On the weekend, Alex finally managed to remove a tooth which he had been working on for weeks. He used spoons, cups and even our stairs to try and get it out. This isn't the first time he's been aggressive about getting a loose tooth out and the determination had been bothering us. Especially since we weren't entirely certain it was a baby tooth.
Our fears were even greater when the tooth came out with a long chunk of root still attached. The gum healed quickly with minimal blood, which suggested a baby tooth, but having a good centimeter of root is still alarming.
I contacted our specialty dentist at CHEO (children's hospital) and was told it would be three weeks before they could see him, as it wasn't an emergency.
I didn't want to live with uncertainty that long (especially since he shows signs of working on another one) so I called our family dentist and brought in the extracted tooth. (There was no point in bringing Alex in as he can't tolerate anyone looking or working in his mouth without full restraints, which is why we have to go to the specialty dentist.)
The dentist quickly assured me that it was a baby tooth and that was when the divide between regular parenting and autism parenting quickly set in.
He tried to reassure me by telling me that it was impossible to rip out an adult tooth. But since I've watched Alex rip out bolts attached to the wall and a car's license plate, I know he has the strength. Add tools and his insensitivity to pain and I can't rule it out as a possibility.
For regular people, yes, ripping out a tooth actually qualifies as a form of torture. For a kid with strength, pain tolerance and oral sensitivities, it might make more sense to rip out the tooth than tolerate the discomfort of food around it.
I'm glad it wasn't the case but I've got a bit of a bristle at being dismissed as delusional.
We'll be trying for a panoramic x-ray soon. Our specialty dentist is concerned at how slowly Alex's adult teeth are coming in. (We've had several bare patches of gum for months.) There's also the concern of extra teeth. Once they have a better idea of how many tooth buds are waiting, we should know what we're dealing with.