Tag Archives: teeth

Another One Bites the Dust…

16 Sep


…pun intended!

Tooth #4 is no longer a pain, because it’s GONE! Check out the notch in this tooth:


I’ve been dealing with this aggravating tooth for several years. Eventually, the notch got so deep that the nerve was exposed. My dentist tried patching it about 7 years ago and the patch fell out while eating a bowl of chicken soup a short time later. He patched it again, and that patch fell out, too. So, we just kept an eye on it until a few weeks ago when it really started bothering me. I was actually glad when he told me about three weeks ago that he recommended extraction. There was also quite a bit of bone loss in the gums around it, so it was not going to make it. I thought it would be better to have it professionally extracted rather than do like my uncle, who pulled his own teeth. (I previously blogged about him a few years ago.) I may be crazy but not THAT crazy.

I feel fortunate that my dentist is the THE BEST Novocain injector (or whatever you call that) on the planet. I hardly felt a thing. Until I went to the checkout counter to pay my bill. I felt that.

I know many of you XLH-ers can relate to the tooth problems I’ve had. It’s an aggravation, isn’t it? Not to mention what it does to your self-esteem. And ability to eat. And bank account. And the smile factor. Sigh.

As I’ve said before, though, I love mashed potatoes. In fact, that’s what I ate for dinner Wednesday night. They were so good. Last night I ate a bowl of lentil stew, using a recipe from a cookbook called “Eating the Bible,” by Rena Rossner. (Now, THAT  would literally be hard on your teeth!) This lentil stew recipe was inspired by the story of Esau selling his birthright to his brother Jacob, as found in the book of Genesis. The author was then inspired to write a book based on the Jewish foods mentioned in the Hebrew bible, found in the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Not only did she create recipes for the modern kitchen inspired by these ancient stories, she wrote commentary on each of the stories, based on her research and her reading of the texts both in Hebrew and in English.

It’s  a very meaty book to sink your teeth into. Yeah, I had to say that.

I bet Ms. Rossner would be surprised to learn that a recipe from her book would help a person with a rare disease to eat following a tooth extraction which has limited my ability to eat foods that require even minimal chewing. We’re all so interconnected anymore. Thank you, Ms. Rossner. I will make that recipe again. In fact, I will probably make it even after my gum heals and I can go back to eating some “chewy” things. It was that good! I’m looking forward to the leftovers.

My dentist told me that he believes this is the last tooth I’ll lose. That’s good, because I don’t have many left. I still can’t convince him that I should receive a discount on my cleanings, though. Doesn’t that seem fair to you all? I mean, would you charge the full price of a pedicure to a one-legged person? And my cousin with one eye…should he be required to buy two contact lenses? Why should I pay full price for a cleaning when there are a LOT of gaps in my mouth, mostly in the back which is hard to get to anyway. It’s just not right.

At the very least, I should get a bigger bag of parting gifts when I leave…more toothbrushes, tooth paste, floss and floss threaders and maybe even some sugar-free breath mints and some lip gloss.

And a recipe book for soft foods.


Copyright 2017, Banjogrrldiaries and S.G. Hunter. All rights reserved.



Fused roots

7 Sep

Fused root #12

Fused Roots!

Now showing at your local movie theater, it is a film about a tooth whose two roots are fused. Can anything save it?!

Rated PG for Premolar Grimness.

Sigh. Yes, I lost another tooth. Tooth #12 on the dental chart. We XLH-ers specialize in dental problems. I think this is the 16th tooth that I’ve had to have pulled, bridged, crowned or “root canal-ed.” Last year, I lost its match on the other side. That one did not have a periodontal ligament, but from what I remember, it did have the usual two roots.

But this one, #12 premolar, had two roots which were fused into one fat one, which contributed to its instability. Of course, we didn’t know it had fused roots until Dr. Tooth extracted it. Prior to the extraction, we discussed whether it was worth saving, not knowing that it had fused roots, since that didn’t show up in the x-Ray. I finally decided that he should pull it, given the history I had with the same one on the other side. So, he pulled it. It hurt. A lot. But it hurt before he pulled it, too.

The over-riding thought that I had throughout this tooth-pulling ordeal was how lucky I was. Lucky, you might ask?

On Friday morning when I realized that the growing pain I’d had all week in my mouth was coming from one particular tooth, I thought, “How unlucky am I? It’s Friday and I have a dental emergency and they’re closed on Fridays. Not only that, it’s the Friday before Labor Day weekend. I’m going to have a long, rough weekend.”

