Do you remember Timmy the Tooth? He said, if you brush and floss every day, you’ll keep your teeth forever. Well, it turns out there’s more to that story.
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My wife will tell you I’m a total brush-and-floss zealot. I do them every day religiously, and I’ve never had a cavity.
A year ago, one of those dentists-in-a-box told me my gums looked great. A couple weeks ago, a high-end dentist made some X-rays and measurements, and he told me something very uncool. Basically:
“Lee, you have beautiful, strong teeth. And they’re gonna look great in your top drawer.”
It turns out a combination of genetics, insufficient dental care and gnarly nocturnal grinding has caused the bones to recede between my tooth roots. As the bone recedes, so do the gums, and the softer parts of the teeth get exposed. The teeth deteriorate quickly, and my insane grinding just makes it worse.
Those dreams I had where I was chewing chunks of my own teeth … they were real.
So, I have to wear a bite guard at night. So romantic. And I have to get surgery this Thursday. The surgeon is going to slice off strips of my upper palate and sew them into my gums. Yeah, rock and roll.
And here’s the real stoke: This is not a cure. This is just a way to try to stop the recession. The doctor said, if we keep the gum level where it is, I get to keep my teeth. If the gums keep receding, we’ll have a real problem.
I really want to blame someone. Damn that Timmy the Tooth!