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TEETH and GUMS



more to follow



later





I learned today that there are more than 350 different microorganisms (bacteria, mostly) that live in a human mouth... and just imagine, we kiss each other... no wonder open mouth kissing has always been one of the most special and least shared of the intimacies I love... I must have had some innate sense... and most Americans have poor dental hygiene (I wonder if that's most humans... probably)... this is not a pleasant thought... especially since I love to kiss even more than on That 70s Show (oh, and there's a mouth I'd risk a thousand bacteria for, but that's besides the point)...

today I visited with my dentist... and I now have another excuse not to buy the new computer... dental bills... the exams went well... I was praised for having very healthy teeth... exspecially since I've only seen a dentist once in the last, ummm, a lot of years... very little decay... but then, I supposed if the results of the exam were great, the costs would be minimal... but my teeth are almost as old as I am and I'm no spring chicken (where does that saying come from, anyway?... a wind-up toy like a chicken-in-the-box?... this was no help, but a lot of wordsthat look like fun... nor this was even less help and maybe more words)... so I've just added to my eventually agenda, write an origin for the phrase spring chicken... it's probably something to do with chicks hatching in winter and being yong come spring, but there mst be a more interesting or clever explanation of origin and somebody ought to write it)...

anyway, the four oldest teeth in my mouth, my 6-year molars, have chipped a few times and need what the dentist called an onlay (or was that an inlay?)... apparently an onlay is instead of a crown, which is more expensive... a crown covers an entire tooth that is badly broken... an inlay is molded to fit a tooth that is chipped... they used to just put in fillings, but fillings used to be metal and metal being harder than teeth, after a while teeth would give and chip around the fillings and that is what happened... of course opening bottles with my teeth (age test - who remembers bottles that did not have caps that unscrew?) in my young and more foolish years did not help... metal on metal, the poor teeth stand no chance... so my old fillings will come out and inlays go in... I guess they use some dental crazy glue or something... hopefully they won't glue my mouth shut...

four teeth isn't so bad I guess... considering I am no spring chicken (we won't go there again, don't worry, but it is on my eventually agenda)... the bad news is... $750 a tooth... can I shop around?... is that wise?... get it done well and right the first time, right?... after all, you have great dental insurance (so says the incompetent air-head personnel officer at work... oh well, if she's reading this I might not have a job for long, but then, since it took a year to get me a health card and the rest of the management there are about as inept or worse and my ethical child must look the other way before going to work every night because the place is really a business that just happens to sell a product it can not deliver, but can fake it on paper well enough to pass inspections... it would probably not be a great loss... after I pay my bills, that is)...

the total for the seven phase plan the dentist drew up is $3300... of course that is approximate and does not include an extraction... oh, yeah, I didn't mention that one of my wisdom teeth has got to go, did I?... well, I mentioned it somewhere... I remember joking about how unwise the tooth was for a supposed wisdom tooth... alas, I could have taken better care of my teeth... but this first one I loose will hopefully be the last for a long time now that I am changing my health habits again and have all these new dental toys to play with... I know, it's serious, I'll be careful... I never stuck crayons up my nose, after all, so I'm not that self-destructive a child)...

I learned a lot about my gums and had a deep cleaning... I may even have periodontal disease (sounds ominous, doesn't it?)... this is a sure pick-up line if I ever heard one... I can see my social life increasing dramatically now that I have this to talk about)... actually, the dentist and hygienist gave me all sorts of tools to stick in my mouth and said to come back next month and we'll see... we'll see, huh?... so my extra-healthy and resistant to cavity teeth are balanced by my less-than-optimal resistant to germ gums... no fair, I wanted this life to be perfect (well that kinda went out the window some time back I suppose, but I can still lagh at mortality and imperfections, so I'm ok... I think)

and there's hope:

"Intimacy. Intimate partners and spouses of people with periodontal disease may also be at risk. Researchers have found that the bacteria P gingivalis may be contagious after exposure to an infected person over a long period of time. There is no risk from short exposure, such as after a fast kiss or when sharing an eating utensil."

that came from one of those links above... yeah, I actually read stuff, I don't just link stuff to make the journals look more interesting and intelligent)... so I can blame this on Toronto too... and I can still kiss without worrying... it's the long term partner I have to choose more carefully... can I see your teeth and gums?... see me sticking my tongue out?...



I'll be back another time to conclude these thoughts...







































J



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