I threw out the piece I'd been chewing, poked around my teeth with my tongue a bit, and, lo and behold, this fell out of one of my molars:
I am terrified of dentists. I was terrified before a certain couple of bad incidents happened to me, but, afterwards, I was !!!TERRIFIED!!! in all-caps with exclamation points on both sides.
When I was in elementary school back in the early 1980s, we had dental hygienists who had offices right in the schools. One day, they called me out of class to go to the dentist, and all the kids in my class yelled Oooooo, which everyone did every time someone was called out of class to go to the dentist. They gave me three fillings in the lower right side of my mouth that day. It turned out that it was the wrong side of my mouth, because they called me back in the next day, everyone said Oooooo again, and they gave me three fillings on the lower left side of my mouth, where they were supposed to be in the first place. I guess they were looking at the slides backwards. Twice the fillings for half the fun! Jerks.
When I was 21, I went in to have the wisdom teeth on my left side pulled out. Freezing doesn't work very well on me, so more than ten needles into the procedure, my dentist — whose last name was Hertz, if you'll believe it — asked if I had money to cover laughing gas. The teeth were already partially lifted out from her repeated attempts in between needles, and so they had to come out. I didn't have any money, because I was both unemployed and uninsured at the time, so she had two assistants hold me down while she yanked those wisdom teeth out without freezing.
True fact: I know what medieval torture feels like.
As a result of what I would call PTSD, I have been to the dentist only twice in the last 17 years, which means that these fillings in my head are much older than that, which means that I am pretty sure the next dentist I see is going to suggest that we pull out all of my teeth and start fresh with a spanky new pair of synthetic chompers, which would be just fine with me.
I'm at the point where I hate having teeth altogether.
After that filling fell out yesterday afternoon, which is really only the last piece of a larger filling that I'm fairly certain has been falling out for a couple of years, I actually figured that it would be no big deal. I'm not all that attached to any of my teeth, especially one at the very back of my mouth, and I'd had no pain associated with it before this last bit fell out.
Oh, how very wrong I was.
That last bit was apparently the only thing standing between me and immense pain at the first sign of anything sweet. I found this out when I nearly hit the floor after sucking on the chocolate from a Kinder Surprise Egg later last night. The pain from that chocolate radiated forward from the back of my mouth straight through all the teeth on my upper right side for more than five minutes, which five minutes I spent gripping the counter and wondering where my pliers were. Even remembering that pain brings tears to my eyes.
I actually considered the possibility of pouring Krazy Glue or bathtub sealant in there, because what's wrong with a little chemical poisoning, but I've come to terms with the fact that terrified, impervious-to-freezing me really does have to find a dentist.
At some point.
I am more than will to give up sugar forever and wait for my nerves to kill themselves off. I am still exploring my options.
UPDATE: I made an appointment for next Wednesday afternoon with a dentist based solely on a Twitter recommendation and the fact that the number 666 was in the phone number. I went by the logic that real evil makes attempts to cloak itself. Hold me.