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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wisdom, or lack thereof...

It's taken thirty years to convince my lonely wisdom tooth to emerge from his burrow... It was a tiny sliver of enamel poking up of my upper-right mandible, only a couple of years ago... Then, it came out bit by bit, and my tongue learned every feature of its contorted surface. It never was much of help in chewing, having come out sideways compared to the other teeth. But alas, I didn't mind too much - it was a welcome (well tolerated) guest in my mouth...

Wisdom teeth have, by the way, quite an interesting scientific story. They come out later in life, after you've been adult for a while, and that's why they're called wisdom teeth. At least, that's my educated guess. Why do they come out later in life? because this way our ancestors would have at least a spare tooth when the other molars were rotten, or just too worn out. I guess they used them on much tougher food that we do today... Charles Darwin himself cites the wisdom teeth as 'rudimentary', in "The descent of Man', which I am reading right now in the new, concise edition curated by Carl Zimmer.

But let's go back to my single lonely tooth. Suddenly, just a couple of weeks ago, a dull pain started to manifest itself, and playing with my tongue and finger over it (just imagine the scene) I self-diagnosed that the last, invisible addition to the smile had started to push against the neighbor... yesterday took a dive and, for the first time in years, and only the third time in life, I went to the dentist.

She opened my mouth wide open, looking inside and poking with her shiny metal tools... And prodding around, found a cavity, my first cavity, in my little wisdom tooth... The bastard. Last one to come out, first one to cause me troubles... }8-[

She suggested to take it out, and I buggered off with an excuse (not before being asked to pay 84 Euros for the privilege), with the promise that I'll show up next wednesday to let her play a bit more with her pliers and drills.

She has, I noticed when she took out her mask, the most beautiful lips I've ever seen up close. Hopefully, having a crash on my dentist will help me bear the pain she'll inflict me. Ouch!

Stay tuned. More to follow...

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