The Corner

Huis Clos

Immigration issues aside, I am with you in toothache hell, Kathryn.

And no relief in sight. I have a simply terrible toothache somewhere (hard to localize) among my left upper molars. Of course, I went to the dentist. She took X-rays, probed, and poked. “Nothing to see,” she declared. “Nothing I can do.”

That’s not a good thing to hear when you have toothache. Her best guess—on previous experience, I’d say she is a very good dentist, by the way—is that the bone loss, which is severe up there, has exposed too much tooth below the crown, and that is very sensitive material.

I don’t quite get that. I have no more bone loss than I had two weeks ago, when the pain started. Anyway, she says that short of putting full crowns on the teeth (she can’t localize the pain, either), with root canal work and all—which, given the prognosis for these teeth, is hardly worth while—there’s nothing can be done except switch to Sensodyne toothpaste, take painkillers, and hope the pain subsides.

When I was a kid in England, the thing commonly heard from adults was: “Teeth are just a nuisance. Best have ‘em all out.” I’m starting to believe it.

Any dentally well-informed readers got any different suggestions? (I like the bourbon idea, K, but have a big workload right now & fear bourbon would degrade my productivity.)

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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