I had thirty one teeth. I know, the average is thirty two. When I was seventeen, I got hit in the face with a soccer ball, full force. Knocked out my upper right incisor.
Yup, just thirty one teeth. Made for a good story, whenever someone asked about the gap in my mouth.
Then that gap vanished about three weeks ago. Right after a visit to the dentist’s.
What a time to go to the dentist, right? But I felt a hole in one of my molars, and I couldn’t put off getting it looked at. My normal guy was out with the flu. New dentist was this chick named Dr. Mills. She didn’t seem so bad, I think she was kinda pretty, but I was more focused on the pain in my tooth than the attractiveness of my new dentist.
Maybe I should’ve paid more attention. The day after the appointment, I woke up with thirty two teeth.
I didn’t even notice at first. I mean, why would I? I don’t count my teeth. I doubt you do either. But I did notice something looked weird. I couldn’t put my finger on it of course, not until I was having a snack. Apples with caramel dipping sauce, I was on a diet and that was my cheat for the day.
I bit into the apple when I felt it. That small, hard object on my tongue that had that oh so familiar bloody taste to it. Immediately I spat out everything onto the table, and among the bits of chewed apple and spit infused caramel was a bright white tooth.
Ew. I know. Disgusting. I picked up the tooth, running my tongue alongside the remaining ones in my mouth to see which one was missing.
You can imagine my surprise when none of them felt like they were missing. None of them at all. I headed for the bathroom to double check, still keeping the tooth clutched tightly in my hand. I opened my mouth, wide as I could, shined a flashlight down there to look for any gaps.
Nothing, zilch, nada. No gaps. None at all. That’s when I realized that yes, there was in fact, thirty-two teeth in my mouth. One more than previously, instead of one more missing.
I rationalized it of course. I mean. I was eating. Maybe it was a piece of an apple, I told myself as I chucked the tooth away in the trash. Of course, I didn’t have an answer as to why I had my incisor back, but who knows. Maybe I miscounted. Maybe there was only thirty-one teeth and they’d just readjusted themselves while Dr. Mills was handling my cavity.
I know, I’m stupid. I don’t need your sass. Just work with me here.
By the time I went to bed that night I was almost convinced that this was all just a massive overreaction. It was nothing. I hate being a bother, you know.
When I woke up the next morning, I sat up and almost choked to death on a mouthful of teeth.
Six teeth, to be exact. The feel of all the small hard objects flying into the back of my throat immediately had me gagging and heaving, I was lucky not to actually throw up. Still, all those teeth scattered across my bed, two of them actually landing on my floor to be batted around by my cat Socks.
Yeah. I gathered them up best I could, I possibly missed one but I was still more focused on the fact that no matter how much I felt around with my tongue, I couldn’t feel a single missing tooth. My gums did feel sore and oversensitive, but what the hell, what were those things if they weren’t teeth!?
I went to the mirror again, clutching the handful of ‘teeth’. Three molars, one canine, two of my front teeth. Yet even as I opened my mouth to look in the mirror, there was nothing wrong. I had thirty-three teeth in total, each one looking fine, if not a little crooked here and there.
The ‘teeth’ I now kept in a small bowl, in the fridge. I immediately tried calling my dentist to make an appointment, because I just had no idea what those things could be BUT teeth. For the first time since I’d started going to that office though, I rung out. No one picked up. No machine, nothing. I called again, of course. I called six times that day, and I’ve lost count of the times I’ve called since then.
I work from home. I don’t see people often, and I’m not close to my family. I’m what most might call a hermit. I didn’t really have anyone to turn to with all of this. And what else did I do? Of course, I googled. There’s lots of reasons people can lose their teeth. Poor dental care, which, no. I brushed twice a day, flossed, try to avoid too many sugary sweets and I don’t smoke or chew tobacco. You can also lose your teeth when you get older, which is also not fitting for me. I’m only twenty-nine. And other than this new teeth issue, my health was reasonably good.
Also, there’s the completely unexplainable fact that I wasn’t missing any teeth. I just kept losing them. I had thirty-four mostly normal teeth in my mouth, save for a few that looked strangely sharper than your average human tooth.
I was considering going to the doctor a few days in, because of course, why shouldn’t I? But it’s really hard to get a doctor’s visit where I live right now, and because I felt physically fine, it was hard to rationalize taking a slot for someone who actually needed help. Maybe I’m an idiot, but that’s just how I am. I keep making excuses. I don’t like causing a fuss.
Well, I’m sure you noticed there’s been a small… inconsistency with my tale, as of this far. I didn’t even really let it sink in until I felt my jaw start to twinge, like I’d been grinding my teeth in my sleep. I spent an hour in the bathroom counting me teeth. I was up to forty-two by then. Forty-two teeth. People should have, should have thirty-two teeth. Ten more than needed. And my jaw is having to expand to fit the new additions.
Upper jaw, mostly. I am now rocking one hell of an overbite. I haven’t gone outside since, grocery delivery is a savior in these dark times. This is past… natural. I’m still spitting out more teeth, even though there’s even less of a gap. They’re all running into each other, so crooked and ragged. I never thought I could loathe my face more, but with my upper jaw overhanging the lower jaw by a good three inches now, I do hate it. My skin’s all stretched, and some of my new teeth are actually poking out from between my lips, like some fucked up crocodile. If you look at me straight on, it’s not nearly so bad, but my profile is just… oof. I’m a monster now. Losing and gaining so many teeth, my jaw aches so badly I can barely sleep. I spit out globs of red whenever I chomp down a bit too hard on something, blood along with white shards and splinters of what are no doubt pieces of bone.
I finally snuck out last night to talk to my dentist. They hadn’t answered my calls to the point I was getting paranoid, like they saw it was me and chose to ignore me.
I’m thankful for the whole mask order in my state right now. It’s easy to hide my mutant fucking face like that. I drove through town, heading right for my dentist’s office.
Huh. How strange this adventure had gotten. I get to my office, and guess what? It’s vacant. Up for sale. It’s no longer my dentist’s office. It’s just an empty building.
I’m up to sixty-eight teeth. My jaw hurts so bad. I can’t get my personal dentist on the phone, it’s like they’re just gone… and as for Dr. Mills, well, I don’t know where she went or what she did… but I have a sneaking suspicion she wasn’t your average dentist.