When I was younger I longed for the chance to cover my eyes with glasses, and bling my mouth with braces. I also had a hair cut that resembled a mop and wore the same outfit daily, so I can’t say this was my strongest decade of life.
I have 20/20 vision so the glasses were out, but when I was 15 my wish was granted for a face full of metal. My teeth were never “terrible” and I only had to wear the braces for a little over a year, but I loved every minute of them.
This is when my fascination with teeth was born.
I wanted to work in the dental field for a while, and although I’ve detoured from that path I still find teeth to be intriguing and I take great pride in my own.
I’m not a very fancy gal. My idea of dressing up is splashing some mascara on my lashes, and throwing on a loose fitting summer dress with Teva sandals. I proudly go days without washing my hair, and the only time I wear it down is when it’s cut so short I have no choice. What can I say, I’m a minimalist.
The one physical attribute I take pride in, and put all my effort into is my teeth. If you asked me what my best quality was I’d probably say my smile. I may skip washing my hair, but my teeth always get the full treatment morning and night. I wear my retainers diligently, and my idea of pampering is alone time with my Sonicare.
I’ve never had any “serious” dental work, so you can imagine my dismay when my dentist expressed concern about a twilight zone like black hole that appeared at the base of my tooth on a routine panoramic x-ray taken at my last dental checkup.
The words “root canal” were thrown around like a flying playground ball in a game of four square. My heart sunk, and my face went white. I was sent to the oral surgeon, who sent me to an endodonist, and he confirmed my fears.
“You need a root canal. Your tooth died slowly and quietly, possibly shortly after you got your braces or wisdom teeth removed.” Oh swell, my price and joy is officially tainted, and I am officially humbled. This was an excellent reminder that not everything is what it seems. I had no external signs of a problem – no pain, no swelling, no extra red gums, nothing. Anything can have faults…
…including teeth that look normal and are treated better than small children.
There was no rhyme or reason behind why my tooth decided to go awol on me, it just did. My appointment to have the
soul ripped from my body root taken out of my tooth is today, and I admit I’m somewhat terrified. Once the rool canal is completed my next step is to get a crown. I’ve never even had a cavity, and this is like going from 0 to 60.
Call me a contradiction, but I think my survival of this procedure calls for a cupcake.
Just don’t tell my dentist. 😉
Q: Have you ever had a root canal? A cavity? An ego blow?
70 thoughts on “Humbled”
I’ve managed to avoid root canals but I can still remember my first crown in my 30’s. I felt like I had gotten “old” overnight. I felt betrayed!
Good luck with everything! I’ve been blessed (knock on wood) with good genetics when it comes to teeth. Honestly – I think tooth health is more genetically driven than hygienic.
Let me know how it goes with the root canal. I’ve never had one, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.
Your root canal will allow someone who fancies teeth to feel like they’ve made a difference in society and give a proper burial that poor tooth of yours.
I’ve not had a root canal, but given our family history, I might. You see, my family was really poor, so my mother and grandmother never owned a tooth brush. In turn, they never encouraged or educated my siblings and me to properly care for our teeth. In middle school, my peers began to make fun of me by calling me beaver. My teeth were too big for my face and I had a big overbite. All the mocking forced me to put an effort into brushing my teeth. I too fantasized about having braces, but we could not afford to visit a dentist, much less even consider braces. So I grew up really conscious about my smile.
As a mother, oral hygiene is extremely important to me and I encourage my girls to floss, brush, and use mouthwash. Dentists appointments are my favorite and I look forward to them with excitement.
Your smile is AMAZING!
I like your thoughts behind my procedure, and my endodontist did a fantastic job giving my tooth the love it deserved. I’m sorry about your experiences growing up, kids are so cruel. I really don’t care for ill mannered children…at all. Zero patience. haha. I also look forward to the dentist. 🙂
Muchas gracias. ?Como puedo iniciar sesion?
