2023 SOL: 20 a dull ache

It’s been a dull ache for two weeks or so. I’ve been taking quite a bit of Tylenol and Motrin. I thought maybe it could be my allergies or sinuses. I feel better when I’m sitting up vs. lying down. Then I thought nope—that’s not it.

It starts in the morning. I wake with an achy jaw. I just know I’ve been clenching again. By the time I get to work, I have a headache that feels like a headband is squeezing my noggin too snuggly. When I bite down, it actually feels like I have a loose tooth in the back.

I have a tooth cleaning scheduled for early April. I will bring it up then.

But when a double hit of Tylenol and Motrin didn’t help this morning, I knew it was time to make an appointment.

The kind dental assistant take the X-rays. Everything looks normal to me but what do I know? Dr. Glenn comes in with his cheerful smile and confirms that nothing appears to be u usual in the films. He asks if I’ve been stressed. Um. I have three kids and work film time. I have no idea what it is like to NOT be stresssed.

I tell him about the headaches and how I swear the tooth feels like it is bouncing in the socket. He checks everything out with a pokey thingamajig, that damned air blower stick, and what appears to be carbon paper. Then he tells me that my back right tooth is traumatized. Um. Ok.

Apparently I have been clenching and/or grinding so much that I may have permanently damage the tooth. It is, in fact, bouncing in the socket as I described. He cannot be sure the root is not dead. He has his fingers crossed though. He does a bite adjustment which is code for grinding the tooth down. *insert shivers here* He suggests I try a bit guard from the pharmacy before investing in a custom dental one. He prescribes an anti-inflammatory steroid to take over the next 5 days and sends me on my way to return for that cleaning in two weeks.

I had a terrible dentist growing up. I had so many fillings by that man that I think my parents single handedly payed off his mortgage. According to my new dentist, it doesn’t even appear that most were even necessary. But that man instilled a fear of dental work in me. I haven’t needed any in likely 30+ years. But I still freak out about things like fillings. A root canal would send me into a tailspin. But Dr. Glenn was kind and gentle. He explained each thing he was doing without annoyance when I told him I was really scared. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

And hopefully, fingers crossed, I have no permanent damage. I guess I’ll know in a couple of weeks.

I am writing for the 16th annual Slice of Life challenge presented by Two Writing Teachers.


  1. I couldn’t bring myself to hit the like button for your slice because there is nothing to like about dental work no matter how nice the dentist is! I hope you don’t have permanent damage. Who doesn’t grind their teeth these days?!?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope you don’t need a root canal, but if you do need one, they really aren’t they bad. I promise. I was super scared of my first one because people used to tell about them like they were terrible, but they aren’t. No worse than a filling. And if anything maybe easier/better. But I hope all your pain goes away on its own!


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