I was many months overdue for a cleaning and checkup, so I figured it was my turn to see the dentist. This was accomplished in short order for $30, and cleaning was done by the dentist himself.
I’ve had trouble with my teeth for most of my adult life – gum problems, bone loss, gum surgery, deep cleaning, loss of two back teeth, appointments with the hygienist every 3 months, etc. and even with all that, it’s been a battle to maintain my teeth. If I didn’t brush and floss and water pick religiously, my gums would get irritated and start to bleed.
But, I came to Panama with one suitcase and didn’t have room for the water pick. I hoped I could manage for a month with brushing and flossing. As it turned out, I was without my water pick for much longer than that, but I haven’t had any problems. Since coming here my gums have not felt irritated, have not bled, and seem to be healthy. I brush and floss but not as frequently as before. My visit with the dentist confirmed what I thought. He says my gums look very healthy, my teeth are clean, and all is well.
What is up with this?! Gum disease is caused primarily by bacteria. Is my immune system better here? I have a strong feeling it’s the food. Is it the pineapples and papayas every day? Do they keep my mouth in better condition? Is it the home cooked with fresh ingredients diet? The lack of chemicals and pesticides that I believe permeate the US food supply? I really feel like my health in general is better from this healthy food and lifestyle, so it makes sense that my mouth is also very improved.
Whatever it is, I’m happy. I’ve always been very healthy except for teeth, so if they are so much better in Panama, this is wonderful news.
I do plan to get some work done though – replace two old silver fillings with white ones on the backs of a couple front teeth. One is already making a tooth look a little dark and he says this will only increase over time. And, I need to get a crown on a tooth that is much more filling than tooth. From what I’ve seen of his work with the rest of the family, I expect this will go well and won’t ruin my budget either.