In October of 2008, we found another piece to the puzzle of Jesse's lousy health.
He hadn't been to the dentist in quite a few years. This was one of the unfortunate results of having parents who are unable to work at regular jobs, but don't qualify for any type of disability assistance. Visits to the dentist for all of us just got ... put off till someday when we could afford them.
Took a long time.
So Jess went to the dentist last fall and was told he had a dozen cavities and needed a root canal. All of which meant, he had a LOT of bacteria in his mouth and had had it for a very long time. Alan and I felt awful because, we're his parents and it's our fault. We felt awful because things were going to get expensive. But we also felt relieved because maybe, just maybe, fixing this might help fix his illness.
He had the root canal and it was a miserable experience. The dentist said there'd been so much bacteria coming from that decaying tooth that the freezing couldn't take effect properly. Jesse attested to this, he felt a lot of pain during and after the root canal. There'd been so much infection the dentist gave him a prescription for an antibiotic. So much infection that I had the prescription filled and gave it to him. (I am not always a fan of antibiotics but I made an exception in this case.)
The next day, when Jesse got up he said, this was the first morning in a very long time that he didn't have a horrible taste in his mouth.
That was exciting to me.
Over the next few weeks, we saw a teeny tiny improvement in him. He couldn't chew on the left side of his mouth, and really won't be able to till we can get a crown on that tooth. Nevertheless, his immune system is under a little less duress now that that source of bacteria has been halted.
Since then, we've been able to get three more of his cavities filled. Without any insurance, it all takes awhile. But we are determined to get it all done.
One of the three cavities was only partially taken care of. Seems the decay had spread very close to the nerve, and to protect the nerve from damage, the dentist put in a medicated goo containing something called eugenol. This will hopefully help the inside of the tooth heal sufficiently over the next three months, so that he can simply have that cavity filled, and not another root canal.
Meanwhile, he can't chew on the right side of his mouth. Which means, he can't really chew on either side now. This is insult upon injury in my books, but there's nothing to be done but wait out the three months, and take care of the right-sided cavity, and when we can, get a crown on the left-sided root canal.
He's doing better again though. Much better. We're thinking, it is probably from a combination of things.
I've had him taking Vitamin D, a supplement that has resulted in remarkable improvement for me. He now takes Vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid with a B complex and Vitamin C. He takes an adrenal support mixture with borage, as well as probiotics, and oil of oregano capsules (anti-viral and anti-bacterial).
It seems clear to me though that the dental work has been a big factor. All that bacteria was putting a major strain on his immune system, it's no wonder he had no energy left for anything else.
I did a web search on CFS and dental health and was surprised to find that there is a correlation between the illness and dental problems. Nobody's quite sure why yet, but it may have to do with certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies and it is more common than I'd have ever guessed.
Never underestimate the importance of taking care of your teeth. It is vital to your overall health and well-being.