Devil Tooth is out to defeat me, but I’ll win with soup and milkshakes

Have I ever told you guys about my Devil Tooth?

(If you’re squeamish about dental stories, please read no further.)

It’s a tale of woe spanning almost a decade. When I was 17, fresh from a trip to the International Theatre Festival in Lincoln, Neb., I noticed an ache on a tooth I’d had filled. A quick jaunt to the dentist was sobering: I had to have a root canal on my very back tooth, up high on the left side of my mouth.

The root canal itself was pretty disturbing. In addition to getting the awesome shot in the roof of your mouth that accompanies having to be numbed for the procedure, I was still feeling things even when I shouldn’t. I cried and cried, tears creating sideways rivers down my face. Then I started to hyperventilate. Though the surgeons let me listen to the soundtrack for “Blood Brothers,” a play I was obsessed with after seeing it at the festival, even the melodic voices of the British actors couldn’t drown out my anguish.

So, you know. Then that was over. My tooth went back to doing whatever it is that it does — disintegrating and making my life hellish, apparently. Because we fast-forward six years later to me, sitting before my ridiculously good-looking dentist, Dr. Bob, as he tells me in his lovely voice that I’m going to have to get a gold crown on that baby.

I’ve talked about my crown before. It’s in the back of my mouth, sure, so no one can see it, but I know it’s there — and that makes me feel like Flavor Flav. After going through the uncomfortable crowning procedure, my coworkers took to calling me “Miss Rap Supreme.” And they even got me a nameplate for my desk.

I wish I could tell you that the story ends there — I got my crown and lived to eat corn on the cob, saltwater taffy and caramel popcorn once more. No food was too sticky for my liking; no candy too hard for me to chomp on.

But, of course, that’s not what happened. Continue reading