Improving Life by Removing Teeth

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Keeping Your Original Set Is NOT Always A Good Idea

A close friend of mine has a theory: Teeth do not occur naturally in human beings. Rather, they are implants forced upon us by aliens who use them to control us by means of various electronic signals to our feeble little brains. As wacko as that may sound, his reasoning does possess a certain logic.

After all, what sensible genetic design would include sharp objects that burrowed into bone at one end while piercing your flesh on the other?

My own memory of tooth problems dates to my eleventh year. I’d been to the dentist to get a couple of fillings, which meant those hated shots of Novocaine. Being young and dumb, I managed to pretty well chew my inner cheek to shreds before the stuff wore off. Whether it was that or the original work that caused it, I was violently ill for two full weeks after the appointment.

Worse than the repeated vomiting was not being allowed to go horseback riding with Dad when he headed to the mountains to check on our cattle herd. My sister didn’t complain; it gave her the opportunity to begin serious riding in my place. But it drove me absolutely nuts. In turn, I drove my father equally crazy until he relented. Sort of.

If I could catch and saddle my horse by myself, I could ride with him.

Okay. Piece of cake. Goldie, one of the gentlest mares on Planet Earth, was certainly easy to catch. Everything went just fine until, as I was cinching the saddle tight, I felt something pop in my back. When I came to, I began spitting with considerable enthusiasm. I had blacked out and fallen face down, apparently with my mouth wide open.

At least the horse manure that filled my mouth was dry; a fresh cowpie would have been infinitely worse. As it was, I didn’t get to ride that day. It didn’t make sense that a reaction to Novocain and a spinal “pop” could be related, but my parents were the narrow minded sort about such things–for some reason, they just didn’t feel an unconscious young cowboy was a healthy cowboy. Fooey.

A lot of people hate going to the dentist. Me, I HATED going to the dentist. There was never a time I was able to consider my teeth my friends. Decades later, an old college buddy would tell my family, “It seemed like Fred always had a toothache.” Even the U.S. Army did its best to make it worse. Our unit was out on maneuvers once when a terrible toothache drove me to report my problem to the brass.

They trucked me back to our main base, where a military dentist extracted the offending fang. That particular tooth was on the upper right, and that gap rode with me for another thirty years before getting the rest of those choppers out. Not that the extraction itself was the low point of that particular visit to the dentist. After the deed was done, I got out of the chair and promptly passed out on the floor. And the entire dental staff laughed at me for doing so.

Unfortunately, I retained just enough awareness to know they were laughing.

    From Root Canals To Learning About Mercury

Year by year, life went on…but the tooth situation was not getting better. Over time, all four wisdom teeth had come and gone. I’d begun learning about the problems associated with mercury amalgam fillings and had become more than merely suspicious regarding my own mouthful of mercury.

During one ten year period, from age 22 to age 32, I had avoided the dentist entirely, holding to a personal vow never to visit one again except to have a bad tooth pulled. At age 32, however, after working up enough nerve to have dental work once again, a blessing showered down upon me: Dr. Jerry Smith of South Sioux City, Nebraska, promised shots you wouldn’t even feel going in…and he delivered.

Not that his talent made my knuckles any less white on the chair’s armrests, but it did make scheduling subsequent appointments a whole lot easier. Eleven cavities after ten years didn’t seem all that bad.

By 1992, though, I had finally had enough. It took months of telephone work to locate a dentist who would agree to pull all my teeth, but in the end I found two in the same day: One in Minnesota, one in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Since I was at that time living in Custer, South Dakota, it made sense to go to Sioux Falls and save several hundred miles of additional travel. The initial appointment was made; all those metal fillngs would soon be gone.

The removal process involved taking out the front half of the teeth first, followed by the second half some three weeks later. During that second session, part of one mandible had to be shaved down to get the tissue to seal over it–that was a tad scary. Then the doc and I had a mouthfight over two lower front teeth he wanted to leave in for anchors to help hold the lower denture in place, so I had to go back a third time to get them yanked.

Then the fun really began. One of those final two deep-root ivories left a dry socket behind. In case you don’t know what that means, the bone is still exposed after the stitches come out because the tissues have not sealed over the mandible. A one word description would be: OUCH!!!

But I watched the socket’s progress day by day and could see that it would seal over just fine…given enough time. Maybe a week. So I called my dental surgeon and asked for more pain pills.

Two problems with that: Despite realizing that I did have some osteoporosis in the mandibles as evidenced by a bit of honeycombed bone that came out with a couple of the teeth–which he admitted as proof that I had been right all along and the x-rays had been wrong–we were no longer buddies. Sort of a “good riddance to bad rubbish” sort of thing.

