Totally hypothetical

Standard

So, if you woke up with one side of your jaw so sore and stiff you could barely open your mouth, would you:

Assume it’s your delinquent wisdom teeth and go to the dentist

or

Assume you’ve contracted lock-jaw from some rusty metal object and go to the doctor?

No seriously:  Dentist or doctor?

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About Angela

My name is Angela. I am a 28 year old psych and criminology graduate, but I'd rather not diagnose you. I am a cuddle-slut. I can recite the entire script of The Princess Bride, (including accents) and believe that the meaning of life is contained within. Polyanna, Snap.com commercials, and Oprah 'reunion shows' make me cry. I can whistle and hum at the same time, but I cannot touch my toes. I am an expert in both listening and talking. I look good in orange. I am a writer. I kick ass in Gin, Hearts, and Cribbage but I don't understand Canasta or Bridge. I can be heard singing Broadway numbers from my shower, and have dressed up as a viking princess, (complete with aluminum foil breast plate) The Phantom of the Opera, and a Ghostbuster for Hallowe'en. I have a bird named Bean. I have a brother named Adam. They are not related. I like vanilla body lotion, peanut butter, saunas, Jim Carrey, broccoli, pets, TheOnion.com, Muppets, Kevin Smith, Corelle dishes, dry erase white-boards, Barenaked Ladies, Philosophy, the letter J, Harry Potter, picture frames, swimming, quilting, Michael Moore, genealogy, Raggedy Anne, tacky 50's tchotchke, 'Idiot's Complete Guide To' books, tweezers, feather pillows, polar dips, aquariums, Martin Luther King Jr., and Dr. Pepper. I don't like meat, gossips, cooked carrots, American Idol, mosquitoes, sweating, politics, public washrooms, tardiness, tuition, hunting, pat answers, pick up lines, brown bananas, cliches, pine scented air freshener, Kevin Costner, bacon, candied apples, pro-wrestling, humidity, and hypocrisy. Books I've read recently The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Dark Tower, When Nietzsche Wept, What's So Amazing About Grace?, Catcher in the Rye, Not Wanted On the Voyage, The Red Tent, The Little Prince, The Way the Crow Flies, Slaughterhouse-Five, The Poisonwood Bible, The Fall, The Knot of Vipers, Calculating God, The Chrysalids, Sick Puppy, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Franny and Zooey, The Brothers Karamazov, and jPod. I am slightly neurotic. No I'm not. Yes I am.

110 responses »

  1. Doctor first. I would initialy think it’s my TMJ (temperomandibular joint) — of course I have a brother with chronic TMJ issues having broken his jaw in high school sports.

    Advil (ibuprofen) usually helps with this as it relaxes the muscles around the joint and the disc.

    ::hands you caplet and a glass of water::

  2. Doctor first. I would initialy think it’s my TMJ (temperomandibular joint) — of course I have a brother with chronic TMJ issues having broken his jaw in high school sports.

    Advil (ibuprofen) usually helps with this as it relaxes the muscles around the joint and the disc.

    ::hands you caplet and a glass of water::

  3. Doctor first. I would initialy think it’s my TMJ (temperomandibular joint) — of course I have a brother with chronic TMJ issues having broken his jaw in high school sports.

    Advil (ibuprofen) usually helps with this as it relaxes the muscles around the joint and the disc.

    ::hands you caplet and a glass of water::

  4. Doctor first. I would initialy think it’s my TMJ (temperomandibular joint) — of course I have a brother with chronic TMJ issues having broken his jaw in high school sports.

    Advil (ibuprofen) usually helps with this as it relaxes the muscles around the joint and the disc.

    ::hands you caplet and a glass of water::

  5. Doctor first. I would initialy think it’s my TMJ (temperomandibular joint) — of course I have a brother with chronic TMJ issues having broken his jaw in high school sports.

    Advil (ibuprofen) usually helps with this as it relaxes the muscles around the joint and the disc.

    ::hands you caplet and a glass of water::

    • I can’t really tell if it’s a toothache or not.

      I’ve been having problems with my wisdom teeth, hence the assumption.

      I was actually hoping for the Teeth option as jaw problems seem much less easy to handle.

