It’s been a few weeks, now, since my teeth were stolen from my mouth.
Over that time I’ve gone from complete awareness of the fact to tentative probing with my tongue to the stage I am at now. Which is blissfully forgetful of the fact there used to be teeth there. And strangely addicted to the warm salt-water rinse. Which I could probably stop. But don’t want to.
Forgetful is probably the wrong word, but I’m no longer having to be aware of it. I’m not consciously eating on my right side because the left isn’t there anymore. I’m not sure when that happened. When my brain went, “Ah it’ll be fine…” but it’s happened.
So now I have a new sensation.
Which is when food just kind of slides out into my cheek. Like it’s been posted.
Obviously, part of eating is that your tongue moves stuff around. Now I’ve stopped consciously thinking about where I am eating (and the associated tilt of my head to tip food onto my right side by gravity), my tongue moves stuff over to the left for chewing and it keeps on going. It’s the strangest thing. Because even though the gap between gum and cheek isn’t huge – it’s not really anything at all – your tongue isn’t best suited to retrieving things from over there, mid-chew.
I think I have a new eating face. Now it’s not just enjoyment that crosses my features. There’s the look of concentration as I try to retrieve something, and the confusion as I learn what different foods feel like as they slide across my exposed gum.
I think this is why you always see old people making chewing motions – they’re trying to get back some food which has made it out into the gum-cheek zone.
I don’t want to be like that, though.
Not just yet.