Gahhh good luck!! Will be thinking of you today, for a speedy recovery. So that you can enjoy a cupcake or two. ❤
I fear the day I have to get a RC. Although my interest in teeth isn’t as high as yours, I do appreciate a nice smile and do everything I can to keep my teeth white. Wash down the cupcake with water, less of the sugar will stick 🙂
Gahhh I’ve never had a root canal either. Or a cavity. Or my wisdom teeth removed (although that one is coming soon). It’s pretty crazy that you can be so careful taking care of something and it can still “break.” Good luck today!
You are so hilarious. Maybe you should look into being a columnist.
Your comment has just made my day. And for that, I thank you. 🙂
Ah good luck girl!!!
I’ve had at least two root canals and an unspeakable amount of cavities. Hot mess structurally yet somehow my teeth look pristine and white. The dental gods laugh at us.
I have always had teeth envy of you – creepy? maybe. But I’m sorry you have to do that, I have had a million cavities even though I take very good care of my teeth. I think some things just happen regardless of how well you take care of em! Good luck ❤
Bahaha not creepy at all, totally flattering because you have fantastic teeth yourself my friend! ❤
I feel for you. I too am soooooo obsessive with my teeth…a number of years ago I had most of a front bottom tooth knocked out during a field hockey game. The result was a root canal that ended up being a double root canal because for some reason, that small tooth had two roots (!!) and then a crown on top. It wasn’t the worst thing ever…but it is a foreign tooth that I permanently have in my mouth…sigh.
On some level aging, even a weird, random, premature thing like your tooth dying, feels like a betrayal….Sorry about the reminder of your mortality but enjoy those lucsious cupcakes!!
Heather @ HeatherRunsFast.com
What a freakin bummer! I’ve never had a root canal, but I have had a few fillings. I too take care of my teeth everyday and love having a white, clean smile 🙂 You should MOST DEFINITELY have a cupcake after. I won’t tell.
Amy @ A Desert Girl
Have a couple of cupcakes when this is all said and done. Thinking of you today!! I can understand your apprehension – the thought of a root canal terrifies me. It’ll go perfectly though and your teeth will be as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside!
I’ve had a couple of root canals and they aren’t nearly as bad as they sound. I always tell them to numb me up good and plenty since it takes a bit more for me. It totally helps. I have weak teeth so I also have a few crowns. Don’t worry – your teeth are still totally rightous!
I grew up with farm town well water (minus any fluoride) That coupled with no parental supervision on dental hygiene, throw in a baseball…yes a baseball to the mouth….my X-ray looks like Wolverine. Minus the 8 pack abs and any resemblance to Hugh Jackman. 😦 You will be fine…and keep flossing.
Your comment caused me to laugh out loud.
I am OBSESSED with my teeth, too! I whiten them way too much and have all of the nice whitening products. Floss is in my purse at all times including those little portable brushies! I understand your feelings COMPLETELY. You’re not alone!
Jessica @ VEGGIE RUNNING MOMMA
awe shucks.! hope everything goes well.!! I have a couple dentist appointments coming up also. never had a cavity or root canal though. You do have veryy nice teeth 🙂
Heather P. at Fancy Alter Ego
Sorry to hear about the root canal! I won the genetic lottery when it comes to teeth – plenty of my family die without ever getting one. They are a bit crooked, and I know I’ll have to deal with that someday because it does cause some jaw problems…but they’re strong, so I am glad about that! *fingers crossed*
Just chalk it up to “shit happens” and go eat the cupcake. 🙂
I love how dedicated you are to your teeth. I too ride the Sonicare train.
I had gum grafting last year. It was hellish.
We will be sisters now since I had a DAMN root canal too !!! It was the worst oops! it’s was nothing, piece of cake 😉
I’ve never had a root canal but I’ve had 1000s of cavities. I think it’s great you wrote this post because a LOT of people have dental issues and nobody talks about them so everyone feels alone. Wishing you lots of luck with your procedure. The great news is that modern dentistry is brilliant! You will probably feel really lousy for a day and then you’ll forget all about it and start smiling that beautiful smile again 🙂
Got to late twenties without any dental issues, then my wisdoms impacted and made my bottom teeth start to concertina. Had them removed (the wisdoms) and weeks later the pain was still lingering. Told my Maxillo-Facial Surgeon off for damaging my jaw and he snarkily sent me to the dentist…
One of my teeth had died on me and was completely hollow from the rot (dentist suspected the wisdom had poked a hole in it) That was root canal #1… 5 weeks later I’d had a second and was the not so proud owner of 3 other fillings…
So ya, I feel you!
