As my dental hygienist said this morning, everyone’s got a weak spot in their body. Mine happens to be my teeth. I’m less than half British, but I’ve got British teeth. You can’t tell that I have British teeth right away because some of my crowns are enamel on the part that shows when I smile (and gold on the inside where it can’t be seen).
But in addition to my rather nice crowns, I have some big old fillings that were installed in a dental surgery in Mildenhall, England, ca. 1975. (It’s not a serious as it sounds…”dental surgery” is the same as “dental office.”) If you make me laugh hard and my lower jaw drops, you will see these works of dental excellence. British dentistry in 1975 wasn’t too far ahead of British dentistry in 1875. The office equipment looked to be right out of a 19th century painting. I know that one day these old fillings, one of my most lasting souvenirs from living in England for six years, will have to be replaced.
Until then, I’m engaged in a pitched battle (this link is not for the faint of heart) to keep my gums healthy. I’ve moved beyond regular maintenance to periodontal maintenance, which means a new little brush to be used post brushing and flossing to get things back in shape.
In the “new, scary things to know” category, a firm link has been established between periodontal disease and heart disease. Those crazy bacteria leave your mouth via your bloodstream and end up dancing their jig in your heart. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the US…or not. Let’s just go with heart disease kills a lot of people.
My visit with my new hygienist, Carol, went well. Toward the end of the visit, it was time to polish my teeth. “Close your eyes, ” she said, “the paste has a tendency to fly.”
I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen in my bathroom tonight.