At a cocktail party a few month in the past, after biting right into a brownie, I felt one thing laborious on my tongue. Nuts? However I hadn’t added any nuts to the recipe. I spit into the palm of my hand and to my shock, I stared at a porcelain crown.
This. Was. Dangerous.
I regretted the brownie, regretted each determination that inadvertently led to this second. A dentist good friend on the desk assured me that it might be OK, however mentioned to keep away from chewing on that facet of my mouth and to securely stow the wayward crown.
Later, I realized it’s not unusual; the “everlasting” cement that holds crowns in place isn’t everlasting in any case. Associates instructed me that their crowns have popped out a number of occasions — a problem, they mentioned, although manageable. Initially, although, I felt as if some primary regulation governing how my physique operated had been upended, as if my hand and foot had switched locations.
It didn’t actually harm, however the uncovered tooth was delicate once I sipped tea. I attempted to get pleasure from the remainder of the night, however I felt as uncovered as that tooth. Subdued, too, as I contemplated my mortality.
Which will sound a bit melodramatic, however I’ve witnessed older family members struggling when their enamel deteriorate. They’re pressured to restrict their food plan to smooth meals or chew on one facet of their mouth. Analysis suggests that the oral well being of the geriatric inhabitants is “usually poor,” with a prevalence of cavities, periodontal illness and tooth loss, “with direct results on the person’s common high quality of life and well-being.”
My dentist instructed me to keep away from sticky or crunchy meals for just a few days till she may schedule an appointment. I blended every part, from soups to stews to smoothies. The drinkable meals had been palatable sufficient, however unappealing in shades of brown and taupe. And for the reason that blender pulverized the fiber within the fruit and veggies, I realized, I used to be liable to feeling hungrier once more prior to if I’d eaten them entire.
To repair the issue, I needed to go to the dentist thrice — first to look at and quickly insert the popped crown, a second time to get measured for a substitute after it was determined a brand new one was wanted, after which lastly for its set up. Twice the anesthetic left me drooling and numb. I apprehensive I’d choke as I tried to swallow my meals.
The whole mishap rattled me, a portent of what’s certain to return: a time during which I’ll endure from frequent dental points and different age-related well being issues. Not for many years, if I’m fortunate, however ultimately.
The tooth hurts.
With the half-century mark looming, getting old has been a lot on my thoughts. Whereas catching up with different late Gen Xers who will hit age 50 within the subsequent few years, we’ve began sharing information about varied well being points: pancreatitis, perimenopause, haywire thyroid, again and foot aches, and listening to issues, particularly amongst musicians.
We joke about squinting at menus, holding telephones at arm’s size to learn the display. A professor good friend instructed me she looked for her studying glasses throughout class, not realizing she was sporting them on her head.
My husband, barely older than me, has been reminding me for some time now that I must plan a bash befitting his reaching this milestone subsequent yr. He vividly remembered his father’s fiftieth, which featured an impersonator of Roseanne Roseannadanna, Gilda Radner’s “Saturday Evening Stay” character.
What area of interest impersonator ought to we e-book? Ought to I plan a visit away with our buddies? Rent a meals truck, make reservations to dine and drink someplace enjoyable? The pandemic that has gone on and on makes the long run murky in all issues, but it surely’s additionally necessary to have a good time after we can. To make a lot of time, and collect rosebuds whereas we nonetheless might.
It’s lots to chew on.