Hope you have a relatively pain free recovery!
My goodness, what a dental journey!
Thinking of you today sweetie!! That’s really crushing, to have a tooth removed when you take such good care of them. It isn’t fair. (When is life ever fair?) When moments like these pop up, where it’s the exact thing I never dreamed of and then never ever wanted to happen once it appeared in my radar screen, I try to remind myself that there’s probably a reason. Like when I got called in for jury duty right after I quit my job to blog full-time and cried and cried because I was selected and felt like it was a set-back because it sucked so much time out of that week… And then ended up meeting an incredible lady who happened to live right around the corner from me and became one of my closest friends. So anyway, that’s my long way of saying I hope that some good does come from this, even if it’s unrelated. 🙂
Oh goodness no, I didn’t have the tooth REMOVED. Just a root canal…I plan to give a play by play post soon because before today I had no idea what exactly was done with that procedure. It actually went great, and I had ZERO pain during and after!! If my tooth had to be removed I would surely crawl into a hole and never come out. HAHA.
I love your story. 🙂
I’m very sorry to hear about your root canal. Good luck. My 16 year old daughter just had one last summer on one of her front teeth. She didn’t need a crown. She was devastated. When she was 4 she feel over her face and her baby teeth died and had a root canal. Turns out, that strike killed the permanent teeth too!!! I told her she should be happy 1) She has a teeth 2) She doesn’t have a ugly scar on her mouth 3) She has a beautiful smile. Just like yours 🙂
Oh my gawd, that is like going from zero to sixty. I’m so sad for you. It’s like the time I looked down into my cleavage and saw a weathered canvas instead. Heart breaking. I feel your pain, and I would like you to send me videos of you, post surgery, preferably all hopped up on pain meds. K, that would be great.
Also this line rocked the post: “The words “root canal” were thrown around like a flying playground ball in a game of four square.”
I just died at your cleavage comment. I’m pretty sure your cleavage still trumps like 90% of the female society. I did take some videos of my mouth post procedure, but I wasn’t anesthetized so they aren’t the comical drugged type. I was just numbed up reaaallll good.
Lauren @ ihadabiglunch
Oy! I know it’s nerdy but I’d love a recap on how it goes haha. I know one day I’ll have one too, I’m sure. Your teeth are gorgeous by the way! Never stop eating cupcakes.
Oh I am with you…I was actually totally fascinated by the procedure and plan to write a post! 😉
As someone who wore braces for seven years (and then, after having them taken off for a year, got them on again for one) AND has tons of mouth issues due to a birth defect (cleft-lip and palate), I can totally sympathize with your fascination for teeth. I could stare at mine for hours. I also can’t go to sleep if I haven’t brushed, flossed, and rinsed with mouthwash 🙂 Your teeth are gorgeous!!
But don’t worry about the root canal… it’s no fault of your own, and a cupcake sounds like a good reward (but wait for the numbness to wear off first, so that you can enjoy it properly).
All the best!
kathy at real talk
oh, my husband is so used to root canals that he falls asleep in the chair. that doesn’t sound good but he had major dental issues due to growing up in communist romania…back then, oral hygiene wasn’t at the top of the government’s priority list….they didn’t even issue out anesthesia during dental surgical procedures!
Communist Romania!? Why are you two like THE COOLEST people ever!?
I’ve had 3 root canals and 4 crowns. All before I turned 30. Now that I’m pass 30 I am contemplating getting dentures so I never have to deal with crappy news at the dentists office. I take great care of my teeth and mouth (brushing, flossing, oil pulling, daily) I have a good smile and white teeth, just really poor genetics. It really sucks cause there is nothing I can do. Except for rip em all put and get dentures.
