I’m afraid this may be a TMI post. Fear not; I’ll post science again Sometime Real Soon.

I think I mentioned I’ve had mild but persistent headaches since before Christmas. They have actually gotten a bit worse, to the point where I had to go home early from work last Friday because I could not concentrate. But generally ibuprofen has been enough to knock the pain down to just noticeable.

This started just before Christmas as a headache that came on when I coughed or bent over. A week later, one of my royal molars (it has a crown) began hurting rather badly. Neither urgent care nor my regular practice’s PA had much to offer but painkillers and an order for an MRI, which I was not enthusiastic about, because the copay is massive. (About $600 out of pocket even after insurance pays most of it.)

I saw an ENT nurse who took a culture and prescribed antibiotics. These made the tooth feel much better, but I still had the headaches (though oddly changed in character; more like a sinus headache and no longer affected by bending over.) Also, the culture showed nothing abnormal.

Yesterday I saw the dentist. She took an X-ray and found evidence that, yeah, I have an abscessed root that the antibiotic temporarily relieved. But I get to have a root canal procedure in two weeks.

I’m still getting the MRI, this Friday, out of prudence. (I figure I’d spend $600 if my car engine started knocking, and I’m more important than a car engine.) But I suspect the tooth is the root (so to speak) of all the problems.

It’s a heck of a note when finding out you need a root canal procedure is good news.

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