Last week, while waiting in the car for the Man-Cub to finish baseball practice, I happened to glance in the rear-view mirror in such a way that a portion of my mouth that I don’t generally see when looking in the mirror in the morning was quite visible and; I was shocked to see what looked like a hole at my gum line. A gaping hole.
Of course I panicked. My tooth was about to fall out of my head, after all.
Once the panic subsided, and in a rare moment of clarity, it occurred to me to call my dentist to schedule an appointment. Clearly, I needed to be fitted for dentures since that was the most likely scenario given that my teeth were obviously rotting in my skull despite rigorous and religious brushing, flossing and rinsing and twice-yearly professional cleanings (Why, yes, my brain does automatically go to Worst Case Scenario; it’s my default setting).
My regular dentist has recently sold his practice to a nice young doctor who was happy to see me in a mere seven days. Seven days on a beach in Barbados is heaven; seven days spent anticipating the complete destruction of one’s teeth, not so much.
And, anticipate the worst; I did, especially after consulting Dr. Google who assured me that what I was experiencing was probably the recession of my gum line which could only be treated with a gum graft; that sounded like fun.
Happily, halfway through the Easter weekend, it finally occurred to me that, um, maybe, possibly, I had, at one time, had a small cavity in the tooth in question and that, maybe, possibly, the filling had fallen out, leaving a small hole. I couldn’t be sure because I haven’t actually had a cavity in years and years and, I’m not really all that good about remembering which teeth were filled. I know; my own body awareness astounds me, too.
So, today I finally got in to see New Dentist who happily agreed that what I had was not a receding gum line but a lost filling. He further went on to say that the new filling could be done without numbing the area (thank goodness) and that the filling would match the tooth rather than being silver.
At that point, I was pretty much in love with New Dentist but then, then he went on to compliment me effusively for my healthy gums, obvious attention to hygiene and on the spectacular brightness of my teeth in general. In fact, he worried that he might have a hard time matching the filling to the tooth based on my pearly whiteness.
He may have been flirting.
Or, you know, humoring a new patient.
Either way, New Dentist is waaayyy smarter than Dr. Google, whose expertise I will no longer take for granted (gum graft? Whatever).
Oh, and my smile is 100% less Backwoods Hillbilly now that the hole is gone. That fact alone makes up for the massive amount of embarrassment I felt about failing to recall that I once had a filling there to begin with.
Although, MENSA may still want to take a closer look at my application.