On thursday 17th of March 2005, the worst case of tooth ache I ever felt kicked in and rendered me a complete wreck: incapable of thinking, sleeping and even speaking. A quick search on the Internet told me that hitting my thumb, rather hard, with a hammer would make the tooth ache go away – or at least seem much less severe.
What is tooth ache really?!
Tooth ache usually results from systematic neglect of basic dental hygiene, more often than not in combination with ignorance of the need for periodical visits to the dentist. A tooth is a simple device for grinding/chewing food into smaller, easily digestable pieces. However simple a tooth is, it is equipped with an internal nerve seemingly without any purpose whatsoever except amplifying pain.
It is this nerve that usually – and in my case right now – cause the chilling, stinging pain that protrudes from somewhere in the vicinity of the painful tooth. The nerve can be provoked by several means; cavities, broken teeth, something stuck between two teeth etc.
Below I have collected some striking texts from people who are sure to have felt the effect of tooth ache:
How to Enjoy Tooth-Ache
DENTAL REGISTER OF THE WEST, APRIL 1864:18(4):182.
— To enjoy this delectable pain to its fullest extent, you should have it in all its glory for a week. Let the pain permeate and insinuate into every portion of the diseased member, racing, jumping and springing around generally like rats in a corn-crib; let it ache till you can’t tell whether the pain is in your mouth, on the top of your head, or in your cravat, but rather think it is all around there; let it ache until you feel like it would be a great relief to hold your head up by the ears, and shake out every molar, incisor, grinder and acher in it; let it ache until you are doubtful whether you stand in the position assigned you, or with your heels in the air; let it ache until you seriously believe every bone, nerve and muscle about your body is full of teeth, and that every tooth is aching on its own hook, and then, when you feel like you have enough pain in your individual mouth to fit out a hospital — when you feel like kicking yourself down stairs — when you are exceedingly anxious to break your neck — then, we repeat, you will begin to realize the tooth-ache. — Western Home Press.
Tooth-ache interestingly enough triggers poetry in some:
The Toothless Genius
The Toothless Genius. The British Dental Journal, 26(14) 1905:687-88. The British Dental Association.
I cannot earn much of a living,
Though why I could never make out.
That this headpiece of mine holds an intellect fine
Is established beyond any doubt.
My lack of all cranial adornment
Denotes a big brain underneath,
And if vanishing hair doesn’t clinch the affair,
Just look at my absence of teeth!
Some people wear teeth artificial,
Which cost them exorbitant sums,
But I am not the sort such impostures to sport,
I am awfully proud of my gums.
As bare as the trees in December
My mouth shall forever remain,
That the people I meet may exclaim in the street,
‘Ah, there goes a man with a brain !’
I may not quite rival Lord Kelvin,
I haven’t yet mastered the dodge
Of propounding the claim of a Rayleigh to fame,
Or of even an Oliver Lodge.
But I know that my intellect’s mighty,
Despite what my rivals have said,
For however they try they can never deny
That I haven?t a tooth in my head.