educated tongue


I had two of my lower molars pulled quite a while back .

Thankfully…and I suppose there’s always a twist that you can put on something like having a tooth extracted…some silver lining to look for…I had the teeth pulled at two separate times.

The first tooth split down the the base of the root when I bit down on something hard that was in a Taco Bell burrito.

There wasn’t anything they could do for that one…except maybe do an implant, but that was too long ago for an implant to be an option…and besides, I didn’t have any money….so they just pulled out the pieces of tooth and I went on with my life…one molar lighter.

The second one was “savable”…they could have “rooted” it out and done a crown…but again, I didn’t have any money…and the clinic that I was at was good at pulling teeth (at least they seemed to be for all the Mexican dudes who were coming out of the back with mouths loaded with gauze)…so I had them pull it.

That’s kind of a typically long-winded way of getting at the point that I was thinking about.

I am missing these two side by side molars on the bottom left side of my mouth.

I guess I could have just said that to begin with.

Who cares about the reason?

Anyway…I don’t really like to chew on that side because it’s just gum and teeth. It doesn’t hurt….just feels weird.

So yesterday, when I stopped to get gas at Ingles, I drove over to the “Liquidation Center” when I was finished with my fueling, and bought some candy.

I ate some on the way home…and rediscovered something that I already knew.

Man, our tongues have “taste zones”.

I was chewing these sticky organic gummie sharks that I’ve never seen anywhere else, and my jaw got tired of trying to chew them on the “toothed side”…so I started chewing them on the other side…and VOILA!! A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TASTE.

It was a little bit sweeter…more intense somehow….different from the side I usually taste on.

My mouth is not so big that I can really avoid a mouthful of food migrating from the side I’m used to chewing on to the seldom used side…the stuff is going to be moving around in there…I can’t be so completely selective that I only use one side of my mouth exclusively.

But when I was paying attention, the flavors were so different on the “other side of the fence”.

I knew about the different zones in the mouth…sour, sweet…what else? Oh….etc. ….but it was funny that a good gummie brought them back to mind.

We are pretty amazing. So may different facets and most of the time all the parts work in support of each other.

Why’d we get all these different “tongue zones”? What the heck? It might have been a world without variety…grey and consistent. If we had to eat, it could have been a matter of just shuffling over to the goo trough and going at it until we were full…our monochromatic tongues never really tasting the food we had to eat just to sustain ourselves.

I am amazed at how all this “life” is going down.

“Good and Bad”…it’s a lot more interesting than things might have been.

About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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