The Toothless Gourmand
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?
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...
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"
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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