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Just got back from having a tooth pulled

  1. Dec 29, 2005 #1
    I just got back from having a tooth pulled. It has been very loose for many years but I was loath to give it up. It got infected three times, and this last time was really, really bad. It migrated into my sinuses on that side.

    The X-Ray photograph was amazing. There was this completely obvious lack of bone all around the root. This had been eaten away every time the tooth got infected. The tooth, itself, has been dead for years since a long ago root canal, and had a nice ceramic crown on it. There is only about a quarter inch of space between the top of the root and the bottom of the sinus cavity, and the dentist told me that this bone is not solid to begin with, but pretty porous, like a sponge, so there is no real barrier against the infection getting into the sinus.

    For some reason, as long as the tooth is still in there, the missing bone won't try to repair itself. She said it would start to grow back, now that the tooth is gone. I wish this were the other way around, cause I would like to have kept that tooth. It's was two teeth back from the canine, just forward enough for the gap to be visible when I smile. She's going to fix me up with a bridge, though, so that won't be permanent.


    So this got me thinking about the phenomenon of teeth in general. They are a strange evolutionary solution to eating. I'm wondering why we didn't evolve with a solid, one piece bone structure to bite and chew with, something not separate from the skull and jaw, but a continuous extention of them. This having 36 independent pieces seems to allow for an awful lot of complications. Life must have been truly horrible before 20th century dentistry, and even that leaves alot to be desired: it always seems to me they could have found some much less painful way of doing dental work by now.
     
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  3. Dec 29, 2005 #2

    Evo

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    I want to know why we don't keep getting new teeth. :grumpy: It's obvious we weren't intelligently designed. :biggrin:

    So the bone grows back after the tooth is gone? I hadn't heard that, that's good to know. Hopefully it doesn't grow back in some weird way. :eek:
     
  4. Dec 29, 2005 #3
    Have you ever noticed that all the old skulls they dig up have all their teeth still? It's because the only sugar they ever ate was from fruits. Sugar via sugar cane is a modern invention of the, I think, 1800's. The diet was mainly vegtables, very little meat, water and wine.
     
  5. Dec 29, 2005 #4
    Yup, that's that I was thinking. Teeth are an evolutionary fluke that really caught on because they're so useful, but had someone actually designed them from scratch for this purpose they could have done something much more efficient and durable.
    She said it will just try to fill in the hole in the jaw where the tooth was.
    I know sugar has made things very much worse, but they still had plenty of problems back before sugar. I saw an awful looking skull on a History Channel program of a guy who had all kinds of bone loss around his teeth. I think it was about a thousand years old. They pointed out that the muscle attachment points on his face were all exaggerated, and they figured this was from years of grimacing in pain.
     
  6. Dec 29, 2005 #5

    Evo

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    A lot of ancient people suffered extreme wear on their teeth from the stone grit in their stone milled flour in cultures that ate a lot of bread, as in ancient Egypt.
     
  7. Dec 29, 2005 #6

    matthyaouw

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    Isn't it more to do with the fact that most people died younger, before they could loose their teeth?
     
  8. Dec 29, 2005 #7

    JamesU

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    Has GD come to a discussion about teeth..? OMG
     
  9. Dec 29, 2005 #8

    Evo

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    What cyrus is referring to is attributed to a diet without processed food which contains high levels of sugars, they were less prone to cavities.
     
  10. Dec 29, 2005 #9
    Neanderthal teeth are always very worn, but they don't ever seem to be missing any. They think they spent all their free time chewing hides to soften them because they hadn't figured out how to tan them yet. They had some powerful jaws, those Neanderthals.
     
  11. Dec 29, 2005 #10
    Just be happy you dont have lock-jaw zooby. That would not be fun.
     
  12. Dec 29, 2005 #11

    BobG

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    We don't have a poll asking how many teeth PF members currently have? :frown:
     
  13. Dec 29, 2005 #12
    I'm sure it's no fun, but what actually got me paranoid enough to get to the dentist and have it pulled was reading that sinus infections can get into your brain.
     
  14. Dec 29, 2005 #13

    Math Is Hard

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    Sorry you are feeling down in the mouth, Zoob. Do you think you will eventually get a dental implant for that tooth?
     
  15. Dec 29, 2005 #14
    No, I doubt the bone would ever be able to provide enough anchorage for it. She said we could do a bridge, though, which will be fine.
     
  16. Dec 29, 2005 #15

    DaveC426913

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    Interestingly, my dentist pointed out that the inner gums are one of the very few places in the body where your insides are physically exposed to the outside. They're also one of the dirtiest places in the body, bacteria-wise.

    And then people wonder why dentists are so anal about flossing!
     
  17. Dec 30, 2005 #16
    don't ever use the terms dentist and anal in the same sentence again
     
  18. Dec 30, 2005 #17

    DaveC426913

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    :yuck: 10 words
     
  19. Dec 30, 2005 #18

    Moonbear

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    Yeah, it might come back and bite you in the .... :biggrin:

    Anal flossing...that's what thongs are for, right? o:)
     
  20. Dec 30, 2005 #19
    My wisdom teeth are finally coming in... sorta... well one... is kinda poked through a little...

    Yeah, thats my only tooth news..

    But anyway, speaking of wisdom teeth, i thought that early man did lose teeth, and i thought that's why we had wisdom teeth in the first place... thats what i heard? and thats why now wisdom teeth are basically obsolete.

    Also, sharks have a really interesting teeth system. they have rows and rows of teeth, and they're constantly replacing theirs. i wonder how those were evolved... but it makes sense for them to have lots of separate teeth in that case.
     
  21. Dec 30, 2005 #20
    Yeah, sharks have a much better system than we do. It seems like we could have gone that route with just a small change, because we do grow new teeth at least once in the shift from baby teeth to adult teeth. Like Evo said, it's too bad we don't keep growing new ones.
     
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