And, almost as important, I was not about to tell him I had a dry socket. He would have wanted me to come in, to drive clear across South Dakota for a fourth time, and most likely he’d have also wanted to sew the thing back together for another week or even two.

No thank you.

So, with great and obvious reluctance, he did call in a prescription to my hometown pharmacy. When I picked it up, it turned out to be a bad joke: A few pills of generic Ibuprofen, not even extra strength, stuff I could have bought for less money over the counter.

No more help there!

Exactly one week, 135 extra strength Tylenol, and one overdose reaction in the form of a chest rash later, the dry socket did seal properly. Pain levels dropped immediately to nothing, and the worst was over. No more poison teeth. No more fear of the dentist.

UPDATE: April 10, 2013

I just received a computerized warning that this page was in danger of being “unpublished” for containing violations–specifically, for containing links to “unauthorized sites”. I have no idea what those might have been, since the only links in place were to websites about specific places (South Dakota, etc.) plus one scientific study documenting the negative effects of mercury amalgam fillings on the health of human beings.

That, and possibly the one YouTube video I’d embedded that documented dental damage from such fillings.

In order to protect the article–which receives views from search engine traffic every day and thus serves as an important resource for people needing to research this topic–I chose to delete all links from the post, which means (for now) no more anti-mercury video

However, if you’re up for further study, it’s simplicity itself to find a plethora of work out there documenting the mercury amalgam problem. A bit of searching on either Google or YouTube will leave you mind-boggled.

At least, I know it had that effect on me.

    It Was Definitely Worth It

There were lots of adjustments to make. Two sets of dentures and 16 years later, I never wear my false teeth, not even when I’m on stage singing. I’ve had people who’ve known me for years yell fiercely across a crowded room,

“Fred, put in your teeth!”

Uh huh. Don’t think so. I’ll be releasing videos of my original songs to the Net soon, and that toothless look may bring some pretty strong comments my way. Quite frankly, my only response (if that happens) will be: Yeah? So what’s your point? I found out that my body considers dentures to be foreign objects to be rejected as quickly as possible.

What other downsides have been noticed? Only one, really: Certain foods are pretty much out of the question. No raw celery or carrots, no peanuts.

But that’s about it. My health is much stronger than it was for the first 50 years of my life. A dear friend who has the ability to “read” a person’s health was able to tell me that prior to the extractions, my mandibles were carrying a 52 percent toxin load (heavy metals in the bone that shouldn’t have been there), whereas one year later the reading showed that number down to 31 percent.

I can eat steak–with considerable enthusiasm, I might add. And most impressive of all, a few years after it was over and done with, I happened to bump into an old friend at a church seminar. She is a stunningly beautiful redhead, but I would not have recognized her if she had not spoken first. The wear and tear was that great; she looked like Death had come so close, the Grim Reaper might still be sharpening his scythe.

What she told me was sobering: HER mercury amalgam poisoning had nearly killed her before she realized what was wrong and got her teeth removed in the nick of time. A very thin nick. Thankfully, she did make it.

A final question: Will your dentist deliberately lie to you? Answer: Mine did. In 1989, I’d had a root canal done in Hamilton, Montana. The dentist promised not to use metal as an anchor. When that tooth came out, I discovered his perfidy: Rather than admit he didn’t know how to do the job without metal, he had simply hidden the metal anchor wires behind the tooth so that I could not see them in the mirror.

Even so, I don’t wish the dental profession ill these days. Certainly I do not envy the statistic that indicates most dental workers lose actual brain power over time due to prolonged exposure to mercury fumes

10 thoughts on “Improving Life by Removing Teeth

  1. To our regular readers, including Anne (hope you find this): On October 8, 2013, I moved this page over here from HubPages…and had to leave more than 200 comments behind. The text is mostly the same, however, and yes, that is my toothless mug in the top photo–still delighted after 21 years post-surgery.

    I’ll rework this page a little…someday. Right now, I’m in the process of bailing out of HubPages as quickly as I can without losing good material. This site (Ghost32writer) is my own, where I have complete freedom of speech–which was not the case “over yonder”.

  2. I hope you saved those comments somewhere, especially Dusty’s. I saved them to a Word file so I could look at them when I really missed him. I have only deleted 3 hubs though. I still need to find another place to write.

  3. No, I didn’t save any comments–not even Dusty’s, though I did commit a whole bunch of his to long term memory this time around. Overall, though, I’m not much of a “saver”; when I move on from any given position, I’m more of a slash-and-burn type. With Dusty, I just felt it was time for me to let him go, and maybe we’ll meet again, one of these incarnations (or on the other planes).

