I am mad, angry, crazy, and as stupid as everyone else who ever smoked. We were sold a bill of goods, friends. Our generation just didn't know any better and now the invoice is due. And it might not be the one you expected.
I took great care of my teeth. GREAT care. Cleanings every six months, flossed religiously, no cavities my whole life, fabulous genes for an amazing checkup over and over. I was proud of that. I was even careful not to brush too hard so I wouldn't get receding gums.
And then, suddenly, a molar cracked. It had to be extracted. Dental hygienists started asking about my brushing habits because the dentin was exposed on a lot of teeth. I was getting canker sores on my gums.
By the time I needed another molar extracted I knew the truth of it. It didn't matter how well I'd taken care of them. My teeth had taken the brunt of the abuse over the past 45 years of smoking. I never knew the danger. I thought I'd escaped the worst of consequences because I didn't develop COPD.
You don't know how bad the quality of your life is if you can't eat right. With constant pain on one side of my mouth, I couldn't eat anything hot (you can't switch food from side to side!), and I couldn't really chew properly. And forget ice cream or a good cup of coffee.
So now, on one side I'm missing the last molar, and on the other side I have a bridge. A $3000 bridge, after almost of month of constant pain with the extraction and temporary crowns. And I have a sinking suspicion I won't have seen the last of this yet.
I bought a bridge. And I will never get my money back.