      ~A

  6. I can’t really tell if it’s a toothache or not.

    I’ve been having problems with my wisdom teeth, hence the assumption.

    I was actually hoping for the Teeth option as jaw problems seem much less easy to handle.

    ~A

  7. I can’t really tell if it’s a toothache or not.

    I’ve been having problems with my wisdom teeth, hence the assumption.

    I was actually hoping for the Teeth option as jaw problems seem much less easy to handle.

    ~A

  8. I can’t really tell if it’s a toothache or not.

    I’ve been having problems with my wisdom teeth, hence the assumption.

    I was actually hoping for the Teeth option as jaw problems seem much less easy to handle.

    ~A

  9. I can’t really tell if it’s a toothache or not.

    I’ve been having problems with my wisdom teeth, hence the assumption.

    I was actually hoping for the Teeth option as jaw problems seem much less easy to handle.

    ~A

  10. Poor gel! All of the badness of jaw pain without any of the sense of accomplishment! 😉 Seriously though, any anti-inflammatory (tylenol, alleve, etc.) should help a bit.

    Unless your jaw stiffness is also accompanied by fever and neck stiffness, it’s probably not tetanus. Still, if you were recently punctured by anything old and dirty and/or your immunization is behind schedule, seeing a doctor is a good idea, anyway. I had TMJ from a bad orthodontic regimen, and the stiffness tended to be localized behind/beneath the temple (where the joint is) rather than in the mandible itself. If it’s TMJ, there’s no quick fix and you should see an orthodontist to diagnose you and start treating you. If the pain is actually in your mandible and the surrounding tissues are tender, then it could be an abscess in wisdom tooth root or cavity (if aforementioned tooth is out), in which case you should see anyone who can prescribe you antibiotics!

    I hope you feel better soon- Virginia Woolf wrote a fabulous essay on being ill called, appropriately enough, “On Being Ill,” which talks about how illness colors one’s view of the world and is universal, but that the experience of illness is poorly represented in literature. Rest well, and good luck!

  11. Poor gel! All of the badness of jaw pain without any of the sense of accomplishment! 😉 Seriously though, any anti-inflammatory (tylenol, alleve, etc.) should help a bit.

    Unless your jaw stiffness is also accompanied by fever and neck stiffness, it’s probably not tetanus. Still, if you were recently punctured by anything old and dirty and/or your immunization is behind schedule, seeing a doctor is a good idea, anyway. I had TMJ from a bad orthodontic regimen, and the stiffness tended to be localized behind/beneath the temple (where the joint is) rather than in the mandible itself. If it’s TMJ, there’s no quick fix and you should see an orthodontist to diagnose you and start treating you. If the pain is actually in your mandible and the surrounding tissues are tender, then it could be an abscess in wisdom tooth root or cavity (if aforementioned tooth is out), in which case you should see anyone who can prescribe you antibiotics!

    I hope you feel better soon- Virginia Woolf wrote a fabulous essay on being ill called, appropriately enough, “On Being Ill,” which talks about how illness colors one’s view of the world and is universal, but that the experience of illness is poorly represented in literature. Rest well, and good luck!

    • So, you were right about the mandible/abscess thing.

      I had no idea one could grow, literally, overnight.

      I’m on antibiotics now (yelch) but Dr. Dentist says it might not kick in for a day or two.

      ::whimpers::

      ~A

  12. Poor gel! All of the badness of jaw pain without any of the sense of accomplishment! 😉 Seriously though, any anti-inflammatory (tylenol, alleve, etc.) should help a bit.

    Unless your jaw stiffness is also accompanied by fever and neck stiffness, it’s probably not tetanus. Still, if you were recently punctured by anything old and dirty and/or your immunization is behind schedule, seeing a doctor is a good idea, anyway. I had TMJ from a bad orthodontic regimen, and the stiffness tended to be localized behind/beneath the temple (where the joint is) rather than in the mandible itself. If it’s TMJ, there’s no quick fix and you should see an orthodontist to diagnose you and start treating you. If the pain is actually in your mandible and the surrounding tissues are tender, then it could be an abscess in wisdom tooth root or cavity (if aforementioned tooth is out), in which case you should see anyone who can prescribe you antibiotics!

