the green that isn't grass

I have a cavity. Three days now with this persistent toothache and it’s not looking like its going to go away by itself. It’s been at least 10 years since I’ve been to a dentist, and I’m up late at night at the thought of going to one now. Sixteen teeth have been pulled from my mouth; most of them had roots and not just little ones. One I pulled out myself with a pair of pliars; sitting home and alone one night with a dentist visit scheduled the next day, I managed to loosen it up with my fingers a bit and then with one solid jerk and it was gone (one down, three to go.) I either had too many teeth or some just didn’t want to come out, either way they were pulled, one by one. Actually, my teeth aren’t that bad for a junky. The only serious dental issue I had was when my wisdom teeth came in after three years of heavy IV Heroin use. Only a lower in the back came in for awhile and I thought I’d be one of those lucky cats who don’t need to have their wisdom teeth pulled. Not a chance. Not only did it come in underdeveloped and incredibly soft, but so did the other three and right at probably the worst point in my entire junky career. I thought for sure they’d just rot themselves out of my mouth and I’d be done with it. Stupid, stupid me. I spent a week kicking dope at a rehab in Minnesota, the whole time laying there in agony, trying to decide on which pain I should try to bargain with the invisible man in the sky for. I decided on the pain from my mouth, but got nothing in the way of a response (as usual.)

Eventually, I had them pulled and it was easy and over. I had suffered months for absolutely no reason at all. I should’ve gone in the first day. I remember a time when I was working a customer service job, listening to someone on the phone, and I had thought I felt some food stuck to one of my molars. Thinking I’d better get it away from the rotting wisdom, I used my finger to ‘pick’ it out. It wasn’t food. It was part of the wisdom itself and as soon as I had realized my mistake, it was far, far too late; pain, oh the fucking pain. Nowhere to run, nothing to do, and stuck inside my own fucking skin (again.) I left my job and went home, pouring Anbesol and whatever else I had around in great big gobs all over the inside of my mouth. Finally, when I hit the couch at home, I feel asleep and woke up with my mouth fairly quiet. I think the next day is when I made the appointment to have them pulled.

So wouldn’t you know it? After fifteen years of eating drugs and ten of smoking cigarettes, I quit them all for the most part and of course have even more price to pay. I remember my father telling me a story about an army buddy of his not going to the dentist for about the same amount of time and then needing to fill twenty cavities. Maybe a story to scare (if so, its purpose has been served) or maybe a reality, I think today we’re going to find out.

One thought on “the green that isn't grass

  1. Hey Billi, I feel your pain. I also have wisdom teeth that need to be pulled except I haven’t gone to get them pulled. I used to have perfect teeth but now they are all fucked up looking (well just the two front ones a little). Last time I went to the dentist was YEARS ago and I even took some valium and ativan but still had an anxiety attack while being drilled. The dentist shot me with novocaine a bunch of times but I still felt the drilling. I left unfinished with a small hole drilled into each front tooth. I hope I can get away without having to ever go back. Plus I have no insurance even if I did need to go. I’ve been trying to turn around my health, maybe I can prevent the shit from happening. When you had your wisdom teeth taken out did you opiate tolerance effect the anesthesia? Good luck with your teeth man.


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