I mean, I knew that aging wasn't going to be easy, that things would begin to droop and sag. I was clear that hair would turn white and appear in places it'd never been before. But, I never imagined this. Yes, I want everyone out there struggling with the same issue to know... don't be embarrassed, I'm owning it...
My gums are receeding.
Well, actually only one gum.
I have prided myself on great dental hygiene. The first time I spent a weekend with my wife we climbed a mountain, and at the top, I flossed. And she married me anyway.
My mouth has always been my most attractive feature. And now this.
I went in to have a simple teeth cleaning and made the mistake of complaining about tenderness around number 21, the left bottom canine. Dr. Helms came in and started poking around with his fancy fish-hook.
"Looks like you have a receding gumline. We'll just drill a little and fill that right in with some epoxy."
Epoxy? Isn't that what we made ashtrays out of in high school?
Two weeks later I found myself horizontal in his chair, with a flurry of folks dashing about my kisser.
I began to have heart palpitations.
"Am I going to get a shot? In my mouth?"
I'd never had a cavity, never experienced Novocaine. Needles and mouths are not compatible! You wouldn't put butter beans in your underpants, it doesn't make sense. Why in the world would you ever stick a needle in your trap? It's for eating, kissing, talking - not stabbing!
The doc assured me it wasn't going to hurt. "you're going to feel a slight sting."
"I don't like slight stings!"
"It won't hurt, I promise."
He was pretty much right. The actual prick didn't cause much pain, but I could feel him digging around my gums with his prickly apparatus.
Once he was through, the left side of my lip stuck out like Fat Albert's friend, Dumb Donald.
Iba couldn'tba hardlyba talkba. Slobber was falling down my chin and neck.
He finished the procedure and told me that number 21 should be good to go by dinnertime.
I jumped into my car and began to stretch my lip in and out to see if I could feel anything. I bit it, nothing. I hit it, nothing. I pressed down on it with my fingernail - if I hadn't seen it in the rear view mirror, I wouldn't have known my hand was anywhere near my face.
If I wanted to I could have pulled my lip out and stuck a grapefruit between the outside of my gum and the inside of my bottom lip. It was like Stretch Armstrong.
I actually sort of liked my lip in limbo. Next time I want to do my eyelid.