I’ve had an interesting experience with the pearly whites in my mouth so far in my life and I’m curious about what the future holds. I had braces like most kids do, and of course suffered the pain that most people understand – you know, the cut up gums, the sensitive teeth and not being able to bite into anything, the awkward cleaning required, etc. But as it turns out I have a small jaw and big teeth so fixing my smile actually ended up causing some other problems. When I was a kid I actually had some teeth removed to make room for other teeth to grow in. I’m pretty sure they were baby teeth though. At the time when I got braces I had a huge overbite. Like, you could barely see any bottom teeth. That’s how tight my jaw was. I also had a tooth that didn’t want to come in and had to have surgery to attach something to that tooth and to my braces so as the rest of my teeth were straightened the cave tooth was pulled through and into place. When I got braces to fix the overbite of course that caused the teeth to have to move but my jaw obviously did not change to accommodate the space needed. A few years after I had my braces removed I noticed I was having jaw pain and even now I can’t take big bites into foods like apples – I seriously had to buy an apple corer so I could quickly slice up my apples since that is the only way I can eat them. Anyway the jaw issues increase with stress, since when we stress out we tend to grind our teeth, and at one point in the middle of the night I yawned and my jaw got stuck that way. My parents had to take me to the Emergency Room to get my jaw unhinged so I could close my mouth. That was probably the scariest experience I had with my teeth so far. Now when I yawn I actually hold the sides of my face so I can’t open my mouth too wide by accident, that’s how scared I am that might happen again.
So now I’m thinking about the future and I wonder what kind of teeth issues I should expect when I’m elderly. One of my grandmas has pretty much no teeth left and the other grandma has a few implants. Will I end up with lost teeth and implants or dentures too? Maybe I’ll need to look into something like All on 4 Implants to know what to expect. Commercials from my youth always showed people losing their dentures or even taking them out and pretending to bite people. I definitely don’t want that. But something permanent that acts like real teeth and won’t keep me from eating as I normally would sounds pretty good. Especially if there won’t be any issues with food getting trapped like back in my braces days and any pain or discomfort from the implant. I read this NY Times article that there has been a huge shift from bridges to implants. I think I like this shift because bridges seemed a little weird too because it covered up good teeth and trapped food and lack of being able to clean very well could make the good teeth go bad. Now dentists can just deal with the bad tooth and replace it with one implant without concerning the teeth around that one. And I’m sure there will be other cool ideas that come around in future years.