Toothy tales

Posted by on June 14, 2015 in Blog, Living today | 0 comments

Teeth 1I wish to register a complaint: it concerns the design of teeth. What genius made them a separate part of your body, with their own pain sensors? Why should they be a beauty accessory in their own right?

I ask because yes, you’ve guessed it, a visit to the dentist is due. I’m not expecting trouble, but you never know. And this is the week that Dame Mike trotted up there to have one removed and he hasn’t quite recovered from the injection yet.

Could teeth not have been an integral, rather than a separate, part of the jaw structure? After all, bones grow and lengthen so teeth could have done likewise. There would have had to be a cut-off point so that we didn’t all end up looking like raging vampires, but I’m sure that could have been genetically arranged. I wouldn’t even be totally against a durable coating developing once the teeth break the surface of the gum, one that could be enhanced by science.

Dentists might save smiles but they also ruin lives. My mother would refuse to go because of the feared pain, ending up with false teeth. I did have some sympathy, because as a child the dentist my parents sent me to had Parkinson’s Disease.

I used to dread visits. The sight of his trembling hand as he administered an injection, frequently in the wrong spot, thus necessitating another jab, was often worse than the filling itself. My back molars never quite recovered and I am grateful that when I was pregnant my then dentist took my mouth in hand, as it were,  even if he did leave me with one wisdom tooth which would rise up if I talked about teeth, and descend when the conversation died down.

Of course dentistry has moved on since then, and I am sure we take care of our teeth better. I floss for Britain, travelling far and wide to get the only floss picks that work for me (currently only available at Asda). But the other thing about teeth is that they’re a genetic lottery.

How is it that three of us in the family are model patients yet occasionally get fillings or removals while the fourth, whose dental hygiene is questionable to say the least and whose consumption of Coca-Cola is legendary, has escaped dentistry for 31 years apart from the removal of his wisdom teeth? Is there no justice in life?

And if teeth were an integral part of the jaw, presumably if they broke they could always be splinted, thus avoiding potential treatments like root canal? These can be made easier if you have a sympathetic dentist who provides you with video goggles and the latest film releases so it’s more like a visit to the cinema than entrance to a torturer’s cell. But I wouldn’t mind if I never had to experience a repeat session.

So let’s hear it for advances in dentistry. If we can’t have all-in-one jaws, maybe we could have self-mending teeth? I love my dentist dearly, but I am still not looking forward to Tuesday.

Postcript: Clean bill of health, thank heavens. And teeth, apparently, are the strongest part of our body, according to my dentist. Who’d have thought?


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