So today, I returned to the dentist for the 4th time...hoping it would be the charm. No such luck.
After 4 sets of xrays, some more drilling, some scraping and some poking, we are still no closer to solving the mystery of why I cannot chew on the left side of my mouth. It was determined I had a superficial abscess (thus the poking - which has resulted in a fairly substantial red, irritated spot on my gum) but it does not appear to be causing any infection. I bit on some more paper, and my bite seems to be relatively aligned. My dentist showed adequate concern, but it still somewhat at a loss as to what the problem is. The end result was some souped up ibuprofen to get the apparent inflammation down and some special rinse to kill any lurking bacteria that might be wreaking havoc in that spot.
So, now, we wait for 5-7 days to see what the ibuprofen does...and then I have no idea. A few weeks ago, I had a raging sinus infection, and part of me wonders if the leftovers of that are contributing to this. I get 2-3 sinus infections a year, so I am accustomed to dealing with them, however, this most recent one had a new twist - so much pressure in my face and jaws I could not lay on my side or stomach. One likely outcome if this round of methods does not work is a trip to the ENT to make sure I don't have some sort of lingering infection that is causing the pain. I don't think I do, but I am not sure what the options are after this...and clearly living with this and dealing with it is not what I am hoping the outcome will be. Today, on three separate occasions when she was drilling, I was nearly in tears...and am somewhat fortunate she did not drill the side of my face as I jumped and pulled away...
UGH...no fun. I am very grateful tonight to be employed with very, very good dental insurance.