I had my teeth cleaned last Wednesday. I had no cavities and "good teeth" according to both my hygienist and dentist. However after what was a fun filled 45 minutes of water picks and little mirrors in my mouth, my teeth started to hurt. I chalked it up to the fact that for the past 45 minutes there were at least two hands and multiple pieces of medical equipment in my mouth.
However, when I was unable to chew anything harder than a banana for dinner that night I began to worry. But this has happened before, it hurts and then it goes away. But on Thursday night I was unpleasantly jarred from sleep to a sharp pain in the back of my left jaw. I called the dentist the next morning. He saw me right away and went to work cutting away something he said happens all the time.
The way he described it was that something got caught under the gum the covers part of my wisdom tooth. I said fine, please fix it. He did. It has been hurting ever since, with or without the Tylenol with codeine. (Mind you the pain came after I had been to the dentist...not before)
But it got me to thinking, "damn it is nice to have dental coverage."
According to some reports close to 64% of Americans go without dental insurance. Reports also suggest that adults who pay out of pocket for medical issues are even less likely to get dental issues taken care of until it is a major problem. Thirty-five percent of those asked in the study who did not have medical insurance did not have a dental check up in the previous year.
I am very lucky to have good insurance and I know I pay for those folks who don't have coverage in my premiums and such, but this problem needs to be taken care of now. I also understand consumer groups have no, well...no teeth when it comes to fighting Washington for health care coverage. But what was I going to do if I had no coverage? I would have taken some vitamin I (ibuprofen) and ignored it until the pain was common place. That could lead to infection and possibility death because I didn't go to the doctor.
That is just stupid in the richest country in the world. Preaching about it won't do much. I am excited to see if Congress or the presidential candidates have anything to say about the matter. But until then I will continue to bite off more than I can chew, which is almost nothing at this point.
(Update - The Dentist pulled the tooth above the pain and now my gum will not be bitten even time I eat something...but this gauze doesn't taste so good)