Teeth and Acid and Gas, Oh My

Due to genetics compounded by parenting errors and circumstance, all three kids require a mouth full of dentistry under general anesthesia to fix their teeth, relieve pain mainly in Valerie’s case, and set them up to get through to their adult teeth and do better with those. They’ve gotten better about brushing. We’ve all but eliminated drinking things with sugar, and thrown away the sippy cups. Oddly enough, the youngest was the one most comfortable using a regular cup, and most willingly ready for the change.

Valerie has massive cavities in rear molars, and has had a course of antibiotics on suspicion of infection.

She has a long history of flipping moods like a switch, dropping into full blown irrational tantrum mode for no apparent reason. That includes asking for random this or that, then vehemently not wanting the same thing she asked for. I’d wondered if she had sugar crashes and maybe had a food-related issue that way. A snack could help, after all, if she calmed enough to eat it. I’d wondered if it was a psychological thing. It was a matter of time – not much time – before I’d have asked the doctor.

Her back teeth are especially rotted.

She tends to get a strained sounding voice, almost hoarse. Noticed but didn’t give it much thought. Sore throat, maybe. Not a tendency to cough, though, or to spit up.

While she was on antibiotics, helped by her being able to distinguish and communicate more clearly what hurts, it became clear she had a major gas and heartburn problem, probably reflux. Turns out the sudden tantrum thing is a symptom. She’s missing some of the possible symptoms, but once suspected, I could see that it would come on like clockwork a while after meals, varying with what the meal was. She seems to get heartburn from some of the same things I do, so I can predict it more easily, or get it at the same time she does.

I need to find out what to do for her other than mere gas drops, which help but not always as much as I’d like. It can be almost like an off switch, though. She’ll be hysterical, let out a belch, then be fine. The whole thing got more pronounced and obvious on the antibiotics – that is, she had obvious gas, so there was no way to miss it.

She still confuses and conflates the two. I am sure she has tooth pain, plenty of it, but it appears that most of her “my mouth hurts” pain and tantrums are on account of gas and acid. I feel for her, because I know just how awful it can be when that hits. I give her a lot of latitude in choice of treatment. She’ll ask for gas drops if that is the problem from her perception. She’ll ask for ibuprofen if it’s the teeth, or if gas drops didn’t work yet and she’s frantic, which is the tough part.

Thus I’ll be glad when she gets the teeth fixed and the immediate aftermath pain of that is done. Then if she hurts the same way, it’s not teeth. Hers are scheduled first, on January 11. Sadie goes on the 14th, and Henry on the 18th. Three back to back trips into Boston in the car I am not sure will pass inspection it’s due to have before the end of December, for which I don’t have the money. Fun.

Worse than the confusion between things causing pain or discomfort, she uses “my mouth hurts” like an attention getting cudgel. That is challenging to distinguish from the real thing. Sometime, anyway. Other times it’s obvious, though not sure I could explain how.

Anyway, how weird is it to get a real post here? Time to get a shower, throw in still more laundry, maybe call the doctor about what to give her for the above, get the kids dressed, go pay my car insurance, get gas, and probably go to my mother’s to get the camera I left there and some pea soup they have for me. Maybe leave kids there and get my hair cut, but don’t think there’ll be time. It’s long overdue, though, and that would save a trip. We’ll see.

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