Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Science Experiment - Part 1, Back Story

So many things happen during the course of my day that I think would make wonderful blog entries, but since I don't even have time to brush my teeth most days, you guys are just going to have to miss out on most of these little gems.  However, this was one thing I had to document for posterity.  It may take me a few days to write it, but the public must know about this.

So, back story:   Most of you who know me very well, and some of you who don't know me well at all but just happened to catch me on a day when I was telling my life story know that I get these nasty ulcers in my mouth from time to time.  I've had them my entire life - as long as I can remember anyway.  My mom gets them, my brother and sister also get them, and alas, my kids get them.  I think given all of that it must be hereditary to some degree, but I get them worse than anyone else I know.  I have asked every dentist and doctor about it for years because I suffer with these things.  I mean suffer.  I have dubbed them my "thorn in the flesh".  Most people who get them get one, maybe two or three at a time, and they are fairly small.  When I have an outbreak, I will get at least 5, usually around 10 or so, but at time upwards of 20 in my mouth at the same time.  Some of them are the size of my thumb nail, and at least half of them are all over my tongue making it near impossible for me to talk or eat without being in excruciating pain.  If I've ever been rude to you, there's a good chance that it's because I was at the time afflicted with these things.  I normally just clench my jaw for about 3 weeks because that's typically how long it takes for them to run their course.  Sometimes I'll have a week or two off before I get another outbreak.  They make me very tired, and irritable to say the least.

I have stopped eating tomatoes for the most part, because I thought the acid in the tomato was causing some of the outbreaks.  Then I did a little research myself and found that SLS, which is found in almost all toothpastes can irritate, so I buy this expensive toothpaste online called squiggle, which hasn't reduced the outbreaks, but at least when I have the sores it doesn't feel like I'm scraping the inside of my mouth with razor blades when I brush my teeth.  So I keep using it.  Then a few years back I got my wisdom teeth out.  The doctor prescribed me a steroid afterwards, which I guess is routine, and every sore in my mouth went away almost overnight.  Unfortunately, I cannot convince anyone to prescribe me a steroid just whenever I feel like it.  I went to see a doctor who did give me a special mouth rinse that has some steroid in it, but you can't get it at a pharmacy.  It's some concoction that I have to get from a lab that mixes chemicals and medicines for animals.  This costs about $50 a bottle, and although it helps, it doesn't prevent the sores.  It makes them go away in about a week rather than 3 weeks. Oh, and the bottle lasts a couple months.

Ok, so it's taken me three paragraphs and two days just to tell the back story, but it's important to understand the monster that is being dealt with here. So my dad was here last week and he just happens to mention that he  has cut back on his coffee consumption to 3 cups per day because coffee is acidic and he has acid reflux. Never in my life had I heard or considered that coffee was acidic.  I love coffee.  Things start to click... I seem to have a mild reprieve when I'm pregnant, don't drink coffee when I'm pregnant (don't worry, I get my caffeine elsewhere I just lose the taste for coffee for some reason ).  So I think to myself, I need to look up which foods are acidic because I clearly don't know.  End back story.

By the way, I know some of you are wondering how I have time to write this if I don't have time to brush my teeth.  Let me just assure everyone that on the days I type, I also have time to brush my teeth.


  1. I. Love. You.

    That is all.

    (Also I can't wait for part 2.) ;o)

  2. This is Sarah Acton. I feel your pain..although not to the extent you have described. I used to get huge ulcers inside my mouth, luckily I haven't had one in many years. However, I still get them on my tongue and even just one hurts so bad I can't talk right...I can't imagine having several! I hope you experiment goes well and you find the cause!

  3. Also, I use Kank-Aid on mine. It had a numbing agent. You've probably tried it. It probably doesn't heal any faster, but it keeps the pain down.