton ball on the tooth. It burned a little but within 10 minutes no more tooth ache! Ahhhhh. Slapped some of the gum stuff between the two teeth just in case and right now, so far so good and it’s been 3 hours.

So, the best stuff (but be careful) is called “Red Cross Toothache Kit”. Got a red cross on it, comes with small tweezers small box of tiny cotton balls and tweezers. It works! Was $7 at walgreens. The gum stuff is “Dent’s Toothache Gum” in an old fashioned looking box that’s mostly blue and white. You cut a little pieces off, soften it in your mouth for a sec (don’t chew) and put it over the hole. Those two rock! And oh, go make a dentist appointment…..which is where I”m heading now :)

Edit: This stuff, but go get it locally and save the shipping:
Toothache stuff

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