22 October 2007

A Public Service Announcement About Teeth

Bad teeth run in my family. My Grandma Parker's started to just rot away when she was in her 30's. She had them all pulled and relied on dentures for the rest of her life.
My mom's haven't rotted quite as quickly, but she's spent an awful lot on crowns to try and keep them.

I cannot prove that getting a water filter that filtered out fluoride caused to get them severely worse, but the timing is certainly suggestive. Also, my own teeth got worse during that period, so that I installed my own water filter but made sure that it did not filter out trace minerals, like fluoride.

At any rate, she has at most four molars left right now. Underneath the crowns, the teeth were nearly all rotten. And, naturally, none of those molars actually line up with one another. They sent her to an oral surgeon, to see about getting permanent implants. There was a problem: not enough bone in her upper jaw and not enough room to add more bone. On Friday, she had something called a "sinus lift" to address this, which lifted her sinuses to give them room to add some more bone (at least, that's my understanding). So in a few months, they can put some actual teeth in.

I won't tell you what she's spending on dental work at the moment. Suffice it to say that I could not afford it, and her insurance has lousy dental coverage. I'm not entirely sure why she didn't just opt for dentures... I suspect it has something to do with how badly Grandma's were hurting her in her last few years (largely because she refused to see a dentist to have them adjusted). It would have been cheaper; I know that much.

This is yet another reason that I was so freaked out last winter when they found four cavities. I do not want to start down the same road, tooth-wise. It's also why I was so pleased this summer when my extra brushing and fluoride rinse paid off. Seriously, take care of your teeth now. If all it takes is an extra five-ten minutes of brushing and rinsing each day to avoid all the pain, hassle and expense, isn't it worth it?

ADDENDUM: Aunt Bee has another reason to take care of your teeth.


Aunt Bee said...

I do wonder if the gluten free diet will help. Perhaps you will do better because of what you do not eat. I don't know if it is the gluten so much as the foods it resides in. Not eating burgers and fries and whatnot has to be healthy.

Qalmlea said...

I can hope. ^/^ It probably also helps that I almost never drink soda. Juice can do some of the same damage, but at least there's no phosphoric acid in it.