Tuesday, May 13, 2008

This is gonna hurt me more than it hurts you

For the past few years--at least 10 years come to think of it--dentists have been urging me to take care of a pesky little area of gum recession that is over 3 of my teeth. I, however, am a tremendous wimp, so I have continued to live in denial instead of allowing somebody to cut a hunk of flesh from the top of my mouth and stitch it to my gum.

You know that old--OK, relatively new--saying about how hard work may pay off in the long run but procrastination pays off NOW? I think this is a classic illustration of that bit of wisdom. Over the years that I have been delaying this "procedure," the protocol has gotten easier and easier (or so they tell me in the glossy preoperative brochures). Rather than removing tissue from the roof of my mouth (OUCH!), the periodontist will simply "loosen" the gum tissue and then stuff in some sort of collagen matrix. Easy-peezy, right? Let's hope so.

I have been promised some good drugs, and I'm hoping I may lose a pound or 2 in the following days. I'm trying to reframe this in my head as kind of a spa vacation.

It would seem appropriate to end this post with a reminder about the importance of good oral hygiene, but unfortunately it wasn't sloppy habits that got me here. Instead it was my slightly obsessive-compulsive tendency to pick at any imperfection (squeezing blackheads and peeling sunburns are only 2 of my favorite things). It turns out that when you have something stuck between your teeth, you shouldn't use a seam ripper to remove it. Who knew?

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