Other ailments — **updated

November 23, 2009

First, Sew — is your blog private now? How can I get on? Help!

I have been composing a long angry post in my head. But I didn’t want have that post to follow my shout-out to poor Sew.

So for the moment I will tell you about my other health woes: my teeth. Hmm, come to think of it, this is not a particularly pleasant topic either. Sew, it is no reflection on you.Β  (**update: actually, funnily enough, Sew had to have a similar tooth procedure. So it turns out these two items ARE linked.)

I went to the dentist 2 weeks ago and discovered all sorts of problems in my mouth. I was truly shocked, since my teeth have been fine for the past several years. I had not been to the dentist in a year and a half — in fact, it has been almost equivalent to the time that I have been dealing with infertility. I can only deal with so many medical appointments at a time.

I asked how I could have developed so many tooth problems in a year, given that I have been flossing and brushing and don’t eat candy,etc. The dentists said sometimes these things can just happen and noted that different medications can affect someone’s teeth.

Are clomid and estradiol cutting away at my oral health — affecting my teeth and bone mass? Will infertility cause cause me to lose my teeth too?

Will I be a barren toothless woman, batting around my empty house, dentures rattling, kicking up dustballs?

Even if the medication is not to blame, I think infertility has contributed to the largest of my tooth problems — I will explain below. My lower back right tooth (tooth number 31, to be precise) is cracked. I saw an endodontist last week and he said it needs to be pulled. They can put in some sort of fake tooth thing in its place, eventually.

I admittedly had a little breakdown at both the dentist’s office and the endodontist’s office. I kept it together until walking out the door of the dentist, but I started crying in the chair at the endodontist’s office. TheΒ  endodontist broke his gruff demeanor for a moment and said, “hey, it’s OK, it’s really not that bad.”

All this endodontist does all day is see people with tooth problems — people needing root canals, etc. So to him, it’s not a big deal. Just another day of work. Just another person with a broken tooth.

But I am about at my wit’s end with health problems, and I just felt like I couldn’t deal with a broken mouth as well as a broken reproductive system.

The crack seems to have come from clenching my jaw, especially at night (enter: influence of infertility). This is a new stress-habit I have developed in the past few years. It’s very charming.

The endodontist gave me a couple of suggestions, then said, “The real thing is, you are going to have to reduce some of this stress.”

My reply, inside my head was, “Ok, then give me a baby!”

Now, this was a ridiculous thought on many levels. It is also emblematic of a faulty line of thinking I frequently entertain: that a baby will solve all my problems. I desperately want a child. However, it’s not like a child is going to suddenly relieve all stress from my life. I am sure taking care of another human being will be mighty stressful too. I want an infant to swoop in with a Superbaby cape on and save my tooth, give me direction in life and make a better person.

For now, I guess I need to invest in a good mouthguard.

UPDATE: AYWH alerted me to this study, which linked endometriosis and periodontal disease.


This is fascinating! Besides my chipped tooth, my dentist said she was concerned I have periodontal disease! Oh Lord, my whole body is breaking down, perhaps. I have not been diagnosed with endometriosis, but I suspect it could be involved. ButΒ  I do not have painful periods or other symptoms, so have not (yet) had a laproscopy.



  1. Send me your email address and I will “invite” ya! πŸ˜‰ Sorry I missed you the first go around. It’s hard figuring out who I have and who I don’t have.

    About the whole tooth thing….I hate that type of work. Absolutely HATE it! I have an implant on one of my right molers. Let’s just say getting the tooth pulled was an awful experience. I thought my uterus was going to come out with it. Have them at least get you on some valum for that.

    The implant itself about 9 years ago when I got mine done was about $4,500!!!! I know, as much as a used car right! Oh and then don’t get me started on all the food that gets stuck under it. It doesn’t bother me anymore, but building up that gumline with callouses or to get it to not be so sensitive to food took forever.

    I don’t want to scare you anymore, but that was my experience. It was pretty painful. But now it’s a beauty! Can’t even tell it’s fake! πŸ˜‰

  2. Wow, that’s rough. I’m sorry that IF is taking itself out on your teeth now too. I hope the dental work is as painless as possible.

  3. I think I peed a little when you wrote, “Will I be a barren toothless woman, …” that image is just so hysterical!!

    I know this isn’t funny. And it stinks about the tooth 😦 But you still have, what, 30 some odd more before you’re completely toothless πŸ˜‰

  4. I can’t remember.. do you have endometriosis? Because there is apparently a link between that and periodontal disease.. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,510796,00.html?sPage=fnc/health/dental

    Not that you have periodontal disease, but perhaps immune issues (which seem to be tied to infertility) are making our teeth weaker in general.

    I, too, have cracked teeth and I also grind my teeth.. not just at night but during the day. The last time I was at the dentist she pointed out that I actually move my jaw way to the side and grind two teeth together that shouldn’t even be touching! I thought she was crazy, but when I started to pay attention I realize I do it all. the. time.

    I really hope the procedure you have isn’t too painful. My root canal was a piece of cake if that’s any consolation πŸ™‚

  5. TCIE – I am glad you laughed. It was really the reaction I was going for. πŸ™‚
    Of course, the tooth problem itself is not funny, especially once I get the bill for it. Ugh! But I have to laugh at myself or I will just cry about my poor little tooth all day!

  6. I’m not sure what periadontal disease is, but I notice that I have a lot of plaque build up. Even though I brush and floss like NOBODIES BUSINESS and my gums are NEVER that light pink!

    I swear I brush and BAM I feel like I need to brush again! My mouth never feels clean. It’s crazy. I know this is gross but maybe I will googl.e PD. πŸ™‚ I’m sure I have it! πŸ˜‰

    My DH doesn’t have those types of issues and he doesn’t floss the heck out of his teeth the way I do.

    I have read that PD and endo are related that AYWH mentioned. I have to go to the dentist every 6 months but could easily use it every 3.

    It’s such a pain. 😦 I’ll be toothless with you! hahahaha

  7. Ugg. I’d be upset, too. I do not have time to read AYWH’s article link, but the hygenist noted one time that my gums were sensitive and asked if I was on birth control pills because they can cause it. Of course I wasn’t and I knew the sensitive gums were because I flossed really hard that night before so I did not ask about it, but I did think it was curious that she BCP could somehow affect my gums.

  8. I had no symptoms of endo until they gave me a CT scan because of my appendicitis and found a cyst the size of an orange. Even after surgery, I developed no serious symptoms for several years. But when I got them, they were bad. And after my second surgery – they’re still here. GET A LAPAROSCOPY. If you don’t have endo, you can celebrate. If you do, get the surgery (by a real expert) while you’re still symptom-free. Then you’ll never have symptoms, and your chances of conceiving post-surgery will be double what they’d have been if you’d waited until you were really sick. Trust me…

  9. Oh no. I’m so sorry. I can see myself breaking down in the dentist’s chair and bawling my eyes out over this too. I’m convinced (have been for a long time) that infertility affects more than just our mood…and vice versa. I hadn’t seen the link between endo and PD but I’m not surprised.

  10. […] January 19, 2010 So apart from being infertile, I also have problematic teeth. You may recall my visions after a recent dental appointment of being an an old, barren, toothless woman, batting around my […]

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