The Dental Hygienist from Hell

The Dental Hygienist from Hell

As I have shared in previous posts, I have PTSD which manifests as extreme white coat syndrome. That’s the street name for it. I have severe anxiety going to doctors and dentists. The last time I was at a dentist to have a tooth pulled, my blood pressure was so high that the dentist told someone working with him in the room get bring in a valium. He made me chew it up. Within minutes, my blood pressure was normal and he was able to pull my tooth. I’m glad he did that because I told him, after a week of pain, I wasn’t leaving with my tooth in my mouth even if it meant I’d have to pull it myself.

So, on Tuesday, I found myself back in the dentist chair. I had a wound in the bottom of my mouth that was healing but it had developed something hard on top of it. I explained to the hygienist about my PTSD. She was not sympathetic. In fact, she seemed annoyed. She looked in my mouth and said, “Oooooooh! We’re gonna need pictures of THAT!” My blood pressure soared!

I tried to explain to her what had happened and she waved her hand and cut me off. She said, “I know what happened. You cut your mouth and that stuff oozed out!” I almost lost it right there. I’d already spent 45 minutes past my appointment time in the waiting room, being more and more anxious with every minute. Now, I had a horribly unkind woman driving me toward a full-blown anxiety attack.

After the hygienist from hell took an x-ray, and put a tiny camera in my mouth to take a picture, she left me alone…for another 45 minutes.

Thinking I was going to go absolutely insane with fear, I seriously considered making a run for it. I would simply get up, grab my purse, and walk out. However, Brian was in the waiting room and, knowing my fears, he’d probably toss me over his shoulder, take me back to that room, and hold me down in the chair. He was the one who had called the dentist (after 7 weeks of me worrying about my mouth), and who filled out the paperwork for me online, and who had driven me to the office, and held my hand as I walked in.

Just as I was planning my escape, the dentist FINALLY came in and I once again explained my PTSD and I then started crying. I am NOT a crier and I was so embarrassed but he was very understanding and sweet, and asked me questions about it. Then, he looked in my mouth after I explained how I’d injured it. The first thing he said was, “This is not something to worry about. I’ve seen this before. I had another patient with the exact same thing. I sent him to an oral surgeon and the surgeon told him it would resolve on its own. And, it did.”

He then asked the hygienist for the “pliers.” They were tiny! After a few seconds of pulling and wiggling, he pulled the hard thing out of my gum that had been bothering my tongue for 7 weeks. Yes, in the first week of October, I got the injury. I was too afraid to go to the dentist so I used salt water rinses several times a day. Then, I got an infection so I took 500 mg of Amoxicillin that I had in the drug drawer here three times a day for seven days.

It seemed to get better after that but then that hard thing grew on top of it and it was stuck in my gum. I know this sounds gross but I thought a “scab” had formed over the wound. But, it wasn’t a scab.

Guess what it was? It was a BONE!!! Specifically, an oral bone spicule.

I explained to the dentist that I had my wisdom teeth pulled when I was 15 years old and that, a few times over the years, tiny bone fragments have worked their way to the surface of my gums. When they poke out too much, I rub them with my finger and they pop out. Weird, huh?

He said that should only happen for six to nine months after a tooth is pulled. I told him, “You might wanna Google that. I read differently.”

He said the new bone he pulled out of my mouth grew over the wound. He said a body can create bone in the mouth but not THAT fast (just 7 weeks)! He said he was going to research what I’d experienced. I was feeling much better by that time and I told him that I was glad I was able to make his day interesting.

Yesterday, I received an email from the dentist office asking how my experience was. I’m going to highly praise the dentist but I’m going to tell them that they need to train their hygienist to be far more gentle and understanding when they are working on people like me.


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