Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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04/27/2005: "The Case of the Artist and the Phantom Tooth Decay!"

Forgive me dentist for I have sinned. My last cleaning was 3 years ago!

Some of you may remember that my teeth have been bothering me and that I wasn't going into the dentist for financial and anxiety related reasons. I kept picturing a huge festering abscess reaching down into my jaw bone. I thought it would be terrible. I thought I'd be told I had 10 new cavities and needed three root canals and gum surgery. Turns out I have the healthiest mouth in town. No cavities, no gingivitis, no nuttin.

I asked the dentist if there's such a thing as a “hysterical” cavity and he and the dental hygienist had a good laugh so I'm guessing the answer is no! The only thing that bums me out every time I go to the dentist is the horrified way that both the hygienist *and* dentist comment on the aesthetics of my two front teeth. "Surely you want to have something done about that!".

See, I used to play a lot of cut-throat racquetball in college and one time I got hit in the mouth so hard that the dentist had to scrape the blue enamel from the racquet out of my front teeth. Both teeth eventually died but not at the same time. So one front tooth has a grayish colored crown and the other tooth has a yellowish colored veneer. The sum effect is that I don’t smile much (oh vanity!) at least not the toothy kind.

Maybe one day they’ll pitch in and write a letter to Extreme Make-over on my behalf so I can get a big dumb ass mouthful of giant glow-in-the-dark horse teeth and look purdy again.

Replies: 4 Comments

on Thursday, April 28th, Jim said

I didn't go to a dentist for about 13 years and I'm not exactly the flossiest guy in town - when I finally went I had just a little bit of a cavity. Who knows why - my thought was that I was addicted to chewing ice and that cleaned my mouth all those years....

But as far as the pain thing - I get food impacted in between my molars (apparently I have a nice little hotel room space where food loves to hang out) and if I don't clean it out with a special brush do-hickey I get a lot of pain in a few days. The amazing thing is that I could floss all day on the area and never get it out. When it first happened I had the same reaction you did - oh my God, my jaw is going to have be wrenched out - maybe I'll just ignore it :-)

on Thursday, April 28th, Elise said

Well, I'd be surprised if anything could get caught between my molars because they are so tight together I can only use Glide floss and even with that it's hard to get between them.

Still, do you know what that special do-hickey is called or could you describe it for me? I'm willing to try anything.

My dentist did give me this thing that looks like a tooth brush but it has a little strip of floss at the end. It seems to work ok.

on Thursday, April 28th, Jim said

My molars are that tight as well, I have to use Glide or the floss cuts through my fingers. My personal food residue hotel space is under the contact points of the molars. The thing that gets food out is called a Proxabrush and like I said it does wonders. Also, a Water Pik on high does it as well. The tooth brush with the little floss never gets it all for me.

What you describe with your pain sounds like what I went through - the dentist actually told me to come back to the office when the pain comes back so she could see it. But before that happened I finally figured it out myself after a certain BBQ beef dinner :) Good luck!

on Saturday, April 30th, Elise said

Thanks for the info Jim!