Lost Tooth

4:42 PM

I lost most of my tooth yesterday and I'm feeling very self conscious about it. I've had a crown on that tooth since Obama was first elected. It started feeling loose on Sunday and I was really worried it would fall off. I called and made an appointment for yesterday and in the process of removing the crown, the whole tooth came with it. 

I literally have nightmares about things like this happening. One tooth falls out, then another and another. Soon my cheeks are filled with my teeth and all I'm left with are gaping holes in my gums. I always wake up in a panic and run my tongue along my teeth to make sure they're still there. 

I wanted to cry in the dentist chair when my dentist told me what had happened. "It's just gone? You can't glue it back in?" 

"Unfortunately, no, and you still have part of it in your gums and it will have to be surgically removed."

So here I sit. The first person I had to talk to sans tooth was a very nice OPB man who came to my door asking if I'd like to renew my membership. I was so embarrassed by my mouth that I mumbled yes, and when he tried to make small talk with me I just smiled dumbly. 

Why is something so small making me feel so insecure? 

So I decided that I would embrace my toothlessness. I would be brave with this. I would walk confidently out in the world with my toothless face and not give a damn about what people would think.

And then I had to go to the grocery store....

Being that confident about yourself is not easy.  It's really, really hard.

I'm hoping it gets easier because I have several weeks before I'll be able to get a replacement tooth. I've been thinking a lot about other people and that some go through a lot worse than just a missing tooth. I remembered a woman I used to see walking in my neighborhood, when I lived in NW Portland. I'd only see her walking around at night, with a hood up over her head. I tried saying hello to her once, but she refused to make eye contact with me. I then noticed that she was covered in large bumps all over her hands and face. I've always remembered her and I wonder if she still walks around at night in that neighborhood.

So yeah, in the grand scheme of things, a missing tooth isn't all that bad. At least it isn't one of my very front teeth...

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