I first mentioned my open bite on this post, and pointed out that my canine and incisors are practically non-functional. I cannot bite or tear.
The last dentist I saw said that according to science standards, I should have a speech impediment due to the position of my teeth and shape of my dentition. She was very surprised that I could talk properly. If only she knew that not only could I just talk properly, I actually earn part of my income from talking. She said that I shouldn’t bother my head. Ideally it would have required a surgical process spanning over 4 years or so, to correct. I had done some research on that surgery two years ago, and I knew I couldn’t go through it cos it would kill my career
I guess the talker in me would not be stopped when at the age of 5, my grandmother noticed that my teeth wouldn’t close. At that little age, the fighter in me learnt how to distort her lips, roll or flatten her tongue to get every word out, just like a person blessed with normal dentition. I do it so well that you might have to capture me speaking in a picture or intentionally look at mouth while I am talking before you see the magic being performed, lol. Even my mum never noticed the disorder until she watched me on TV, which is strange considering the fact that I have been this way since about 5 years old.
I am not that child that falls sick or gives her parents the usual medical problems, but when it comes to dental issues, you don’t want to try me, even though I don’t have a sweet tooth. I have replaced a tooth, filled a tooth, removed a tooth, and even had impacted 8 surgery where I was operated upon live, with my jawbone drilled into, tooth removed, and gum sewed back - the worst experience of my life, that I would never wish on my worst enemy.
Anyway, after my last dental appointment last year, when I went to replace my tooth, and opted for a silver crown, the dentist warned me not to eat with one side of my mouth, in order to avoid being disfigured because of lack of mouth exercise, which is a condition normally noticed in people that have gone through similar procedures.
I thanked her, and assured her that I would heed her warnings.
I won’t lie. It was difficult. I just couldn’t bring myself to eat with the left side of my mouth, and after 1 week or so, I gave up.
Exactly a year later, while rehearsing in front of the mirror, I felt something was wrong with my face while I was talking, but dismissed it since I have always had to distort my mouth in order to correctly get the words out.
A few days later, I appeared in the picture below. One look at it, and I knew there was fire on the mountain.
Now, look closely at my face 2 weeks ago
Update: I had to highlight the picture to capture the difference cos some people said they didn't notice any difference, even though it was glaring to me, lol.
The facial muscle on the left had fallen, and my smile and lips was tilted to one side. There was absolutely no cheek raise because the musles couldn't be lifted again
I was getting disfigured, and I didn’t even know it. My one year of negligence and stubbornness was telling on me. It was like a slow fade effect that comes stage by stage, that you won’t even know when it is happening. I started to panic immediately. My facial muscle on the left had obviously fallen due to lack of usage. I didn’t want to be disfigured. At least, now, I am the only one who noticed. Another six months of negligence, and it would have been deliverance session for me, lol.
I called the dentist immediately, and she told me what to do. Things are getting better, the muscles have lifted a bit, but not as high as they should be. The smile of mine that I never really appreciated has now become gold to me, now that I know it is possible to lose it.
As from today, I will never ignore my dentist’s advice. Who wants to go about with a permanently damaged smile?