With an abscessed tooth the infection and pain seem to sneak up on you.
You will be forced to see a dentist - or you may want to go directly to an oral surgeon. You might pay a little more for the services of an fine oral surgeon, but the ordeal will be over sooner, and you'll heal faster.
The one time I've had an abscessed tooth, the problem came to the forefront on a Saturday.
I had broken a piece of the tooth off a few weeks prior, but there was no pain.
I mistakenly thought there would be no problem.
If I had gone to the dentist right away I could have avoided an abscessed tooth.
So, as it was the infection started slowly and finally became unbearable on a Saturday when the dentist was closed.
There are emergency dental clinics around, but I chose to wait until Monday when I could see my regular dentist - whom I had not seen for several years.
Of course I went online to find some natural remedies for the pain because taking any over-the-counter pain relievers was out of the question.
You might well say - why not just pick up some Excedrin, or aspirin, or Tylenol?
I've known folks who quickly and easily get some pain relief from the use of some of certain drugs.
Once in a while the side effects are drastic.
My cousin's wife used one of the common drugs - Tylenol, I think, for relief of chronic back pain.
She had to have a kidney transplant in order to live. Now it's necessary to be on immuno-suppressive drugs for the rest of her life.
She survived the surgery, but not everyone does.
Meanwhile Joyce went to Vitamin Cottage to see what she could find for natural pain control with an abscessed tooth.
She came home with two products which really helped get the pain down to very manageable levels.
One is Tea Tree Oil Mouthwash by Desert Essence and the other is clove oil by NOW essential oils. Essential is right!
Using about an ounce of the mouthwash and mixing a few drops of the clove oil then swishing the mixture around in my mouth - especially up into the gum area at the site of the abscess and into the broken tooth produced wonderful relief.
Not all the pain was taken away, but enough that I could focus on other things for a while.
The relief lasted anywhere from an hour to 3 hours each time.
I was also taking lots of Vitamin C along with Coloidal Silver.
A couple of sites recommended using a black tea bag placed against the infected area of the gum to draw out the infection.
I tried this for a a few hours. It seemed to help some, but ultimately got in the way of the periodic use of the tea tree oil and clove oil mouthwash.
The pain eased off enough that I was able to do some yard work and
work at the computer on Saturday and enjoy visits with my son and
grandchildren on Sunday.
The abscessed tooth continued to build more infection.
On Monday I got an afternoon appointment at my dentist.
I say my dentist as if I regularly see a dentist.
But I don't. I'd had two tooth extractions prior to the abscessed tooth experience. They both involved broken teeth.
If there had been no pain, I probably would not have seen my dentist.
You hear about root canal procedures all the time. They provide material for one-liners stand-up comics have used forever.
A root canal is something that should be avoided, at all cost. You're much better off getting that tooth pulled. The after-effects of a root canal can come back to destroy your mind.I sound like a lunatic - but very unfortunately, it's true about the dangers of root canals. Click here to find out how and why.
Back to my saga. The appointment with my rarely seen dentist was brief.
He quickly decided to refer me to an oral surgeon, Dr. DiCino. The dentist, Dr. Anundson, also prescribed oral penicillin.
Dr. DiCino's office scheduled the extraction for the next day, early afternoon. They offered the option of general anesthesia or local. I went for the local.
They tell me usually the local or numbing injection works fine - but in this case, the infection slowed the effect - so there was some searing pain at the injection sites for a short time - which seemed like an eternity.
No screaming. Just some obnoxious grunting. The rubber bite block prevented injury to the surgeon and his pretty young assistant.
He had the tooth out before I knew what had happened.
The oral surgeon knew exactly where to cut and how much to cut.
A small plastic drain was quickly stitched in so the viscous fluid - the infection - could drain from my face.
Dr. DiCino gave me a script for Vicadin for the pain - but I didn't fill it. Too toxic, and the side effects are way too scarey.
Vicodin is a combination of the opiate, hydrocodone and acetaminophen.
It works by blocking pain receptors in the brain, but it also induces a sense of euphoria, making it extremely effective but also highly addictive.
That's a quote from drugabuse.com.
Pain came back big time as the numbing agent wore off. But again, the tea tree oil and clove oil helped a lot, and by bedtime, the pain had subsided. I slept very soundly, and felt great the next morning.
Supper on Tuesday evening was fresh organic vegetable juice. Breakfast on Wednesday morning was a smoothie.
We have smoothies most mornings. Joyce follows one of several recipes from Clean, by Dr. Alejandro Junger. She adds a few things - supplements made with organic ingredients.
One of these is Barlean's Greens. Sometimes she adds Total Green Protein Powder from NutriWest.
She also adds vitamin C powder, some L-Glutamine powder, some psyllium husks and some ground flax seed.
Clean has recipes for 6 different smoothies - all delicious and highly nutritious.
My favorite is one made from blueberries, carob, and almond milk.
was able to stop taking the penicillin Wednesday, having used about a
third of the 500 milligram tablets. The instructions on the
prescription indicated that all of them should be used.
The pretty young assistant removed the drain on Thursday morning, and we left on a road trip to San Diego Thursday at about noon.
To replace the intestinal flora, Joyce made sure I took plenty of acidophilus.
At the time I wrote the material for this page, it had been about 4 weeks since my abscessed tooth experience.
This was the first time I've had an abscessed tooth, and the first loss of an upper tooth.
I've never had any tooth decay. The 4 teeth I've lost have been the result of breaking teeth - two from one olive pit at a salad bar restaurant. The other was a lower wisdom tooth - don't know how or when it broke.
Pain is an interesting part of an abscessed tooth and its necessary removal.
I don't enjoy pain of any kind but I've learned not to add suffering to the equation.
A common phrase is pain and suffering - especially when lawyers are trying to make a lawsuit work in civil court. Maybe that's why we're typically open to the idea of suffering whenever there's pain.
Nobody can make a judgement about someone else's pain. I guess they can, but I don't think its really possible to know how much pain is being felt by another person.
As I was driving myself home after the extraction, the pain was coming back as the local anesthetic wore off. It became very strong.
Some words of Eckhart Tolle popped into my mind - words to the effect that we all have pain from time to time, but it's not necessary to suffer.
Suffering is added by the mind. Some level of fear enters the picture.
Maybe it's fear that the pain won't subside. Maybe it'll just keep getting worse.
Then stress enters the picture, the heart rate increases, and you begin to sweat. Maybe I should get the Vicodin.
I had a good friend who died a couple of years ago. His death seemed to be a big loss to his family and friends. It was a big loss.
He was a big man physically - weighing more than 400 pounds at times.
He'd had both his knees replaced then had worn out the artificial knees, and had them replaced a second time.
I know he was in excruciating pain after each operation on the knees, as well as other times when the hardware was wearing out and making it painful just to walk.
Because he was a recovering drug addict and had been clean and sober for nearly 35 years when he died, he absolutely would not use any pain killing drugs whatsoever.
One very positive thing about an abscessed tooth or any situation causing some significant pain is that you remember old friends and the pain they've endured.
And you realize that this pain will soon be over.
No need to stress or fume.
Somehow I think the pain of an abscessed tooth removal was relatively insignificant.