Have you ever had that one dream about teeth? The one where your teeth start falling out and you can do nothing to stop it? I understand it's pretty common and it's about control. What a surprise. I have that dream now and then. Actually, it's kind of an episode in other dreams I have. Let's not analyze. My dreams revolve around a certain set of themes.

Speaking of dreams, I grind my teeth when I sleep. For the last few years, I have not been chewing on the right side of my mouth. I went through all the trouble of getting a gold crown (my gold gansta tooth...don't worry, it was in the back but I loved to show it off now and then), then I commenced to grind right through that sucker. It has been sensitive to pressure and temperature so long, I don't remember what it was like before.

So when I went into the dentists office recently, I said "I'm done". It was annoying. It never felt right and I wanted it fixed (preferably in white enamel). So last Friday, we took off the old crown (thank gawd for gas, especially at the moment when the doctor said "I am taking off the old crown and you may hear some crunching"). Um, yeah. I was in my happy place breathing deeply and thinking about the Grateful Dead. I was at that last show in Irvine Meadows with all the police lights. Anyhoo...

 They put on a temporary. Much joking commenced about the small size of the little white piece of plastic they put in my mouth Friday to, like, cover up the sensitive nerve stuff on my tooth. My bite immediately felt better. I could chew on the right side. Whee! And it was all great until...

Monday afternoon I ate tuna salad. I know. What was I thinking? Do rhetorical questions deserve a question mark? They don't seem to do the heavy lifting that normal questions do. I started to crunch into something and thought "why does this tuna have bones?" You know why? Because it was my plastic crown. Of the pieces I felt swimming around in my mouth, I retrieved two. Others unaccounted for. And I had almost 2 weeks to wait for my new crown to come in (which, unfortunately or fortunately, as the case may be, is again gold).

Monday, back at the dentist office, another new temporary. Extra cement. No gas this time....no drills, sanders, whatever they call that grindy stuff. Optimistic. Will try to only chew on the left side again. 2 hours later, I was eating rice crackers and not chewing on the right side, I swear. Then my crown was gone. I have to find a little humor in the fact that it got chewed up with rice crackers. Who would have known the difference?

I've decided to tough it out. Go without a temp. Try to ignore the urge for my tongue to find that jagged, amputated tooth edge. The pain is only dull. The kind of pain where you think" "should I take an Advil?" and then you notice that you have had a headache all day.

And it seems entirely likely that you are going to have that dream about the teeth again.