[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hat ranks right up there with jujubes, ice and rocks as a deadly toothkiller?

Cornnuts. Did you know this?

(Me neither, she said, tongue probing the bloody gauze where there used to be a tooth.)

So I’m eating some delicious home-made cornnuts on Saturday when I feel this odd clunk in my mouth, and a bit of an ache. Sunday morning it started to throb, and by Sunday night I considered calling the dentist.

I have a wonderful dentist–she’s smart, funny, and loves to wisecrack. The whole time I’m in her chair I’m chortling and guffawing..as she plows through my teeth the way the moles plow through my backyard.

Only a lot more expensively.

The last time my dentist and I had a date, I had an abscessed tooth. Turns out that infection neutralizes anesthetic; 4 hours into my root canal, I contained more novocaine than a dental supply house and I could still feel EVERYTHING.


Lemme emphasize that: Everything. 

We finally gave up, the dentist and I, with the root canal half done. They had to help me out of the chair. Two hellish, antibiotic-filled weeks later, the novocaine worked, and we finished the job in 45 minutes. Pure bliss.

I vowed to see my dentist again in maybe a year (or two), but then I ate those cornnuts. I swallowed some soup at lunch on Monday and OWWWW! Two hours later I was in her chair, losing my tooth.

“Cornnuts,” she said, shaking her head, “I’ve had more extractions from cornnuts than just about anything else. Your tooth has split right down to the root, and it’s gotta come out.”

I’ll spare you the gory details, but there’s this thing called an implant in my future, so that there won’t be a gap where my smile used to be. For the next nine months, while we go through the process, I’ll be smiling lopsidedly.

I went home and tossed the cornnuts–the penalty for killing my tooth is death. And I said hello to my new dinner companions: