My Tongue : Breaking News

posted in: Sicky 27
It’s nice when they’re all in a row and not poking. Image: Wikipedia.



My tongue hurts.

Not the whole thing. It’s the righthand side. The righthand side of my tongue hurts a lot.

The reason it hurts is because there is a sharp, thin wire in my mouth that has broken away from where it ought to be and every time my soft, wet tongue moves in my mouth, it scrapes against this sharp, tiny wire. Over and over and over, when I say words, or eat, or just swallow, this wire stabs or scrapes my tongue. This started on Friday afternoon and now it is Sunday night.

I never told you that I got braces.

Well, I got half-braces. I got brackets/braces on my bottom front teeth because a) it was what I could afford and b) … Well, I’ll tell you later because it’s a good story. Anyway, I got six brackets and a wire on the inside of my bottom row of teeth and this situation is called “sublingual” braces.

I’m trying to be a trooper, but so far, my sublingual braces have not been fun.

This is the fourth time I have had a crisis (relatively speaking) with my sublingual braces. Twice, a bracket has popped off my tooth and I’ve had to go in and get it repaired. And twice now, the resin they melt onto the end wire (so that the wire can’t poke my tongue) has broken off, which is bad. I’m really, really hoping this is just the way it is with sublingual braces and that I don’t have a terrible orthodontist. I also hope I’m not the reason this is happening, but I don’t think so. I’ve been eating soft foods and being careful to take care of my sublingual situation. My caramel popcorn and hard pretzel days are over, if you will, and have been over since I got the dang things installed.

This pain in my mouth … It’s tyrannical. I can hardly think. The whole world is my mouth. My tongue specifically.

And there are people — Buddhists?? — who would say, “Mary, the pain in your mouth is an opportunity. This torture you feel, the way the whole world has shrunk and you can think of nothing but the pain in your mouth, this is a chance to really experience the moment; you can really be present because your focus is so focused on this sensation.”

What are you, nuts?!

You can have your enlightenment. I wouldn’t wish this “sensation” on anyone. My tongue is swollen. It’s been stabbed for two days, traumatized and raw. What’s more, I’m in Portland till tomorrow night, so I can’t see my ortho till Tuesday at noon. I’ve tried to stick wax on it (which has worked in the past) but the wire that broke and is poking is too close to the gum line and the wax won’t stick. I actually cried earlier tonight when, after the fifth time trying to coat the wire so that it wouldn’t poke my tongue, it slid immediately off. Again. I put my tongue down and the wire burrowed into my tongue once more. It’s starting to drive me a little bananas

We’ve all had bigger problems. But mouth pain is tough — and I am no Buddhist. Here’s hoping your tongue goes un-persecuted this night!

27 Responses

  1. K Frye
    | Reply

    Get some dental wax

  2. Calley
    | Reply

    Would a mouth guard help to keep the wire away from your tongue until you can get it fixed? It is not a perfect solution, but maybe it would provide a barrier? Hope you get relief soon.

  3. Annie
    | Reply

    Oh Mary…I can’t imagine how terrible this is!!! I’m reading this trying to think what you could do, but of course it’s too late. But I was thinking of those dentist little rolled gauze things. Hope it’s all fixed.

  4. jen
    | Reply

    What about a giant wad of gum?

  5. jen
    | Reply

    And …Oh! How awful! What about those small hard disks you can get for canker sores that go on your toungue directly could it cover the sore?

  6. Sydnie
    | Reply

    Oh my! I can empathize. I just (2 days ago!) got my braces off, after 4 1/2 lovely years of pokey wires and scrape-y brackets. I had a super messex up bite, and thought it would take far less time to fix! If I’d known, I would have done it when I was 13 and my parents could have paid for it, instead of doing as an old lady and paying for it myself.

    Might I suggest a second opinion? As brutal as mine were, sublingual sounds like an utter nightmare. If you want a doc in Colorado, mine is really fantastic!

    In the meantime, definitely load up on wax! A lot of it. Pick it up in any drugstore, or get it “free” (ha!) from your ortho.

  7. Lauren Matheson
    | Reply

    I’d have ripped the whole damned wire out by now. No, this is not normal; get firm with the Ortho on Tuesday.