I need a root canal but have been putting it off forever! I am terrified!
It wasn’t bad…like..at all!! I plan to write a post about it, but you MUST get it done!! GO GO GO!
Can’t wait to read your post! Thanks for the nudge. I think i’ll be making an appointment soon.
I had braces for SIX YEARS (all of course in middle and high school so great for my social life) and had 8 cavities when I got them off 😦 I now try to take better care of my teeth as an adult. I also find I smile so much more with my teeth than I ever did prior. If someone is taking a picture, regardless of the point, I smile with me teeth. Braces were the worst, but my smile is the best! 😀
that is super disappointing! hope you’re doing OK!
Small world, I went to the dentist on Easter because my tooth was hurting and it turns out I have a cavity, and I take special care of my teeth all the time, too. I was, needless to say, devastated. It’s my first cavity. I’m on antibiotics right now until I can get the filling and they said hopefully we can avoid a root canal, but we’ll see. I’m sorry though that you went from 0 to 60 and I only went from 0 to like 20. You totally deserve a cupcake!
I hope it went well, Brittany! Unfortunately, I didn’t learn about truly proper dental care until I was well into my twenties. No really major problems as a result, but I had several cavities when I was younger and have had two crowns so far (with a couple more to come soon) and one root canal. The root canal was on a tooth that already had a crown, so at least that made it a little cheaper. The major culprit in necessitating the crowns was apparently grinding my teeth for years, and genetics may have contributed. Luckily I got a bite splint that alleviated the grinding.
Just know that this was out of your control. You can’t take any better care of your teeth (which look incredible, by the way), and sometimes stuff just happens. It sounds like there was nothing you could have done differently to prevent it. Just keep smiling!
Thanks, Matt!! It went surprisingly VERY well and I had no pain. I almost feel like I’m in an elite club now. Hahaha. I sometimes catch myself grinding my teeth, so I must pay attention to that!
You’re welcome! I’m glad it went well! Welcome to the club, haha. 🙂 Mine wasn’t bad, either. It was less painful than some of my fillings. Maybe the procedure has advanced a lot over the years, but it was nowhere near as bad as it seems like it was always made out to be when I was growing up. My bite splint has been great for the grinding. My dentist designed it so it wasn’t cheap, but wearing even a cheap football mouth guard molded to your teeth can make a difference if you think you’re grinding while you sleep. My grinding must have gone on for a long time before I started going to my current dentist and he fixed my bite then made the bite splint.
Again, I’m really glad to hear it went well!!!
I had a root canal when I was 13 because the nerve in my front tooth died (possibly from some sort of trauma)! It was causing me major pain and my head constantly throbbed. It took a few doctor and dentist appointments to figure out that nerve damage was causing me so much pain! You’re lucky the dentist figured it out without any pain for you! So that’s my RC story, and like you, I took care of my teeth (and still do) better than anyone I knew! It goes to show that teeth problems and root canals happen to anyone! Hope the RC went well!
Arman @ thebigmansworld
Not going to lie, I have always admired your teeth- After first seeing those gleaming beauties digging into a cupcake!
Thinking of ya!
Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
You are clearly doing something right, as you have awesome teeth!
An Unrefined Vegan
Oh, I live in fear of hearing the dreaded words: root canal! I was sure earlier this year that I had a major tooth issue, but thankfully, it was just my overactive imagination. Or possibly stress. Anyway – – thinking of you and your absolutely lovely teeth. Heal quickly, my friend!
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
Jealous! Well, not of your root canal, but of the fact that you’ve never had issues with your teeth prior to this. I had a tonne of cavities, even though I took good care of my teeth. The dentist said genetics had a lot to do with it, so thanks Mom & Dad. I’ve managed to avoid getting more by being SUPER anal with my oral hygiene, but I still live in fear that I’ll get another one. And I’ve had a root canal before. It really wasn’t as bad as everyone says/thinks it is.
