Originally published at Kickin’ the new Kuh-nowledge. You can comment here or there.

And now, the bad news… While in Salt Lake City my tooth started bothering me. It’s one that has a crown on it, and it started to feel a little loose. I wasn’t sure if the crown was loose or if the tooth was loose. At first it was just annoying. Then it started to hurt when I chewed. By Monday, it was throbbing and my gums were starting to swell.

I went to an emergency dentist in Salt Lake City on Monday night and got some pain meds. The diagnosis wasn’t good. I would likely need to remove the tooth. My options are a gap in my smile, an implant, a bridge and a denture-like object described to me as a “flipper”.

The first thing we did when we arrived in Chicago yesterday was call some dentists. I was able to get an appointment with Dr. Harvey Mahler in the Loop. He took a look at my mouth and whistled. It wasn’t pretty. Apparently my tooth fractured, which developed into an infection, which caused what was then an enormous abscess in my mouth.

Dr. Mahler’s rooting (pardon the pun) around in there caused the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced in my life. He decided finally to lance the abscess and drain it. The lancing part was painless. The draining part which required him to squeeze it felt like what I imagine running my hand through a blender would feel like. When he was done I had tears streaming down my face.

About 30 minutes later, all the stress and the pain caused me to throw up. Funny thing about throwing up, you feel better almost instantly after doing it. Well, relatively speaking, of course. I was still somewhat nautious for the rest of the day. Note to self: No more Hydrocodone for you!

I feel a bit better today. The pain is mostly gone. I can still feel something there, but it’s more of a “Hey, look at me” kind of feeling. I can eat again. Yay!

At any rate, I’ll have the fractured tooth extracted on Friday. I’m not sure how long it will take to recover from that, but my options for having a normal smile are all expensive so they may have to wait until I return from my trip to Brazil. It really depends on what my insurance will cover. We’ll see.

If you see me in the next few weeks, you are more than welcome to see the missing tooth. Just be forewarned, it ain’t gonna be pretty.



  • I had to have a tooth extracted last year – it was a surprisingly easy process from which to recover. You can’t really see the gap, so I am waiting until I can pay for an implant. The bridge requires them to grind down one of the adjacent teeth and that just sort of freaks me out.

    1. Yeah… the bridge is definitely the least desirable of the options. Implant with a crown seems the best option, but the most expensive too. Here’s to hoping my dental insurance will cover a decent portion of this.


  • Yikes! I’ve had a root canal before. And I had that root canal develop an abscess and had to have it redone. I so sympathize with your pain, cause I’ve been there! Yikes! Ow!!

    1. Thanks! Ow is definitely right. At least the dentist I found was actually very nice and competent. I felt I was in good hands despite the pain.


  • Many sympathies, my friend. I’ve got to go in and get my wisdom teeth out soon, and I’ve been kinda postponing making the appointment, mainly because I don’t want to be in pain or on pain medication. I dunno, man, those opiates make me skeert.

    1. Hydrocodone really through me for a loop. I was nautious and groggy. I’m generally a fan of being in an altered state, but this was no fun at all. There is good reason to be skeert about opiates.

      As for avoiding the pain of dentistry… just know this. The pain is fleeting. Your mouth is there for a lifetime. 😉


  • There are, unfortunately, times in life when throwing up doesn’t make you feel better. Those have been some of the most agonizing experiences of my life.

    1. I’ve had those moments too. NOT FUN. Fortunately, this was one of the easy ones… if you don’t count the crazy pain.