Friday, March 19, 2021

My Incredible Disappearing Tooth

In December, 2019, my family went to a small holiday party. When we left, I felt I had something stuck between two of my teeth. I MacGyvered some dental floss from the edge of a piece of paper and extracted...a sizable portion of tooth and old filling. I have no idea what broke my tooth--I didn't have an obviously crunchy bite at the party or anything.

I thought, "Great, now I have to go see a dentist immediately!" But it didn't hurt, so I decided I could leave it alone until it did.

In October, 2020, my tooth started to hurt. I thought, "Great, now I definitely have to go see a dentist!" I found a dentist and he tried to sell me a $400 mouthguard to wear at night. He referred me to an oral surgeon that doesn't take my insurance. But he also told me that I could use clove oil to ease the pain. I got a bottle at Walgreen's for around seven dollars, and I started applying it every night so I could sleep. It didn't taste great, and I never found a way to get it to numb my tooth without numbing my tongue, but it made my tooth stop hurting. About a month later, my tooth stopped hurting completely, and I stopped using the clove oil.

Two days ago, I was eating some pretzels and my last bite was excessively crunchy. When I finished chewing, I could feel that my tooth felt different against the inside of my cheek. I went to look in the mirror, and saw another quarter of my tooth was missing. I brushed my teeth to see if this latest development had exposed a nerve or created some other painful development, but everything felt fine. What's more, the old bit of missing tooth was sort of a hole, and food would get mashed down in there and be a pain to clean out. But the new bit of missing tooth was the outside edge of that hole, so now food won't get stuck as easily. It's a Saint-Patrick's-Day miracle!

I'm not sure where this ends. Does my entire tooth end up falling out? Can I really expect it to stay painless forever? I don't like the idea of being a guy with teeth falling out of his head, but I dislike it less than I dislike spending $1,500 to fix a tooth hole, so it looks like I'm heading in that direction.

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