I lost a tooth yesterday. Not just any tooth. One of the front two. The right one, to be exact.
I broke it Friday night biting into a piece of pizza of all things. The pie was a little crispy from being reheated in the oven, but still. I was shocked.
At first the tooth was just loose, but Sunday it broke off while I was chewing something soft and doing my best to avoid the danger zone in my mouth.
Standing in front of a mirror, squinting at the jagged little stump that used to be my tooth, I was in for another shock: I looked like a derelict. It was quite horrifying actually.
This morning my dentist told me that teeth get brittle as we get older. Plus, I have what he called a deep bite, so he wasn't surprised at all. He simply fitted me with a temporary tooth -- nothing that would withstand a bite of french bread, but at least I look like my old self -- and scheduled a root-canal operation for later in the week.
I'm told that there's a lesson to be learned from every experience, and in this case the lesson is simple: I need to appreciate what I have before it's gone.
Knowing that -- really knowing it -- is worth more than any tooth.