I’m one of those people that always consistently flossed since I was a teenager and did whatever dentists recommended, but every since I was a kid I was diagnosed with gum disease. Most of my dentists would just try to shame me, tell me I have bad hygiene habits, and overall, I just paid someone to tell me that I need to “do better” even though I was already doing everything I could. In the next coming years, I would find out that this was due to a then undiagnosed genetic condition, because evolution is that crappy, and some of us (such as myself) didn’t evolve enough, apparently.
Getting treatment for gum disease is very expensive, especially when you start losing teeth, as I’m starting to. Thankfully I’m still in Argentina and this will save me a ton of money, implants are much cheaper and so is specialized dental care. My mother and grandmother had teeth problems and went through the same things, and my mother was always hoping that I hadn’t inherited her problems–but I did.
Ever since I was about 23-24 I haven’t been able to bite an apple or carrot, and I started to cut food into little pieces at that age. Right now several of my teeth are lose and I can only eat things I can’t chew, so last night at my 30th birthday party I took a big container of hummus and mutabal (baba ganoush) so I could eat. Thankfully the doctors in Argentina are very nice, and more research is available about people who might have gum diseases because of their genes (though as far as I can tell, more studies need to be conducted). So I feel better about how I’m being treated.
People don’t realize what a big deal eating is. Eating crunchy things, biting down on things, and even eating starchy or sticky things is a huge deal. I’m trying to figure out new ways to eat so that I’m getting enough nutrients. I’ve had treatments before, and generally I lose weight. In our image-obsessed culture people tend to give me compliments on this, but losing weight when you don’t intend to, or because you’re basically starting, isn’t fun.
Feeling this lightheaded, feeling confused, and being able to talk for limited periods is really exhausting. Not to mention that living with missing teeth (which I may have to do) is frowned upon, especially for women. The next few weeks I’ll probably be in a terrible mood. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to continue in my year of yes experiment as much as I could like because I’m in a terrible mood right now. I’m trying to be grateful that this isn’t something worse, but I don’t like having to use other people’s bad luck to feel better about the state of my health.