Despite all of my chronic medical diagnoses, I’m blessed to have very healthy teeth. I actually don’t dread going to the dentist!
Maintaining adequate dental health is increasingly being recognized as important to our overall health. Scheduling regular check-ups, including periodic cleanings, with your dentist is very important.
You can’t overemphasize the importance of good daily dental habits, including regularly brushing and flossing. (I remember a dentist telling me to floss all the teeth that I wished to keep).
Although I have healthy teeth, I wasn’t born with straight ones. I worn braces in high school, because my upper teeth protruded. I also had a gap between my two front teeth that rivaled David Letterman’s.
I still remember how painful it was to have my orthodontist periodically tighten my braces. My entire mouth would ache for the rest of the day after such an appointment.
Many years ago, an antidepressant that I was taking triggered an extended period of severe bruxism (tooth-grinding). Consequently, I was referred to a TMJ specialist. He developed a customized dental guard that I wore each night, for a period of several years.
Everytime that I have to have dilatation surgery for my subglottic stenosis, I thank my ENT for protecting my teeth from being severely damaged during surgery. When I fell, face-down, this past June, I was terrified of what might have happened to my front teeth. Most thankfully, they were not damaged.