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Thursday, March 29, 2012

The dentist and asthma attacks

The Dentist

Da da dum. (Cue dramatic music)

I have always prided myself on having strong teeth. I get my teeth cleaned twice a year and rarely have any cavities. So when my tooth started hurting last weekend, I was a little concerned. The dentist office was able to find room on their schedule to see me a few hours after I called on Monday morning.

Was I in for a shock! My dentist originally thought there was a piece of debris in between the teeth. I knew it wasn't that simple, I floss my teeth and hadn't noticed anything. He started tapping on one the right side molar to see if it bothered me. Nope. Then he tapped on the left molar. Maybe a little discomfort. Then he got a piece of ice and held it on the right side. No problem. Then he held it on the left side molar. I about jumped out of the chair. The dentist's little blue light showed a crack in my molar.

All of a sudden he was injecting me with numbing medicine so he could start drilling out my old filling. Then he found saw a nerve. Suddenly he was inserting all sorts of metal tools in my mouth to quickly fill the tooth (and cover the root) until I could get to the specialist.

I started to panic because he hadn't explained what was going on and I started to have a hard time breathing. I couldn't use my inhaler (because I couldn't talk to tell him I needed my inhaler!) So I started to belly-breathe. It's a simple little thing to do, but helps when you need to calm down and get your breathing under control.

You simply breathe in (deeply) and breathe out slowly. It helps you take deep breathes rather than the short, shallow breaths that happen when you are having a hard time breathing. Sometimes we can almost pant when we breathe (yep, just like a dog.)

Did you know that the word 'asthma' is actually the Greek word for panting? So the next time you start panting, or breathing shallow and fast. Stop! Take a deep breathe in........... and slowly let it out. I can feel my whole body start to relax when I do it.

It didn't fix my tooth, but it helped me stay calm while the dentist was working on it.

Try it sometime!

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