I Am Chipmunk; Hear Me Roar!

(Friday, December 22, 2006, 7:05 p.m.)

copied from Myspace blog

Day three after oral surgery… I've managed to eat a little piece of focaccia bread and a cookie with chocolate chips, but the process took at least 45 minutes. As of two days ago, I have no more third molars (so-called "wisdom teeth"). The upper two had cavities and the lower two were impacted with my second molars causing cavities in them. (The X-ray showed the teeth pushing sideways on the roots of the other molars.) Once my mouth is healed, I will have to go get these cavities (and others) filled, probably somewhere in Bloomington. Too bad IU doesn't have a dental plan for its graduate students.

But overall, I can't complain too much. It is better to have the idle days of Christmas break to recuperate than to have to recover during a semester. The bleeding stopped, more or less after a day, and now there is mainly aching and swelling with my lower jaw ballooned to about 1.5 its normal size (thus, I am chipmunk). For this, I have a heating pad for temporary relief, and continue to take Vicodin and Ibuprofen. I also have to rinse my mouth at least three times a day with salt water and am taking penicillin. I'm hoping I'll be able to eat turkey on Christmas, but am having my doubts. But at least I've taken the bold step into chewing again.

While on the subject of teeth, it should be noted that this is another example of where modern man is so much more fortunate than the ancients. Apparently, the ancient Egyptians had problems with the stones that they used to mill their flour for bread. You see, bits of the stones remained in the bread, so that, over the person's life, their teeth were gradually worn down. (Whenever, I see anything that says "stone-ground", it makes me wonder after hearing about this.) Of course, it is probably true that drinking too much soda has the same effect because of the low pH in most sodas which can eat away enamel. (I hardly drink Mt. Dew anymore because I hear it is the worst, but I should probably also consider cutting back on other carbonated drinks as well, though supposedly beer is okay because of the high pH of the alcohol.)

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