    I do really, deeply understand about the need to find another place to write. It took me a year or two at HP before I gave up on finding any other, more compatible site that was not owned by me–and then the rest of the time, intermittently, trying to figure out how to do what I’m now doing here at Ghost32writer. Still wouldn’t have it figured out if I hadn’t gone to DreamCon; that’s what turned the tide.

  4. Hello,
    I used to read and follow this in hubpages, and am sad its gone. Anne was an interesting person with an interesting family. I am of the same feeling with teeth, as am currently working towards having them out myself. I was wondering if you have ever come across something like this: I have a friend and right after high school she announced she was having HER teeth out, and since the dentest was her cousin who worked as a vet, she put in a request for an extreme alveolectomy. After pulling her teeth, he split and retracted her gums, top and bottom, before grinding her sockets/ridges down untill they were just a few millimeters from the roof and floor of her mouth. Now the roof of her mouth is healed almost completly flat, with a shallow “U” shaped trench where her lower ridge was. She loves it, having a reason not to wear teeth, no ridges.

  5. Hi, Mat. Yes, I agree; Anne (and her family) pretty much made the page.

    I knew nothing about any alveolectomy until reading your comment. It’s rather fascinating, though. Good to hear she loves it. I’ve sort of had part of that happen all by itself in that there’s not a whole lot of ridge left on my upper mandible, either. The difference is that mine took 23 years to get that way, the bone slowly deteriorating on its own. I’ve still got a pretty steep ridge on the lower mandible, and have no idea why it works that way.

    I’d never have left HubPages (and thus lost so many comments, simply because copying and pasting them all would have been too exhausting for words) if I’d felt I had a choice. On the other hand, it’s the best thing I ever did for my writing career. There’s no tension here; since I own the site, I speak my mind without fear of repercussions from the Hub Police. And beyond that, anybody who visits this site can find any post by simply referring to the various Indexes at the top of each page. (HP deliberately makes it impossible for a reader to follow a particular writer, believe me.)

    Finally, the view counts here on my own site are astronomical in comparison with those my posts got when I was at HP. My #1 post over there had something like 139,000 views when I left after nearly six years with them. Here, my #1 post has more than 4,850,000 views after two years and two months. There’s simply no comparison.

    If you’re considering an alveolectomy for yourself, hey, go for it. Or not. Your choice, obviously. What your friend did makes perfect sense, yet if I had to do it over again I’d go the same route I did. My guess is that whichever method (or non-method) sounds best to you will actually turn out to BE the best for you. The only change I would make (in a do-over) would be to refuse to consider dentures from the get-go; I simply can’t picture ever wearing them again.

  6. Hello,
    And thank you for the response.
    As for me, Soph. is the only other person I have met who shared my interest in being without teeth. Thru out high school we talked about how it would be, and how we both liked the idea of going without dentures. We also both liked the “sunken in” look, and she found out that instead of waiting for resorbtion, she could have them ground away instead. Her cousin left a few millimeters of boney ridge top and bottom, so in her words as they healed they would “resorb away to nothing”. The roof of her mouth is flat at the edges. At first, her bottom ridge healed flat with the floor of her mouth, then sunk even further to become a “U” shaped depression where her bottom ridge was. Do
    I want this? Honestly yes. It sounds like a lot but if my ridges will eventually resorb away, I might as well have them ground down. Plus it looks great on her.

  7. P.S,
    Did you save any of Anne’s family’s postings? Or any of the other people, I never thought to ask before. Thanks. Mat.

  8. No, Mat, I did not. Should have, but simply did not have the necessary energy to do so. One of our readers did save all of Red Elk’s hundreds of comments and forwarded them to me after Red Elk died. I’ve gotten about a third of them back up on the Survival Cabin page. But other than that, zilch.

    When I was making that migration, I wound up deleting more than 1100 Hubs as not worthy, moving the top 400+ here to kickstart this site, copying and pasting bit by bit. It took me roughly three weeks to finish the task, running on gallons of coffee and sleeping very little. It might have been paranoia, but I did not trust HP management not to pull something ugly, and as I was working from the least viewed Hub on up to the most viewed, I would be losing something pretty precious if my best page suddenly accidentally “disappeared” from HP before I could move it.

    So I was going like the proverbial bat out of Hell, blast the torpedoes and full speed ahead. Moving all of the comments would have more than tripled the time it took and most likely caused my body to have some sort of catastrophic failure.

  9. Hello,
    I was sent some pictures from S. immediately after her alveeoectomy had healed, before her bottom ridge completly dissolved away. Pictures don’t lie and if you would like, I can send some to you. -Mat

  10. Mat, I really do appreciate the offer, but…no thanks. I understand that pictures don’t lie in cases like hers, but they are not pictures I really care to review. I would have made a truly lousy surgeon.

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