Yesterday I started noticing a slight discomfort--not exactly pain--on the right side of my mouth. Trying to run through all of the things it could be (how's that for do-it-yourself medicine?) I considered maybe a sinus infection (it's so dry here in the desert that I haven't had ANY sinus issue since we got here), a problem with my crowns (I have two on that side of my mouth but they seem sturdy), my diet hasn't been that great (maybe I need some vitamins?), I guess I could have a cavity or something, or the worst thing I could think of--I could have some sort of abscess under the gums (a definite horror since hubby had that once and his entire head swelled up like a watermelon!).
So I brushed and flossed really well last night, rinsed my mouth out with salt water, took an aspirin, and...there still seems to be something not quite right there. Unfortunately we don't have dental insurance. Fortunately I have a sister in law who is a dentist and she has done all of my dental work for the past fifteen years. Unfortunately she lives all the way across the country. Fortunately we have all of the time in the world to travel so we could actually go to Connecticut if necessary. Unfortunately we would have to buy tickets which are running around $350 per person right now.
So I am a bit in a holding pattern. I think I will give it a few days and see what happens. I did notice a dentist office down the street from us who was advertising $50 teeth cleanings and x rays so I may make a trip over there (I'm not a fan of finding new dentists). If it turns out to be an abscess I could have my SIL send me some antibiotics then we could send ourselves to her (an expensive proposition I don't really want to consider unless absolutely necessary). But at least I have some options. I don't know what people do who have no money and no way to receive dental care. That's a super scary thought because when you are in pain you just want the problem fixed. I know in many poor countries if the tooth is bad, people just get it pulled as that is the cheapest option but I am pretty attached to my teeth. And I should definitely take better care of them!!