Lupus stole my teeth but not my beauty
The beginning of losing my natural teeth
Lupus is a very mysterious illness that does not affect all "lupies" the same, however, as I have researched and read various articles on the internet and through various lupus awareness groups, and talked with our lupus patients, dental loss and dental problems can be very common.
As I read this and talked with friends, I thought "yeah right" and " that won't happen to me"! Well, it did. I first started having trouble with my teeth many months ago while eating a turkey sandwich. I bit into the sandwich and all of the sudden felt an intense pain behind my front tooth. I immediately ran to the bathroom and sure enough, the back of my tooth had chipped off. After a root canal and porcelain veneer later, I thought my troubles were over and that it was just a fluke thing. I mean come on, people chip teeth everyday on various things! I was even "accidentally" knocked in the mouth at a party one night and ended up with a chipped tooth. However, this was the real beginning and realization that lupus was claiming another piece of my body. Over the past three months I have endured one chip after another. Sometimes, I would spit pieces of tooth out after taking a drink, brushing my teeth, and even while flossing.
It wasn't until one horrifying afternoon on April 2, 2013 that I awoke from a nap with a tooth lying in my hand. Lupus causes me tremendous pain throughout my body and joints, even while I sleep. This has caused me to develop a bad habit of grinding my teeth while I sleep. According to my rheumatologist, this is a semi-conscious way of dealing with the pain. This grinding of my teeth is what caused to me to wake up that day. It was almost like I subconsciously knew to wake up. I went to the bathroom mirror and was horrified at what I saw. My front tooth had fallen out, completely (including the root). I am sure most of you would think, its just a tooth, it can be replaced. This is true and mine will be. However, lupus takes away so much already, now I was losing my smile too??? Over the next week, I had 5 more teeth fall out and 4 just shatter or break apart. I knew what the dentist would say to me and even though I was prepared to hear the treatment plan, emotionally it took its toll.
Six weeks ago today I had to have every top tooth removed from my mouth. As I lay there in the dentist chair all I could think was I am 35, I am too young for this. How could this happen? I brush every day. Am I still going to be beautiful? What will my friends say or think? What will my husband feel? Will I still be attractive to him? The questions flooded my mind causing me to have a severe panic attack. I know this all sounds ridiculous, but I do know I am not the only one going through this. You see Lupus stole my original teeth but not my beauty.
This Wednesday I go for my first molding of temporary dentures. I should have them within the week. I will update my story with pictures after my appointment.
I started this blog simply to let others know,they are not alone. Feel free to comment, ask questions, or share your story as well.