I have this friend who lives in Africa and once a year she comes to visit me in New York as she says it is the most beautiful place in the world. Plus, she also believes that America has the best of everything. The best buildings, doctors, cars, technology and even holidays.
Once again it is that time of the year and she arrived about a week back. Usually, she only stays for a week or two, however, this year she will be staying longer and we will get to the reason for this in just a bit.
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During her first week here, like always we had to visit Grand Central, she absolutely just loves spending time there. We bought hotdogs at a vendor and stood watching the traffic pass. During the rest of the week, we visited the park, went to the spa and even had a carriage ride. As usual, she treasured everything and every moment.
Last night, shortly after midnight, I awoke with a soft crying coming from my passage bathroom. I got up and went to see what was going on. There she was, my friend, she was sitting on the side of the tub with her hands over her mouth, crying. I pushed the door open and sat down next to her inquiring about her tears.
She told me that she woke up because of a sudden pain in her mouth. She decided to go to the bathroom and drink some painkillers, as it felt like someone was stabbing at the inside of her mouth. After she drank painkillers, she went back to bed thinking that it will be gone in the morning. However, she barely fell asleep when she felt the same pain. She came back to the bathroom, looked in her mouth but couldn’t see anything wrong. So, she just sat down on the side of the tub and cried.
I told her that I will gladly take her to the best dentist. She said she wants to go immediately because the sooner it is done the better. When we arrived at the dentist she told him that her entire mouth is sore. We completed the forms and sat down waiting to see the dentist. Luckily we didn’t wait too long. The dentist took a look and said that the problem she has is called gum recession. It has been getting worse over time and now her teeth were extremely sensitive. Plus, she may also have some cavities. Yet, he could help and would not only take away the pain but would also give us information on how to prevent future issues.
Not one of us knew what gum recession meant, so we asked. He said that it is a very regular problem, it is when the gum margin that is supposed to fit tightly around the teeth starts to pull away. When this happens it exposes the root of the tooth. He said that this could also be an early sign of gum disease. As this issue progresses it starts to develop gaps or pockets in between the gums and the teeth. This disease causes plaque and bacteria to grow and spread.
I decided to ask what the symptoms of this disease are so that we will know better in the future. He said that a person’s teeth might look longer than it is supposed to look, the teeth may also become more sensitive than it was before. He also said that most people might not recognize that there is anything wrong when it starts.
Then he explained to us what the main cause of gum recession is. He said that there are a lot of different reasons why gum recession develops. Some of the reasons include clenching or grinding of one’s teeth as this places a lot of pressure on the gums and teeth. If a person smokes, it also makes it a lot easier for plaque and bacteria to stick to teeth.
Furthermore, he also said that another reason can be because of being a woman. This is because a woman is affected by hormonal changes which can make the gums more susceptible to bacteria. Dental routines and cleanliness are also vital for a healthy mouth. Yet, brushing too hard is not good either, doing so can cause tooth enamel and the gums to weaken. Thus, the main reason for gum recession is a periodontal issue and it is an infection that can destroy the gums.
The dentist said that a mild gum recession can be treated by scaling, root planning or some deep cleaning. He said that it helps to take the infection away first so that the gums can heal easier. To help clear up the remaining bacteria prescription antibiotics might be necessary.
Furthermore, he also warned her that if an infection causes the bone and gum tissue to be destroyed or if deep pockets develop around teeth, one might need gum surgery to help repair the damage that has been done. Luckily, her condition was not that severe and could easily be treated.
She had her first cleaning and scaling done and scheduled another appointment with him for the following week. Thus, the reason for the extra stay which I didn’t mind as I love her company. The next week she went back for a second cleaning and scaling which went much quicker than the first one. We were both worried that the procedure will not work because it was done so quickly, but the dentist said that if she sticks to a great cleaning routine, she should not have any further problems.
She stayed with me for about two months just to be sure and had absolutely no more pain or issues at all. So, the procedure really worked and she could go back home. As always this was a teary goodbye but we will see each other again next year.