Wednesday, March 24, 2010

WAR IN THE MOUTH

I have a war that has been going on in my mouth for a fortnight now. This is because a section of my dental formula is tired of being treated like dirt. My teeth have decided that their primary duty is to chew food. They started protesting the other day after years of being soda openers and breakers of everything the hands couldn't and they now won't even chew a piece of bread soaked in tea.

One of them is so furious it won't even go to sleep. It works fine during the day but at night when it senses that I am in the usual sleeping position, it starts to ache, at first not too sharp and then the pain crescendos and before I know it I can't even sleep and nothing is at peace anymore. So I tried sleeping standing the other day to fool the tooth but after about 30 minutes my feet almost buckled. This tooth has learnt that the best way to teach me a lesson I won't soon forget is to ache during the hours I am trying to catch some sleep. Once the alarm goes off in the morning, it knows it is the time to stop aching and wait for me to get to bed again.

There is a friend of mine who is now in his grave because of a tooth. The tooth ached so much he grabbed the first thing that he thought would sooth it and he put vodka in it and thought vodka would work pretty much like it works on the brain but lo and behold he was found dead the following morning. I am not sure what killed him, the vodka or the toothache or both and I am not in the least trying to find out with my own tooth. So I decided to go to a dentist to have the tooth removed. You might want to know that I have no more savings because the dentist asked for every penny. But I will make more. Now I need a replacement for the lost tooth and I am told that if my name has not appeared on Fortune 500, it is better to forget the whole tooth replacement business altogether.

Which got me thinking about my cat. First, I am worried that if ever one of her four teeth aches, she will not be able to communicate that to me and secondly, I am wondering whether there are any veterinarians who specialize in dentistry. I guess they would have to be many because different animals have different dental formulas and probably for one to treat my cat, one would have studied feline dentistry. I envy elephants because once a set of their teeth ache, they just spit them out and have about 5 spit outs after which they succumb to toothlessness.

My friend's dog, Simba once had a dental problem. That was in our hunters and gatherers ages of between 10 and 12 years old. The dog had a bone stuck in between it's teeth and what followed was a restless day for my friend, his dad and I. My friend's dad picked a hammer in a great show of manual dexterity but later changed his mind because the situation seemed like it needed compassion which my friend's dad show of it was to repeatedly ask "How can a dog be so stupid?". All this time the dog's mouth was agape and it was drooling and shedding tears. She kept trying to claw the bone off her teeth which only left the left side of her face flayed and bare. By the time it dawned on us that we should take poor Simba to a vet doctor it was midnight and that meant another 10- 12 hrs of waiting.

The following morning we took her to the vet, a lady (I just felt compelled to mention that) and when Simba saw her and remembered that just a few months before the same doctor had pushed a needle the size of a knitting needle on her back side she tried to launch herself out through the closed windows. Apparently she had been in that small room six months before for a vaccine and she just remembered her last experience with the doc and she did not want to have any of it again. We were so frustrated trying to convince her that it is this 'bad' lady who would help with the bone but since she is canine and we are human, and we couldn't get through to her, we resulted to the method we humans know best. We forced her down and held her there while the doc did her job. After inspecting and anesthetizing the dog, she took a pair of pliers and removed the bone. It took around 3 minutes to do what we had tried to do for a day and a half. Since the left side of Simba's mouth was bare, the doc sacrificed a lab mouse and stitched it's skin on Simba's left side of the face. She looked quite comical since she was a German Shepherd but we thought it was better than walking around with a left bare face.

So we should really take care of our teeth because if we don't, our economy will soon fall into the hands of dentists.