Nose for News: All that sugar finally caught up with me

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, March 7, 2023

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Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

Well, my friends, my sweet tooth has caught up with me.

I’ll be the first to tell you I’ve always struggled with a liking for anything related to sugar. And though I have always tried to take care of my teeth, I have had some cavities over the years.

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A few years ago, much to my horror I had a piece of my tooth break off in my mouth.

Upon going in to have it checked out, my dentist at the time told me I had a bad cavity. While she gave me a pretty deep filling that day, she told me she hoped the filling would do the trick and that she would start with that before venturing to something more extensive. But there was no guarantee though, and if I started having problems with the tooth again, that would probably mean we’d have to take another step.

Fast forward a few years to last fall and I started noticing my tooth was getting sensitive again to cold and heat. Toward the end of the year, I started feeling pain more down in my jaw, and I knew that wasn’t a good sign.

I waited for the new year when my flexible spending account started over because I knew this wouldn’t be a cheap process.

Last month I made an appointment with a new dentist because of some insurance changes, and my worst fears were realized. The inside of that same tooth that had given me big problems a few years back had essentially died.

My heart sank at that point, and I started thinking the worst. I thought that meant the tooth would be pulled and I’d end up with a gaping hole in my mouth. But then he told me he thought the tooth could be saved with a root canal. While I was relieved the tooth could be saved, I knew it wasn’t going to be all sunshine and roses. My mind started racing about what that meant.

Fast forward a few more weeks, and as I type this, all I can think about is my impending procedure that will be taking place in the morning.

I dislike the unknown when it comes to my loved ones and their health procedures, but I especially dislike unknown health procedures when it comes to me.

Lesson learned: Don’t put off a visit to the dentist if you’re noticing anything different happening in your mouth, and always — always — brush your teeth at least twice a day.

Just because you’re tired and ready to hit the bed after a long day is not a good excuse to go to sleep without brushing your teeth.

You’ll thank yourself later, I promise.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.