    I hope you feel better soon- Virginia Woolf wrote a fabulous essay on being ill called, appropriately enough, “On Being Ill,” which talks about how illness colors one’s view of the world and is universal, but that the experience of illness is poorly represented in literature. Rest well, and good luck!

  13. Poor gel! All of the badness of jaw pain without any of the sense of accomplishment! 😉 Seriously though, any anti-inflammatory (tylenol, alleve, etc.) should help a bit.

    Unless your jaw stiffness is also accompanied by fever and neck stiffness, it’s probably not tetanus. Still, if you were recently punctured by anything old and dirty and/or your immunization is behind schedule, seeing a doctor is a good idea, anyway. I had TMJ from a bad orthodontic regimen, and the stiffness tended to be localized behind/beneath the temple (where the joint is) rather than in the mandible itself. If it’s TMJ, there’s no quick fix and you should see an orthodontist to diagnose you and start treating you. If the pain is actually in your mandible and the surrounding tissues are tender, then it could be an abscess in wisdom tooth root or cavity (if aforementioned tooth is out), in which case you should see anyone who can prescribe you antibiotics!

    I hope you feel better soon- Virginia Woolf wrote a fabulous essay on being ill called, appropriately enough, “On Being Ill,” which talks about how illness colors one’s view of the world and is universal, but that the experience of illness is poorly represented in literature. Rest well, and good luck!

  14. Poor gel! All of the badness of jaw pain without any of the sense of accomplishment! 😉 Seriously though, any anti-inflammatory (tylenol, alleve, etc.) should help a bit.

    Unless your jaw stiffness is also accompanied by fever and neck stiffness, it’s probably not tetanus. Still, if you were recently punctured by anything old and dirty and/or your immunization is behind schedule, seeing a doctor is a good idea, anyway. I had TMJ from a bad orthodontic regimen, and the stiffness tended to be localized behind/beneath the temple (where the joint is) rather than in the mandible itself. If it’s TMJ, there’s no quick fix and you should see an orthodontist to diagnose you and start treating you. If the pain is actually in your mandible and the surrounding tissues are tender, then it could be an abscess in wisdom tooth root or cavity (if aforementioned tooth is out), in which case you should see anyone who can prescribe you antibiotics!

    I hope you feel better soon- Virginia Woolf wrote a fabulous essay on being ill called, appropriately enough, “On Being Ill,” which talks about how illness colors one’s view of the world and is universal, but that the experience of illness is poorly represented in literature. Rest well, and good luck!

  15. So, you were right about the mandible/abscess thing.

    I had no idea one could grow, literally, overnight.

    I’m on antibiotics now (yelch) but Dr. Dentist says it might not kick in for a day or two.

    ::whimpers::

    ~A

  16. So, you were right about the mandible/abscess thing.

    I had no idea one could grow, literally, overnight.

    I’m on antibiotics now (yelch) but Dr. Dentist says it might not kick in for a day or two.

    ::whimpers::

    ~A

  17. So, you were right about the mandible/abscess thing.

    I had no idea one could grow, literally, overnight.

    I’m on antibiotics now (yelch) but Dr. Dentist says it might not kick in for a day or two.

    ::whimpers::

    ~A

  18. So, you were right about the mandible/abscess thing.

    I had no idea one could grow, literally, overnight.

    I’m on antibiotics now (yelch) but Dr. Dentist says it might not kick in for a day or two.

    ::whimpers::

    ~A

  19. Sorry. ::pets you::

    You know, if the Tylenol works completely then it might be an indication that it’s more than TMJ … even if it does sound like that’s exactly what it is.

  20. Sorry. ::pets you::

    You know, if the Tylenol works completely then it might be an indication that it’s more than TMJ … even if it does sound like that’s exactly what it is.

  21. Sorry. ::pets you::

    You know, if the Tylenol works completely then it might be an indication that it’s more than TMJ … even if it does sound like that’s exactly what it is.

  22. Sorry. ::pets you::

    You know, if the Tylenol works completely then it might be an indication that it’s more than TMJ … even if it does sound like that’s exactly what it is.

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