I called the office, though, because I was concerned. When I pressed the appropriate button for “true dental emergency,” MY dentist, out of the four dentists who work at this practice, answered the phone. MY dentist, Dr. Tooth, was on call for the long weekend! How lucky was THAT! I couldn’t believe how my bad luck had changed with one phone call. All I really wanted was his advice, but after we chatted, we agreed to meet at the office for him to check it out.

When I think of the many medical professionals I’ve entrusted myself to over the years, Dr. Tooth is the one I’ve been the most worried about “losing.” Of course, he deserves to retire one day, and I suppose I could run out of teeth to pull or crown before he retires, at the rate I’m going, but still–the thought of trusting another dentist is nerve-wracking. He is a compassionate man and an excellent dentist. He has a very conservative approach to dentistry and doesn’t try to sell me some product that will whiten, brighten and glamorize my smile. He’s old school. I like old school.

So my movie, “Fused Roots,” starring me, has a happy ending for now. The pain is gone. The source of the pain is gone. And my dentist was there for me.

Stay tuned for the sequel: “Fused Roots II: The Invoice Arrival.” I’m sure it will be a shocker.

Copyright 2015, Banjogrrldiaries and S.G. Hunter

Mona Lisa- Not

7 Feb

If you read my last post, then you know that I had plans to get a dental flipper to fill in the hole where one of my teeth used to be. I got it last week, and have been wearing it faithfully since then. As I suspected, I hate it. So, here’s my ode to the dental flipper.

How my dentist sees my dental flipper: a work of art. (Yes, I took a few liberties in my photo-editing program to give her some big white teeth.)

Mona Lisa with buck teeth

How my dentist’s accountant sees my dental flipper.


What others think is in my mouth.


What children think is in my mouth.

Hard Candy

What I feel like is in my mouth. I call this a dental flapper.

Dental Flapper

What is actually in my mouth.

Dental Flipper

The photo doesn’t do it justice. Professorgrrl says this photo looks like a piece of raw chicken sitting on a toilet. The “toilet” is actually a carrying case, Professorgrrl. I guess if you think it looks like raw chicken, then Tucker the Beagle would likely think the same thing. Note to self: keep it out of his reach.

©S.G. Hunter and Banjogrrldiaries, 2014-2019

Say “AH!”

23 Jan

Ah! The teeth! The TEETH! I have lost yet another one. What the dentist thought was a loose crown last week, turned out to be a tooth that was loose, due to the complete absence of a periodontal ligament. Did you even know that we had ligaments that hold the teeth to the bone of our jaws? I did not.  Well, we’re supposed to have ligaments that do that. This tooth did not. There is some speculation that these ligaments can calcify, just like the other ligaments that calcify on XLH-ers.

So, when Dr. Tooth begin telling me the bad news, that it wasn’t a loose crown at all, that there was no ligament to hold the tooth in, that he’d only seen this two other times in his 40-50 year dental practice, I did the UNTHINKABLE. I covered my face and cried (very briefly, 15 seconds maximum) and said, “I am SO tired of this.”

My dentist very wisely said, “We’re like Vegas around here. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” He knew that crying in public was not my normal behavior, but, like I said, it was a 15-second lapse in self-control. I think my brief cry upset him more than the loss of the tooth. It was a toss-up for me. I liked that tooth. It had a very expensive crown on it. That hole that’s in there now is not worth nearly as much as that tooth and gorgeous crown was. I admitted to two people that I had cried (briefly, mind you, 15 seconds, MAX), and they both said, “I’m sorry that it hurt so much it made you cry.” It didn’t hurt at all. I cried because this is the 15th tooth I’ve either lost, had pulled or had crowned. And this tooth was crowned and then lost. There could be more than 15 of my teeth that have been affected, but it’s hard to see up in there, even with a flashlight.

However, I learned some new dental lingo. The “dental flipper,” which I will be getting, is a device that looks like something you’d get at a theatrical shop, except this one is going to cost several hundred dollars and have only one fake tooth on it. The other lesser-known name for the dental flipper is the “cabbage catcher.” I don’t think I’m sworn to secrecy on that nickname, but it was an emotional morning, and maybe I did promise not to mention that. I can’t remember. You know how it is…lose your tooth, lose your memory.

So, I did the best thing I knew to do when I’m feeling really discouraged about my teeth. I called my mother. She always makes me feel better and I make her laugh and I love to hear her laugh. She understands all about the tooth thing. I feel so grateful that I have her to talk to about teeth.