I’ve had two root canals and absolutely LOATHE the dentist, haha. I’ve always had issues with my teeth no matter how well I treat them while my best friend barely even brushes and is yet to have a cavity! Dental karma doesn’t exist I guess hehe.
Root canals are annoying but now so bad! 🙂
Luv What You Do
Growing up I was amazing at brushing my teeth and my brother was terrible. Every 6 mos we’d go to the dentist and he’d walk out with no cavities and I’d always have at least one. Genetics I guess…I haven’t had a root canal yet but I’m sure one is coming my way. I agree a cupcake was WELL deserved!
Aww…you definitely deserve a cupcake!!
aww brit, i’m reading this late and so you’re probably recovering already, but i hope that it went well and that your friends/family spoiled you with sweets (!) and that your netflix que kept you happy 🙂
Leslie @ TriathleteTreats
A root canal isn’t that big of a deal. Especially since you didn’t have any pain to begin with!! I hope you didn’t have any problems cause I think you have had it by now! The crown isn’t that big of a deal either. The worst part of the crown is the temporary you have to wear while your real crown is being made! Good luck!!! This was probably just a fluke and won’t need any other treatment once this is all done!! Definitely have the cupcake too or 4! OR If you had one have another!! 😉
Lucie Elizabeth (@CollectingLight)
You should have seen me giggling at the first paragraph (hope nobody was watching!)…think we must be twins. I, too wanted both braces (which I never got!) and glasses….which now I need and cannot see without…thankfully these days they have things called CONTACT LENSES because I think I might die if I had to wear glasses every waking hour for the rest of my life.
As for cavities though….I got away with not going to the dentist for 8+ years and never had anything wrong with my teeth til I was 20…now I have a good few fillings (and one near close root canal) since then and although its not fun, its not TOO bad….the best part is trying to drink a beverage and have it spill down your face like a stroke patient after the appointment because of the local anaesthetic…hahahah 😉
Christina Does It All
You DO have beautiful teeth. Good luck with root canal! (I mean it’s already over now, but I’m sending you belated good vibes anyway.)
My dentist put a temporary filling into my upper right 7, which is a big molar near the back, about six years ago. He told me that it would start to crumble in about a year, and then he’d replace it with a more permanent filling.
On last inspection, he was amazed that it was still there, but told me that the tooth would have to go if the filling went. X-ray evidence apparently.
Well, it has lasted this long, and then it started to crumble about three weeks ago, and now I am left with less than half a tooth. It doesn’t hurt. Should I make an immediate appointment and face the inevitable extraction, or should I hang out until the next inspection comes around and face the executioner?
OH MAN! That is quite the dilemma. When you say started to crumble, is your tooth literally falling apart? I’d probably just have it yanked before it gets worse. Or before you swallow it in your sleep. 🙂
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Food, Booze, & Baggage
You do have a fantastic smile!! Hope it went well, so scary! I haven’t had to have this done, thank goodness. I didn’t have my first cavity until I was 30, and the dentist was like I can describe each step as we go through…I was like NO!!
Good Lord you crack me up! Hope it all went well. Before braces in high school I had two bridges put in because baby teeth had no permanent teeth behind them. That was 1986. Despite predictions of lasting 10-15 years, I still have those same bridges. Hope your crown does as well. 🙂 Can’t wait to read the post-op report.
Rach @ This Italian Family
Oh my goodness! I’m reading your posts backwards as I’m catching up which means I read your post about the root canal before I read this one. That’s awful that you take such great care of your teeth and had NO signs of problems and then all the sudden out of the blue, you had a problem. Yikes! I’m like you, I take excellent care of my teeth. And other than having my wisdom teeth removed, I’ve never had any other problems. I have an appointment next week (just my regular cleaning) and now I have a small fear that the dentist is going to find something terrible, ha! Here’s to hoping my luck stays for now!
As mentioned in my other comment, never had a root canal! But I did have many cavities and they weren’t exciting! Glad you went through it! 🙂
BRITTTTTANNNYYY! !!!!!!! I remember those pictures. Awsome