Have you ever wondered where the expression “like pulling teeth” came from? I guess you could just google it and be done with it but isn’t a hands-on story always more fun?? That’s right, I did the research first hand and am ready to tell you exactly why pulling a tooth is compared to something that is extremely difficult and painful to do.
To set up this story we need to go all the way back to my youth. I had excellent parents. No, like really, really good, caring parents. They always pushed me to brush my teeth and watched me up until I was old enough to remember and do it on my own. That is about the time I decided that brushing and flossing was boring and a giant waste of time. Purely by coincidence this is also when my visits to the dentist started going from good news to a lot of needles.
You’d think 10-15 needles in your gums would be enough to set you straight but that was not the case in my fantastical brain! I think what happened was that my brain decided after a couple needles that this was normal life and conceded defeat. I allowed this to continue for years, with various root canals and fillings, until an event that I like to call, “The Big One”, occurred.
My steak tooth, you know, the one that takes the brunt of the steak, was a little sore so I did what I normally did in situations like that and ignored it. One day later I was at work, writhing in pain and unable to function as a human being. I took more Advil than any one person should ever take just to get me to my emergency dental appointment the next morning, where they informed me that the root canal didn’t work and extraction was the only way to fix the problem.
I remember screaming, “NOT MY STEAK TOOTH!!”, as the dental assistant consoled me. I had never had a tooth pulled before but from all the images and movies I had seen, it looked extremely painful. I arrived at the specialist’s office, unprepared for the journey ahead and watched as they plunged the largest needle I have ever seen into my gums multiple times. I felt like I was experiencing what it must be like to be a spider while someone is frantically trying to stomp on him.
Now, there are a number of things I can think of that require the use of pliers. You can use them for bending wires, pulling out broken nails and turning hard to budge bolts, to name just a few. When the dentist pulled out a giant set of pliers and hovered them over my mouth, I honestly thought it was a joke that he played on all his patients. Surely there was a more high tech and less evasive way of removing a tooth, right? The answer, of course, was wrong!
The last thing I remember was hearing him say, “You may feel some pressure on your chest and in your mouth” as he latched the pliers onto my tooth. The pressure on my chest, as it turns out, was from him using said chest for leverage while pulling and twisting the tooth out of my mouth. He was King Arthur and my tooth the sword as I, the rock, tried to be tough while sitting perfectly still. There was both a sense of relief and sadness as my beloved tooth gave way and left its friends behind. I’m happy to report that 6 months later, the steak tastes just as good.
The other issue I encountered with that much freezing in my gums was that it took a long time to get the feeling back in and around my mouth. I only recently found out about Septodont, which reverses unwanted lingering numbness after routine dental procedures where local anesthetic was used, but I would have jumped at the chance to use it!
And speaking of numbness, I think this video perfectly depicts what life with a frozen mouth looks like. Enjoy and feel free to share your #DentalDread stories in the comments!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, however the painful details within are unfortunately 100% true.