Sunday, August 31, 2014

Braced, A Year In Review

September 3rd marks the one year anniversary of having my braces.

I have had several people ask "why" I have braces and comment that they never noticed a "problem" before.

Let's start with the "why."

I never had any kind of orthodontic care as a kid.  I have always had a small pallet/gummy smile and honestly didn't think too much of it until the last few years as the kids of started their ortho care.  Some unfiltered people have asked me why so much of my gums show when I smile.  Brennan told me that there were people at camp "like you mom" meaning that they had a whole lot of gum show when they smiled.  I've never been someone to draw attention to my mouth with lipstick or want my picture taken.   To be completely honest, I went in for a free consult out of curiosity and insecurity about my mouth/smile.  What started out as a hope for cosmetic improvement became a blessing just in the nick of time.

The "problems" were numerous.

One of the reasons my pallet appeared so small was because my teeth rolled in and laid almost completely on their sides causing decay and wear at the base of my teeth near the gum line.  I was on track to lose my molars in the near future due to the inappropriate wear and tear.  I also found out that I had a cross bite that was causing deterioration in my right jaw joint.  I have been plagued with a loud heartbeat in my right ear for years and couldn't find the cause.  The cross bite was causing such extreme inflammation in the joint, my body was sending blood to the inflammation to help heal it.  The beating can be so loud it affects my hearing.

I wish I could say the heartbeat and jaw pain were gone but the damage was bad enough it won't ever go away completely.  It is better and we know that it won't continue to degenerate and that's a blessing.

I had several consults and several opinions of what to do to fix the different issues each doctor felt was necessary.  One doc wanted to break and reshape my nose due to a deviated septum and shave down the mandible (the bone your top teeth are attached to) and break it expanding my pallet, which would leave me eating soft foods for 3-5 months.  After all of that, he wanted to do braces.  I was very overwhelmed and worried I wouldn't even look like me after all of that.  I understood it would help my breathing and sinus issues but it really felt like too much.  After a few more consults and couple other crazy ideas, we prayed and felt like addressing the dental issue was sufficient.  The sinus and pallet issues were not affecting my day to day and while they could be fix, they didn't need to be fixed.

Here is a picture of me before side by side with a current picture.  I am so thankful every day for my braces at 37 years old.  My teeth are healthy and this care has insured I will have them for decades to come.  I am looking at another 6 months to a year of changes and tweaks.  I can't wait to see the finished product.

What a difference a year makes!!!!

1 comment:

Kerri said...

Shannon you have always had a beautiful smile. But I am so happy that you went in for that free consult. The health of our teeth and mouth prevents so many other health issues. That was just God and the angels helping you down the right path when you went in for what you thought was an insecurity.