HF is asleep, Khalid is asleep, Iman is asleep- why then am I awake? Because it’s hard to eat chocolate cereal in your dreams, that’s why.
So my bowl of chocolate cereal and I are here to share our continuing adventures in dental destiny. On Wednesday, I dutifully submitted to the dentist- a nice man who does horrible things to my mouth, and let him fight it out with my jaw for ownership of my last two wisdom teeth. It wasn’t a fair fight. He had pliers and some sort of ice-pick. My teeth were unarmed. After about twenty minutes of wrangling, the teeth were out and my unhappy gums were packed with cotton.
That would have ended a painful but mundane day in dental history, were it not for the evil forces of TMJ. TMJ is a long a complicated term that, for me, means that in addition to popping and clicking at embarrassing times, my jaw is also vulnerable to being dislocated and locked open anytime I visit a dentist. So thanks to TMJ, I left the dentist with a misaligned mouth, but thanks to the anethesia, I had no idea until 11pm that night when I realized I couldn’t close my teeth.
I called the dentist and he offered a simple solution-
Is your husband home?
Tell him to place his thumbs on your molars and push your jaw open and down, when it clicks, push it back into place.
Try that and let me know if it works. I’ll be waiting for your call.
I headed for the bedroom, where HF was sitting in the rocking chair reading while Khalid, presumably falling asleep, was waving his feet from under a pile of pillows.
(Hey, have you ever wanted to dislocate my jaw? Now’s your chance!)
HF blinked a few times when I told him the plan. He grinned nervously and said he’d give it a shot. We tried it a few times- HF with both thumbs in my mouth, trying to force my jaw open without hurting me and overall, succeeding in little more than causing my tongue to get dry.
(Don’t worry, the worst you can do is dislocate my jaw, and that’s what we’re trying to do!)
It didn’t work. HF is too nice, too gentle, and maybe even too squeamish. By then it was 11:30. I called the dentist back and arrangements were made to meet me back at his clinic. I made it there just after 1 am, and after much pushing and pulling of my jaw, the dentist succeeded in popping it somewhat back into place.
But not completely back into place- my teeth were set too far to the right, and the ones on the bottom were set exactly in line with the ones on top, when normally they are set just behind. Apparently, my jaw has spasmed, and due possibly to inflammation as well- it’s stuck there. Still- even as I type this, my jaw is set down and to the right. My teeth only align if I manually push things back into place, and that too is painful.
So what now? Well, first we laugh and shake our head, but not too hard, because it’s all stiff and sore. Then, we wait one more day and see if the swelling goes down. We’re taking anti-inflammatory meds, and if that doesn’t work, the dentist will prescribe a muscle relaxant. Me, I just wish I could chew again.
By Abez, the end.