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The Toothless Gourmand

Updated on May 27, 2014
"The Perfect Smile"
"The Perfect Smile"


What if someone with a serious food obsession was orally challenged? Missing the most essential utensil for the enjoyment of all things gastronomic. Far more important than knife, fork or spoon. His teeth!!! You got it, a toothless gourmand. Is this Hell's punishment on Earth, or a complete revelation?

Sure, you're probably thinking, with today's dental technology just head to your local cosmetic dentist and get yourself implants or dentures.

At the very least, have a xyloglyphyst carve a set of wooden teeth.(I sympathize GW) How horrible would that be? Jeez!!!

Are dentures the same as natural teeth?

True Confessions

This isn't a whimsical hypothetical mind fart, it's a confession.

I have no teeth. Zero, zip, zilch... none!!!

I've always had dental problems. Throughout childhood, the teenage years and young adulthood, a trip to the dentist was a very common occurrence. And, I really did try to practice proper dental hygiene. I didn't have a choice (more about that later). Cavities, tooth aches, root canals, braces, bridges, crowns and partials, my mouth was a disaster area. After a ten year battle with periodontal disease, I made the decision to have all my remaining natural teeth pulled, and get dentures. It's a grueling step by step process that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. That was two years ago. Now that I've learned the nuances of wearing dentures, here's some insightful observations from "The Toothless Gourmand".

Lets' set the record straight, I'll eat anything (Andrew Zimmern, I hope your not reading this), and still do. Creativity is a huge player. Being a passionate, adventurous eater, there are unbelievable challenges when you're dining with dentures. The biggest being... having to constantly remind yourself, "These are not real teeth, stupid!". The sensation is like wearing a mouth guard, the kind you see athletes using. Very unnatural. Eating isn't the only obstacle to overcome. You basically have to relearn to talk (without drooling or spitting on someone). And, don't dare blow on anything (e.g. birthday candles)... you literally risk launching your upper plate across the room. Hey, life's a challenge. No big deal.

Let's talk food...

Vietnamese "Heaven"
Vietnamese "Heaven"

Top 5 Things I Love, But Hate To Eat

1) Corn on the cob

I don't care what that commercial says, there's not enough Poli-grip on Planet Earth!

2) Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich

Ahh, the flavors of Southeast Asia on a crisp French baguette. Ooouch! The word "crisp" sends shivers down my spine!

3) Granny Smith Apples

I have this fear of aggressively taking a bite and seeing my upper plate still firmly deposited in the fruit.

4) Peanut Brittle

Need I say more. It will rock your world!

5) Any food with exceptional flavor


The first four foods are obvious nightmares for a toothless denture wearer. The fifth is more subtle, but the thing I dislike most. Dentures totally mask your palette. That may be hard for a normal person to understand, but having a piece of synthetic plastic resin fashioned as human teeth covering the most sensitive areas of your mouth definitely dials down the flavor of food . Even the texture of certain food doesn't quite register properly because these oral prosthesis' have no nerve endings.

Kinda like having sex wearing a condom... it's just not the same!!! (sorry for the unnecessary analogy)

To be honest, when I'm home dining alone, those "puppies " are coming out. I know that's not an attractive mental image, but the sensual pleasure of eating shouldn't be screwed with. Actually, a harsher word initially came to mind.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I'm unappreciative. Cosmetically, my dentures look amazingly better than my natural teeth ever did. Your probably asking, " why didn't you get implants instead of dentures?". Very simple answer... the dentist gave me that option, and used this analogy:

"In the world of Cosmetic dentistry, they're the Lexus LS 460 (implants) compared to a Volkswagon Beetle (dentures)".

I admire German engineering. My decision was made.

The ultimate "food porn"

White truffles... not of the Chocolate variety!
White truffles... not of the Chocolate variety!

A Bit Of Irony

My Father was a dentist.

And, my brother is a dentist!

Both, rescued me from a tremendous amount of pain and suffering over the years, and I'm grateful. Certainly, my brother's relieved that, (1) we now live 1100 miles apart, and (2) there's nothing left to extract, drill on or medicate in any way, shape or form.

Being toothless isn't that bad. Come to think of it, "The Toothless Gourmand" is a pretty cool moniker.

Mangia Bene... Ciao!!!


