Please read my mother's story. Share if it moves you. Donate if you can.
I don't smile anymore. I don't smile in front of my family or my friends. I don't smile in front of a mirror. I don't smile in my room alone, even without a mirror. I won't date, I don't want my picture taken. I don't much leave my house.
In 1941, at the age of eighteen, my mother developed gum disease. She had all her teeth pulled and got dentures. She hated those things. Six months ago I went to the dentist and had another tooth pulled. Out of 32 teeth, I've got five that are broken off at the gum line. Including those five, fifteen total have to be pulled. Four can be saved with root canals and crowns. This week I went back to see my dentist and at age 60, I too have gum disease. My jaw hurts which gives me headaches. My teeth feel foreign.
I've been diabetic for over 30 years, and this "no-teeth" thing wreaks havoc on my blood sugars. I haven't eaten a carrot or celery or salad or pasta or steak or pork chops in years. My diet consists of soup, bland canned veggies, bakery goods, crackers (if I mush them on the roof of my mouth) and yogurt. I can eat a hamburger, but most everything I eat goes down unchewed or whole. Unfortunately, this leads to digestive problems. Within 30 minutes (or less) of eating, I am in the bathroom, which is why I don't like to go out to eat. I miss out on birthday dinners and parties with my children and grandchildren, who mean the world to me. It makes for a lonely life.
I'm sure dentures have come a long way since 1941. Seeing what my mom went through, I always said I never wanted dentures. Now I feel differently.
I am less vain than most people I know. This is not about vanity. It's about my health, my comfort; yes, my smile too, but also my sanity. I can't wait for the ability to eat and to smile.
I don't want to miss my grandchildren's 2nd and 4th birthday parties. I hope you'll be able to help get me there.
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