Maybe it was karma because I moved my surgery date, or it’s just my good luck, but my wisdom tooth is infected AGAIN. Yes, the same one. However, at least I was smart enough to recognize the signs early and got in to see my dentist the same day. Getting started on the antibiotics so fast will hopefully prevent it from getting as bad as last time (i.e., I won’t look like I have the mumps). Plus, I was better equipped and made sure to ask for a good painkiller, which will also help fight the swelling. Stupid tooth.
My dentist made sure to ask if I actually had surgery booked (I guess most people avoid the surgery after the infection clears up, only to have it happen again down the road). I assured him that I was booked for the middle of February – the day before Valentine’s day actually, Kyle will have an amazing date to take care of. I also assured him that I had finished my last round of antibiotics as directed, as this is a common reason bacterial infections come back.
Antibiotic resistance is a problem among our healthcare system, and I don’t think people really know about it or understand how it happens. To be clear, I’m not a homeopathic / natural healing endorser. I’ve always been a big believer in Western medicine and using medication to treat bacterial infections.
Medication overuse and misuse are two reasons antibiotic resistance is a problem. Everyone plays a role in this – yourself, doctors, and pharmacists. Understanding the medication you’ve been put on should always be a priority, as well as knowing HOW to take it properly. These steps can help keep you healthier by minimizing the medication you take, which is a benefit from an illness and general health stand point.
When I moved to this city, I started suffering from chronic sinus and throat infections – to the point that I was on antibiotics every 6 – 8 weeks. When you’re on medication frequently (overuse), you run the risk of the bacteria becoming resistant to it. The doctors were concerned that was happening with me, also due to the fact that allergies limited my drug options. Pumping the same drug into my system so regularly clearly wasn’t doing me any favours as I kept getting sick with the same illness. So, I made the decision to have my tonsils removed. While it was a terrible recovery, looking back it was 150% worth it. I haven’t been sick like that in the five years which have passed, allowing my body a long break from medication.
Do you ever wonder why the doctor and pharmacist stress the importance of finishing your entire prescription, even if you feel fine? If you end the antibiotic course early (misuse), you run the risk of bacteria still existing, allowing them to multiply again, causing more problems in the way of the same illness, or a new one. These bacteria may come back even stronger than they started out, passing along this resistance to new bacteria. This will cause you to have to go BACK on antibiotics, bringing us back to an overuse problem.
Finally, for your general health, minimizing antibiotic use is best. Our bodies contain a lot of helpful and healthy bacteria. Naturally, antibiotics are going to wipe those out as well. When these healthy bacteria are reduced, it can allow harmful bacteria to grow, leading to further infections such as thrush. Antibiotics can also be hard on your stomach and may cause problems with bowel movements, from diarrhea to constipation. Pay attention to these symptoms and discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist if they occur when you’re on medication.
If you or your kids are put on medication, keep these points in mind to get better faster and to stay healthy. Do your part to help minimize antiobiotic resistance by following the instructions given to you by the doctor or pharmacist – and don’t be afraid to ask questions! I always make sure to ask about taking medication with/without food, specifically dairy for the impact it can have on my stomach.
For now, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this round of drugs clears me up quickly and I stay healthy until the surgery. Good riddance wisdom teeth!