Buying My Dentist a Vacation Villa

Right. Realistically, my tab’s likely not that high.  But, at minimum, he can take a mini-break somewhere cavity free. And why? When anticonvulsants, or seizure medication, such as Topamax and Lamictal, say they cause dry mouth, this is a serious “nuisance” (i.e. side effect) your dentist should know about.

And hint: don’t skip cleanings. 

That, unfortunately, is what I did. Shortly after a couple maintenance fillings, I did my 6 month cleaning and check-up. Everything was good and I made an appointment for my next 6 month cleaning. Then I lost my license until the meds were therapeutic, and I couldn’t drive for 10 months! I was relying on people to shuttle me everywhere. And when my appointment came up, I had just used my ride to shuttle me 2 hours for an appointment with a surgeon the day before, a trip to a specialist three days before that, other random small errands… get the drift… they were not a taxi service.

I remember thinking I’d call for a cab, or reschedule the appointment. But I was on doctor overload, not sure if I wanted to keep my dentist (I had MAJOR issues with his receptionist/billing lady) and so I cancelled the cleaning. I never called back… until I was in pain 10 months later.

I started having tooth pain, and once I could drive, I bit the bullet. I called around and my dentist was still the most reasonable, old school dentist on the block (I need a cavity filled, not a college plan for my mouth!). He understood my absence and need for valium before the procedure. And he’s wonderful with trigeminal neuralgia pain and TMJ.

But I was NOT prepared for the rude awakening two seizure meds can do, unchecked, for 10 months. And I’m nearly vegetarian (occasional chicken), hardly any sweets (occasional bit of dark chocolate at night) and I care for my teeth!!

The verdict: 7 cavities and 1 root canal (but a few of those cavities were deep, and all but one was new!).

Ouch. I will not miss my next cleaning. Everyone, this is the hard truth about medication associated dry mouth.

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3 responses to “Buying My Dentist a Vacation Villa

  1. Dolores O. Woodard

    People usually don’t need pain medication for a dental cleaning. Some patients are made so nervous by dentists that they may ask for nitrous oxide though. Alternately, a patient might take a tranquilizer about an hour before the appointment to help with anxiety. In cases of extreme anxiety, some dentists use a method called sleeping dentistry, where a patient can be medicated and essentially sleep through a procedure.

    • Dolores,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Yes, those are excellent options if you merely fear the dentist; I, on the other hand, take Valium to control my blood pressure. Due to dystautonomia, a condition that makes my media system malfunction, anaesthetic shots cause my blood pressure to drop.

  2. Although a routine dental teeth cleaning appointment would not require anesthesia, the dentist would opt for pain medication in case the patient is very nervous. Different types of pain medication include local anesthesia, nitrous oxide (laughing gas that would help the patient relax), or sleep dentistry (the individual can literally sleep through the entire procedure with the help of medication).

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