The Rest of the Story

Thad and I like watching and reading mysteries whether it is science, romance, murder or medical – we spend most of our TV time watching “whodunits”.  Recently I have had a personal medical mystery that has had me on the hunt for the perpetrator.

I have been on a quest to find out what was causing soreness and pain on the left lower side of my mouth. The dentist suggested a few possibilities.  Food particle caught under the crown at that location, crown and/or root canal at that location was failing or that I was clenching my teeth when I sleep.

If it was just a particle of food it was a simple fix.  If it was a crown or root canal that was failing then the endodontist would need to be called in and it would need to be repaired.  If I was indeed clenching my teeth then the solution was to build me a $1500 mouth guard which I would wear at night and then wear my dental retainer during the day.  Oy!   This mystery was beginning to get complicated.

To start, we choose the simplest to resolve which was my using a water pik and because I was going away on vacation with our grandchildren, I was given a prescription of antibiotics to take for ten days.

When that didn’t resolve the problem I came in for a dental visit and had an x-ray which didn’t show any discernable problem. No guilty party there.  Cha-Ching $250.00

It was time to visit the endodontist.  The endodontist took an x-ray and CAT scan of my mouth to find out that the root canal and crown were healthy and holding strong.  No evidence of murder.  Cha-Ching $250.00

He suggested that I go back to the dentist and rule out the possibility that I was clenching my teeth at night.

At this point, friends, I hit the pause button.  Money was draining from my savings account faster than water over the falls at Niagara.  I needed to figure out the rest of the story before I poured more money into that dental drain.   It was time to return to the scene of the crime and review the facts.

If I was clenching my teeth at night, I was unaware.  However, I was wearing upper and lower retainers having completed a year of Invisilign braces to straighten my teeth.  Could I possibly be clenching my retainers at night?  So I decided I would just wear the retainers two hours at night and then at the first potty break of the night, because my bladder is old, I would remove them.  The pain was less but still there.  At that point I realized I was on to something and decided to only wear the retainers during the day for two hours.

And low and behold – the pain is gone!

I just wish I could have figured this out without having spent $500.  But hey, I may be slow these days but at least I got there before spending the $1500.

So what’s my lesson?  You need to be a sleuth when it comes to surviving medical mayhem.  Pursue all avenues to find out not only what the problem is but why it is occurring.  Stay calm, be patient and listen to what your body is telling you.

Have you ever had a medical issue that frustrated you and your doctors?  How was it resolved and what steps did you take to help you return to a good quality of life?


Thank you for reading my post.  If you have found it encouraging please consider liking, commenting or sharing it.  Feel free to even re-blog – may these words take flight!

I have additional insights I’d love to share with you found in the pages of my debut book: Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When It Hurts.  To order a copy or learn more go to my website at

Blessings for Health & Wellness.

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