Have you ever had a tooth pulled? I've had more teeth pulled than I have left in my mouth. Last week I had another molar extracted. A little laughing gas, a lot of novocaine, and 5 minutes later...toothless. Just like that. I never had laughing gas before so I was a little worried what words might come out of my mouth since I had no idea what state it would put me in. Who knew what kind of propositions and gestures I would offer the oral surgeon. Luckily, I was a good girl. At least I think I was. Ok...maybe not so much. Ok...sue me...he was adorable...I couldn't help myself!
Trying to drink from a glass with some novocaine left in your mouth is a pretty humorous feat. I wasn't really paying attention but when my shirt started getting soaking wet...I realized I was drooling down my chin for the last 20 minutes. I'm surprised any of the water made it into my mouth and down my throat. My numb, droopy lip and lack of facial muscle control should have been an indication that I still had no feeling in my face.
Chewing on dry gauze is like nails on a chalk board combined with chewing chalk and licking the black board. I cringed every time I would have to replace the piece of gauze in the socket. And they don't give you 'hole- appropriate' sizes...they give you huge squares so that you look like you are chewing on golf balls...and it sticks half way down your throat so you are gagging most of the time. And the feeling of chewing dry gauze is just....ugh...I can't even think about it anymore.
Trying to talk with a new crater in your mouth ith challenging. The air that now flowth through your teeth, or lack thereof, causeth a lovely lithping thound. A bit Thylvethter-like.
It takes a little getting used to but eventually you realize you will not need to hire a speech therapist. You do ultimately figure out how to redirect the air so your tongue hits your palate behind your front teeth and your speech sounds normal. Or so you think, until someone is staring at you with head cocked, brows furrowed, scratching their chin, trying to figure out what you are saying.
Eating food also has its challenges. Now that I have very few molars left, conquering mastication is a victory. Of course, most of my food ends up in my digestive tract in whole pieces. I can now trace the incredibly large chunks of food as they meander through my colon, following the large lump down my body to its destination. It's very alien-like. Actually, it’s pretty creepy. It has finally dawned on me why I have so many digestive problems. Duh.
I assume that over the next few years all the roots of my teeth will slowly get weaker and worn down, and one by one, they will be removed from my mouth. First will be the few remaining molars. Then each tooth, from the back forward, will disappear until I am totally gumming it.
Another chapter in the aging process. ‘Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.’