  8. Ingrid White
    | Reply

    The wire should be bent (using light wire pliers) so that it does NOT cut your tongue, resin does not have to be applied to ends of the wire. Try using ortho wax to mould around the wire and brackets to act like a cushion for your tongue. This is tricky to apply because the way to get it to stick is to ensure the brackets are dry!
    I speak from experience – I had fixed braces in my late 40’s, and am also an ortho dental nurse. Good luck – it will be worth it in the end.

  9. Anita
    | Reply

    I got braces AFTER my 3 kids had theirs off and I finally understood their pain. Wax and Tylenol were my constant companions!

  10. Chris
    | Reply

    Back in the dark ages, when I had regular braces–the orthodontist gave me a packet of special wax that I could put on any sharp wires that could come loose–just until I could get in to see him. Maybe ask him/her if he can provide that for the future. Or just go find a bees wax candle….!!!

  11. Carol
    | Reply

    One word….. whiskey.

  12. Helen Glover
    | Reply

    Surely there is a local dentist there where you are who would try to fix it for you. Call someone at least. So sorry!

  13. Ellen Miller
    | Reply

    FIND A NEW ORTHODONTIST! Dentists and orthodontists have finally learned that fixing tooth/mouth issues doesn’t need to be painful- unlike the bad old days when we had cavities drilled out without Novocaine. Yes, braces hurt some– they are moving deeply placed tooth roots, but the wires should not break. Perhaps the new guy will have some in the office on the weekends, too. In the meantime- dental wax and tylenol. Finally–it is worth it to have a smile full of straight teeth.

  14. Robin Gabriel
    | Reply

    After having to endure the old fashioned braces (full bands, top and bottom!), one of the tricks I used to use was a little ball of wax, pushed on to the offending wire or bracket! You might be able to obtain something similar at the drug store, otherwise, ask your orthodontist if they still use it! I’m surprised they didn’t offer you some to begin with! Poor, poor tongue!
    Good luck!

  15. Joan Huehnerhoff
    | Reply

    and yet you were wonderful at quilt market. thank you for the pictures and being so gracious to your adoring fans!

  16. Bob Collis
    | Reply

    I would suggest a different orthodontist when you get back, but until then, could you use chewing gum that you can press against the wire, and use your tongue to help keep it in place?

  17. Bob Collis
    | Reply

    I thought, maybe chewing gum, but wax is good too.

  18. Bob Collis
    | Reply

    I would definitely find a different orthodontist. You don’t need this. And you’re PAYING for it?!
    Until then, could you keep a wad of chewing gum on that side? Between your tongue and the offending wire?

  19. Bob Collis
    | Reply

    I would definitely find a different orthodontist! Until then, could you keep a wad of chewing gum between your tongue and the offending wire?

  20. Glenda
    | Reply

    Use non sticky gum and pack it in. Anbesol for the pain.

  21. Bob Collis
    | Reply

    I’d go with a wad of gum, but wax is good too! Something to protect your poor tongue!

  22. Kristi
    | Reply

    Colgate makes a mouthwash called Peroxyl. Royal blue bottle. Rinse hourly.
    Colgate also makes a paste in a little tube. Can’t remember the name. White tube with a stripe, maybe red. Key to this is to dry the sore area first, with a washcloth, then apply the paste and keep the area dry until the paste has adhered to the sore area. It will take a minute.
    Advil to reduce the swelling.

  23. Judith J Jorgenrud
    | Reply

    It is so nice that the font and the color are now readable to me. Your previous website came through as gray and I never could get it adjusted. Thank you.

  24. Brenda King
    | Reply

    So sorry to hear about your brace wire pain! Hope you will have it remedied soon! I didn’t have braces, but both dtrs. did. I remember the pain and suffering they went thru, but don’t recall wild wires! Take good care of yourself! Brenda King

  25. Deb Pentek
    | Reply

    Oh no! Brings back nightmares!
    Please consider a second opinion. Also wadded up paper towel over the sharp part helped me. Wax falls off. But the paper towel wad sticks to the sharp wires. Good luck!

  26. Bill Volckening
    | Reply

    It was great to see you last week. Next time, we’ll have to chat about going to the orthodontist. I spent a lot of time there as a kid.

  27. Portland Braces
    | Reply

    Thank you for sharing experience and ideas!

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