A Dear John Letter to my Wisdom Teeth

Dearest Wisdom Teeth:

     I know you will never read this. But even so, I hope you know that I have always loved and treasured you. You were literally a part of me after all. For twenty years, you knew that you belonged to me, and were eagerly awaiting the day when you would hatch through my gums and I would open my mouth and meet you. It was with great sadness that I took the doctor’s advice to end our relationship yesterday, especially since two of you never even had the chance to hatch, and one of you, the one on the upper right, was just barely beginning to poke through my gums.

     The doctor warned me our breakup wouldn’t be easy, and he was right. My jaw aches for you, especially on the left for the two of you I never got to meet. Vikodin has eased the pain a little, but it is always there. I was told the pain would ease with time, but long after the physical pain is gone, I know I will be filled with sadness when I feel the four empty spaces where you used to be.

     I am sure the breakup hasn’t been easy for you either. You must feel betrayed, especially you who used to live on the lower right side of my mouth. You were fully hatched after all, and I had mentioned that I enjoyed the extra chewing power you gave me, yet I still allowed the doctor to unceremoniously rip you from my mouth.

     But I know that in the long run, it was best for both of us. After all, x-rays showed there was not enough room in my mouth for all of you, which could cause other teeth to shift, or lead to infection if food got caught in you. I don’t think either of us would have been happy if you had to live in an overcrowded mouth. If you got infected, you would have to be removed anyway, and the longer I waited, the more I knew I would grow attached to you, making the decision even more wrenching. I sincerely hope you understand and that you will be able to forgive me.

     While I will go on to live a long happy life without you, I realize that even now you are probably already rotting away in a lonely landfill, ground up by a garbage disposal or whatever they do with you in this cruel world we live in. I want you to know I asked if I could take you home so that even if you couldn’t be inside me, at least you could always be with me. But I was told this could not be done, that you had to be disposed of properly.

     Our relationship did have its difficult moments. When you on the lower right hatched slowly over the course of September and October, my jaw ached, and you stabbed me every time I moved my mouth. In addition, you embarrassed me, as I was reduced to the level of a teething puppy, constantly needing to chew gum, which somehow made your hatching less painful. You on the upper right hadn’t caused me pain yet, but I know I complained about you being annoying, poking the inside of my mouth a little when I chewed, and making me feel like there was a piece of food caught on that side when it was only you. But all relationships have their difficult moments, and despite these hardships, I never stopped loving you, and I am sorry I couldn’t find a way to make this relationship work.

     But alas, since we couldn’t make it work, I will do the next best thing. I will mourn for a few more days by eating soft foods like soup and ice cream. The doctor said I should do this to protect the surgical sight, minimize pain and prevent infection. But you and I both know I am doing it for another reason. Giving up chewing for a few days is the least I can do to honor you and your loving service to me that had to end far too soon.

With love always, Allison

Published by Allison Nastoff

As I write this in 2020, I am 30 years old. I am blind, and Gilbert was my first guide dog. He passed away on December 2, 2020, but I decided to keep the title for my blog as a tribute to him because he will always hold a special place in my heart. In 2012, I earned a Bachelor of Science in Communication with a journalism emphasis, and went back to school for a Paralegal certificate in 2014. I worked for five years at a Social Security disability firm. When the pandemic hit, I did some reflecting and decided to resign from this job and take seminary courses. My dream is a career as a teacher or writer where I can be a blessing to others.

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