November 20th, 2015: The tooth, part 1 (reposted from Facebook)

Today at 5.30pm I’m getting my tooth pulled. And now I’m worried that you might think that I’m giving up on a tooth too quickly and easily. Or maybe I just want to reassure myself by running this by you all. So here are my thoughts:
I mentioned that one shouldn’t leave a dead tooth in the mouth of an ALS patient. Before someone else says it, I’ll say it myself, there is no ” scientific evidence” for this, meaning no clinical trials have been done on this. Which does not surprise me, because relatively few people are affected by this and a clinical trial like that would be very complicated and expensive (treating everybody’s teeth as opposed to just giving people pills). But… “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” (Mark Hyman, M.D.), and the clinical experience of both my dentist and my general practitioner says that a dead tooth in my mouth is not a good idea and that’s enough for me.
Plus, I used to believe in doing everything to keep one’s teeth but… I’m not so sure about that anymore after realizing that after a root canal the tooth is dead anyway. And… I have ALS and nobody knows how much longer I will be able to eat at all. So now is not the time to hold on to my teeth for dear life. Of course I try to be positive but I’m not making too many plans for the future. And right now appointments take a lot out of me and a root canal would take at least two appointments if everything goes well (with my teeth it hardly ever does) and pulling the tooth only takes one appointment.
So, it’s all very clear and I’m doing the right thing. Right? And yet… I find it emotionally difficult to let go.

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