God (or my parents) blessed me with good teeth. I have never had a cavity; I never had braces; and I never got my wisdom teeth which means I've never had a tooth pulled. But, I tend to carry all my tension in my jaw and grind the h-e-l-l out of my teeth. So much so that I have grooves and channels through most of my teeth and have been wearing a protective guard to sleep in for most of my adult life. And frankly, I should be wearing it all the time as I involuntarily grind my teeth a good 23 hours a day (the other hour I'm eating).
This constant grinding has basically worn away all my enamel and now I am left with super-super sensitive teeth. In the last three weeks I have had a very painful molar that no matter what I tried I couldn't make it feel better. Yesterday morning I couldn't take it anymore. I called the dentist at 10:30am and they asked me to come in a half hour later. Wow! Talk about customer service!
At the dentist they took an x-ray (good grief, I have got to be sterile from all the x-rays I've had) and then a whole bunch of other tests. Twice now they've believed that my tooth is fractured. And I specifically remember a time in the last couple of weeks where I had a very sharp pain while I was eating and turned to Dave and said, "I think I broke my tooth." But since I've never had a filling, the dentist said a fracture was unlikely. Instead she said that this tooth was one of the first to touch when I bite down and the nerve in my tooth was likely bruised from all the grinding. Ouch! So she took out her sander and ground my tooth down, just a little off the top, so it would be more even with the rest of my teeth when I bit down.
Yesterday it was quite painful for most of the day. Today it's grittier but certainly feeling better. Of course, my favorite part of all this was calling Dave and freaking him out when I said they were going to have to pull it. :)