Tag Archives: dentists

The Case of the Swollen Face

I went to the dentist yesterday for a routine filling replacement. It’d been nearly 20 years since I had any type of work like that done and there were a lot of things that have changed since then.

First off, they put this thing around your tooth with plastic or something around that to keep crap from falling into your mouth. How nice is that? It was uncomfortable as all get out because the tooth that needed the new filling is allllll the way in the back of my mouth. I thought they were going to break my jaw at some point.

I can’t say it hurt, or that I was bothered by all the drilling sounds. The only discomfort I felt was from holding my mouth open for 45 minutes. There’s a rude joke in there somewhere, but I won’t follow it.

I didn’t even really mind that my face was so swollen after the procedure that I looked like I’d gone a few million round with a boxer. It would go away after all. Except it didn’t.

When I woke up this morning, I still looked like I’d lost a boxing match. My brain immediately started jumping to conclusions, panicky conclusions like I have staph infection, or at some point spiders crawled into my mouth and made a nest in the little holes left from the anesthesia, or I got cat-scratch fever…in my mouth and I’d have to have surgery to remove the infection, or you know, weird things like that.

I never thought of myself as vain before, but with one half of my face swollen to enormous proportions, I don’t want to leave my house. I called the dentist this morning and he sounded just as bemused as I feel. I think at some point he thought I was just panicking, but when I explained that my mouth feels fine, but my cheek is what’s hurting, he started sounding concerned. He thinks it’s either an allergic reaction to the anesthesia, or an infection and I’ll be going back for another visit later this morning.

For now though, I’m trying not to look at myself in the mirror. Or smile too much because it hurts. Or think about drooling since at some point in the chair yesterday, I realized with my mouth numb, I’d look like my nephew who’s the dampest little bundle of joy I’ve ever seen. We’d be fine pair though.

I’m also trying to tell myself I don’t look anything like this:

Because I know it isn’t that bad, but it sort of feels that way.

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