By the way, I think the term “cabbage catcher” refers to both raw and cooked cabbage. I’m not certain about that, but when I find out, I’ll let you all know.


copyright S.G. Hunter and Banjogrrldiaries, 2014-2019

The Potato

4 Apr

So, Professorgrrl, extraordinary cook that she is, texted me today, one day after my tooth extraction, and asked if there was anything that I felt like eating tonight for dinner. The dental hygienist told me yesterday that I could eat mashed potatoes, grits or scrambled eggs while the hole, formerly known as tooth #15, healed up, clotted and all that. I honestly can’t remember how long she said that I should stay on this diet, but the thought of getting something stuck in that hole made me think that I could stand to lay off the crackers and crunchy peanut butter sandwiches at least another day. I texted back to Professorgrrl, “Potato soup.” Today was a very cold, rainy spring day here in the south, and evolved from cold and rainy to sleet, then snow, then a deluge of more rain. I love the south. Like they always say around here, if you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes. And today’s weather just seemed to call for soup.

Honestly, though, if it had not been a cold day, my answer to Professorgrrl would still involve the use of the word “potato.” I love potatoes. They are my comfort food. There is a cafeteria here in town and every time I go there, it is all I can do to keep myself from ordering the vegetable plate with mashed potatoes, French fries, potato salad and a baked potato. And of course, cornbread, for color.

In fact, when I had my second knee surgery (outpatient) back in 1997, I woke up with my usual allergic reaction to the anesthesia, i.e., throwing up on myself. The medical personnel wheeled me to a room and would not allow me to leave until I could sit up without throwing up. Finally, after several hours of being in this holding tank of a room, with my parents patiently waiting by my bed, I told the nurse that I felt fine and was ready to leave the hospital and go home. I proved this by sitting up without throwing up. So, she helped me to a wheelchair and wheeled me down to the lobby. While my father went to get the car, I sat in the wheelchair and threw up on myself. That poor nurse just went into a tizzy, saying, “I can’t let you leave! You just threw up again! We should admit you to a room! I have to tell my supervisor!” I looked at her and told her that I had absolutely no intentions of spending the night in that hospital, that I was leaving and I would be fine if I could just get home to my house, and my bed, and a bag of baked Lays potato chips. I looked at my mother and said, “Let’s get out of here.” So, we piled into the car and left and went to my little house, where my mother, at my instruction, opened up a bag of baked Lays potato chips and I ate a few and all was well. I am telling you, potatoes have HEALING properties! Well, for me anyway. My mother thought this was all very funny. My dad was just glad to be out of that hospital, which made him nauseous anyway.

So, what else could I possibly want to eat after a tooth extraction? And now, I will share with you Professorgrrl’s Delectable Low-fat Potato Soup recipe. She usually finds several recipes on the internet, and then makes up her own recipe based on her research, her own ideas, and my high cholesterol. This works about 99.9% of the time. She knows about that .1% time when she made the Thai green beans. I made it very clear that she should never repeat THAT mistake.

Professorgrrl’s tooth removal low-fat potato soup

Bake or microwave 3 medium-sized baking potatoes; cool and peel

Dice (well sorta- baked taters don’t dice easily) 


Sauté 1/4 to 1/2 cup minced onion in 2 tablespoons of butter

When softened, add two tbsp. flour (heaping)

Slowly add 3 1/4 cup skim milk

Add 1/2 chicken bouillon cube

Add salt and pepper to taste

Add 1/8 tsp. celery salt

Heat on medium high until boiling

Cook 3-4 min or until thickened

Add diced, semi-mashed potatoes

Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream


Add another chunk of butter

Heat through

Serve hot with low fat cheddar cheese and turkey bacon crumbles

Optional diced chives to adorn (Sheila’s note: Adorn is Professorgrrl’s word. I think the usual word is “garnish” but I kept “adorn” because it made me laugh. Not a big toothy laugh, mind you, but a chuckle-type laugh.) 

Makes about 6 servings unless you are really hungry because your tooth has kept you from eating your usual crunchy peanut butter sandwich.

Thank you, Professorgrrl, for a delicious potato soup dinner. I know my many XLH friends with their many tooth problems will appreciate this recipe during their recovery from various dental procedures, since very little chewing, if any, is required. As I have told my dentist many times, we all (everybody, if you live long enough) end up eating mashed potatoes, and I love potatoes. Did I say that already?

Copyright 2013-2018, S.G. Hunter and Banjogrrldiaries