Before I put this in your mouth, she said, Did he explain to you exactly what happened up here? To your tooth-well, to your gum?
He just said periodontal disease and when he said surgeon I sort of stopped listening. I’m in a low income dental clinic, so when I hear “periodontal surgeon” and “we don’t do that here” I tune out the rest. But I had to admit that I was a little curious, I mean it does appear that my gum ran away from my top of my tooth.
No no, she smiled at me. It hasn’t receded. See this line here? Think of it as the equator of your gumline. Above it, close to the tooth is firm tissue. Below is soft tissue. Your firm tissue is missing, and it has left your tooth exposed and vulnerable.
Like as in side of the milk carton missing? I’m in the twilight zone. How does that even happen. (did I fucking SWALLOW part of my gum? Summer! You know what happens when you swallow your gum? It NEVER DIGESTS!”)
Yes, she tells me. It’s just gone, and it can be caused by several things. Have I had braces? No. head trauma? No. or…Well she can tell I grind my teeth. It could be that. Clenching jaw and grinding teeth back and forth can cause the teeth to move ever so slightly back and forth and guess where the stress point is? She shakes her head. I mean, I don’t know. It’s probably that. But the surgeon might have a different idea.
Really? So above that stress point a piece of your gum can simply break the fuck off. The solution? Harvest meat from the roof of my mouth and you know- sub it in. I just…like why couldn’t the departing piece of gum tag in the sub from the roof of my mouth on its way out?
In other news, I feel that it’s my responsibility to inform the internet that when you don’t visit a dentist or regularly floss for 11 years, the machine that they use for what they refer to as Deep Scale cleaning of the gums is to calculus (It’s not tartar, she informs me. Dogs get tartar. People get calculus.) what jackhammers are to concrete.
Take care of your teeth, kids. Take care of your teeth, or they will surely take care of you.