Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Ouchie Teeth

Praise the Lord!  We finally got Gideon's "ouchie teeth" fixed up, and he is so much happier!  Gideon's teeth were a mess.  We knew that.  His two top front teeth, which were gray in the referral photos we first saw of him last year 
had already been removed by the time we met him
 and the rest looked pretty bad.  We have been waiting on his dental appointment (the second, actually, since we had a change in insurance, we had to start over again with a new dentist), and the poor little guy kept pointing to his teeth and signing "ouch."  We could see cavities on every tooth.  We have been calling the dentist, requesting and begging for them to do something sooner, but the soonest opening they had was mid-July . . . and that was just for the "look and see," at which point they would have undoubtedly said, "Yep, the boy's teeth are a mess.  Let's do surgery in a few weeks."  

Anyway, we finally got somebody to treat him sooner, but it took an abscessed tooth and cellulitis to get him into surgery.  

He woke up one morning with a puffy, swollen jaw, drooling and crying out in pain, not wanting to eat or drink a thing, and when I called this dentist's office, I was advised to give him some tylenol and call back on Monday, since the dentist was at a dental convention.  Argg!  Not okay!  
Oh, my dear, sweet boy, he was so tough, but obviously really hurting!  And after no less than twenty phone calls to every dentist in the phone book, and me crying out to God in frustration and panic, I was about ready to take him to the ER, because apparently that dental convention was a really big deal, since every dentist who might possibly consider treating a child with special needs and take our insurance was attending.  And then a receptionist gave me another dentist's number to try, and miracle of miracles, we were so blessed to find this absolutely awesome dentist (two hours away from us) who was willing to accept our insurance, willing to treat a child with special needs, AND was willing to see Gideon that very day, and to do surgery the next morning. 

I just have trouble breathing when I think what might have happened if he were still in the institution and this had happened.  The cellulitis had spread toward his throat, and his tonsils and ear canals were inflamed . . . The dentist was serious and concerned when he saw what was going on, and advised us to keep a very close eye on him until his surgery the next morning.  Cellulitis is scary stuff, especially around the airway, and with the possibility of spreading into the bloodstream . . .

Gideon waiting for surgery
But the surgery went great, and the dentist not only treated that tooth, but took care of every tooth in Gideon's mouth while he was at it.  Praise the Lord!  Now Gideon has a mouthful of shiny silver-capped molars, a couple of the worst teeth extracted, lots of white fillings on the front teeth, and not a cavity in sight!  And after blasting him with antibiotics for two weeks, there is no sign of infection and he is happy as can be!  He is even chewing food now.  Woo hoo!  He's not very good at it yet, but at least he is trying, and that is a huge step in the right direction.
Gideon once he had FINALLY calmed down after waking up 
from surgery . . . coming out of anesthesia can be BRUTAL!
Turns out that his teeth have no enamel.  The dentist was unsure if this is a genetic condition or the result of poor nutrition while in utero, but it seems that even with the best brushing habits in the world, this could have been an issue.  

And for the record, Gideon, who had no idea what a toothbrush was when I first met him, has come to love having his teeth brushed, and we brush them after every meal.  He loves getting to pick between the strawberry toothpaste and the grape, and he also loves getting to choose which of his three toothbrushes to use each time.  

Micah, on the other hand, still seems to believe that Mommy is torturing him with the toothbrush, and he fights and yells and jerks his head from side to side as though he is fighting for his life . . . So I end up laying over him to pin his arms down, with his head between my elbow and body, and he growls and shrieks and I try not to feel like the biggest meanie mommy in the world . . . Ah, the things we do for our kids.  Micah's dentist appointment (with the same awesome dentist) is coming up soon.  

Funny thing, though:  Micah's teeth were the ones that had us really worried when we first met the boys.  They were yellow and brown like an ear of corn in an autumn decoration, caked with gunk, and his breath smelled like something dead.  The top two front teeth were the best, by far, the rest of the top ones looked awful, and the bottom ones I was sure would all have to come out; they appeared to be that far gone.  
When he first came home, I remember that Derek kept saying, "Who needs a diaper change?" and I would check the usual suspects before realizing that it was actually my beloved son's breath that was turning our stomachs . . . . and somewhere along the way, the odor disappeared, and his teeth began to have white shiny patches peeking through, and soon there was more white than brown 
and the teeth that I though must be rotten clear through turned out to be quite a pretty shade of white, once the boy got a couple of months of real food and regular (albeit torturous) tooth-brushing.  His bottom teeth are still not nearly as beautiful as the top, however, especially on the inside.  A lot of gunk there still.

So we will see what the dentist thinks (if he is able to think over the sound of Micah screaming and fighting for his life on the exam table).  

 Have I mentioned lately how much I love these boys?  
I am so blessed!


Anonymous said...

Did I say I love Your blog photo. Super-Green kids :)

Jolene said...

OH my gravy! Craziness about G.'s teeth! Praise God he's healed up! As for Micah's teeth...our son came to us at age 6 from Detroit and had nasty BLACK teeth! Somehow along the way of great nutrition and dental hygiene (because there was neither available in downtown Detroit) his teeth are amazing! Praise God!