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    • profile image

      Prostrate Surgery 6 years ago

      Funny, I actually just finished 3 articles for dental magazines. Jai I knew we moved on the same wavelength :) As Eddie on motorbike would say

    • Jai Warren profile image

      Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas

      Thanks Elena, it was a decision that couldn't be avoided... But, I don't regret it! Gumming my food really brings out it's true flavor. Glad you discovered this one and enjoyed "the toothless gourmand".


    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 6 years ago from London, UK

      So sorry I missed this Jai. I thought you stopped writing as you hadn't published for months.

      Well, well... you are the youngest person I know to have dentures. Very brave of you but it's good you have adapted to it. The important thing is that you can taste food... and we know you love your food. :)

      You are lucky to have 2 dentists in the family. How cool is that...

      Best Wishes. :)

    • Jai Warren profile image

      Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas

      I'm glad you enjoyed it SJ... they're a challenge, but I won't let that stand in my way. It's all about attitude!

      Thanks for visiting and commenting... Ciao.

    • ahostagesituation profile image

      SJ 6 years ago

      Freaking awesome, Jai! So glad you did this, very entertaining. I always love when people pursue something they love despite the craziest obstales. Years ago I read about an amputee wrestler...I guess not the same, but really cool book. "No Excuses" Kyle Mynard. And if I were in your shoes, that wouldn't keep away from food either. ;-).

    • Jai Warren profile image

      Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas

      GL, I appreciate your compliments. We are on the same wavelength... Fitness, health, personal development and...being toothless? [Oh, I'm mean dental issues :)))] I'm glad I found an Eddie vid that you hadn't seen. All the best. Ciao!!!

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Jai the Toothless Gourmand - What a brilliant idea for new TV show! Thanks! It's even better than the line of prepared foods for the toothless population "Gummy Gourmet". (I have to give my crazy brother-in-law credit for that one).

      Anyway, your hub is not only entertaining, it's enlightening. And thanks for the Eddie clip; I thought I had seen them all!

      Funny, I actually just finished 3 articles for dental magazines. Jai I knew we moved on the same wavelength :) As Eddie on motorbike would say, Ciao!

    • Jai Warren profile image

      Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas

      HPW, I'm glad "The Toothless Gourmand" gave you a little chuckle. I meant it to be "tongue in cheek". Despite the adjustments it takes to wear dentures, it sure beats the constant pain and suffering of having bad natural teeth.

      Thanks for commenting... Ciao!!!

    • Jai Warren profile image

      Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas

      Thanks Katie! I wonder how many other denture wearers take theirs' out to eat. These things take a long time to adjust to, as I'm sure your brother would attest. Cosmetically, I'm thankful, but functionally they can be a nightmare... Ciao!!!

    • profile image

      hubpageswriter 6 years ago

      That analogy is really funny! You've written a food hub which has gotten me enticed to read. Well done once again, Jai. Food porn! :p I love how you put it. Ouch, imagine granny's apples versus exceptional flavor. Hub up my friend, keep it coming.=)

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

      My brother has lived a similar experiece and he too is a foodie who happens to be an amazing chef. The man turns any food into an amazing masterpiece. I'm blessed with having three chef brothers, one studied french, while one italian and my oldest is just a foodie/perfectionist. While my brothers are all in professions other than food they love it all the same. It's life, it's food.

      Anyway, by brother with dentures takes them out to enjoy his food masterpieces. I get it and completely understand.

      I appreciate learning the difference between implants verses dentures. I have a couple of crowns and one bridge, which I hate. It just doesnt' feel right.

      Well done! Katie :)

    • Jai Warren profile image

      Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas

      Thanks Marie. No matter what, I will find a way to enjoy my food experiences. Always have, always will. Glad you enjoyed this!!! Ciao...

    • Jai Warren profile image

      Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas

      Thanks Shalini! It's not quite a million $$$ smile, but close. I appreciate you stopping by. Glad you enjoyed "The Toothless Gourmand". Ciao!!!

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Wow an Italian who can't taste his food!! What a disaster. Glad you can see the funny side of being a 'toothless gourmand' Jai. Caio and I hope you do mangia bene.

      Oh and thanks for the laughs.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India

      You're right - it is a pretty cool moniker! Thanks for the laughs, Jai - and I'm sure all those problems are more than made up by a perfect million dollar smile :)