Conversation with the dentist


My dentist told me I grind my teeth, she
would like me to shell out 200 some odd dollars
for a mouth guard:

“You’re experiencing some recession, you know”

“I brush! twice a day! And ok, I should floss more but – ”

“You grind your teeth.”

“I don’t have jaw pain”

“You do it at night, subconsciously. In your sleep.”

“I don’t wake up with  jaw pain.”

“You have slight recession on the lingual side of your molars.
This, more than anything else, indicates grinding. This
isn’t because of poor brushing, in fact, are you using an
electrical toothbrush?”

“yes – what’s slight recession?! What does that mean? Am I at risk of periodontitis?”

“I can tell; you have a few cuts along your gumline: you’re
brushing too hard and not flossing enough. And (haha) no,
it’s half a mm, but it’s odd to see it there in an otherwise
healthy mouth. This is what we say at conferences:
those prone to gum disease are not prone to cavities, and those
prone to cavities are not prone to gum disease.”

“I’ve never had a cavity in my life”

“I know. I’m your dentist.”

“Oh god, I really don’t want gum disease.”

“Use a mouthguard.”

“Could I just work on not grinding my teeth?”

“Most patients can’t help themselves by this point…
you clench without realizing you do. – see you’re doing it
right now because this conversation

is making you tense.”

Jesus Christ. How
will I handle life.

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