That Matriarchal Mouth

My 98-year-old mom…..bless her heart!  I inherited a lot of characteristics from her – her wicked sense of humor, her imagination, her intelligence, her hips (not so good), and, unfortunately, her tiny mouth.  It’s been a bit of a bother for me all of my life.

I never had room enough in my mouth for all of my teeth so I had to endure braces, which didn’t take the first time because my other teeth just crowded everything back out and back to being crooked.  So they had to do it all over again after pulling four teeth.  When you factor in the four wisdom teeth that were removed in college, that is eight teeth that I no longer had by the time I was a young adult.  You’d think that would have freed up enough room in my mouth but you would be wrong.  Things were STILL crowded in there.

“Hey, remember…..I’m STILL on Advil from the oral surgery!”

They always have to use children’s bite wings at the dentist on me to take xrays.  They can’t fit the adult-sized ones in my mouth.  I had to have a gum transplant in the Army because the gums were being worn down around one tooth that had gotten crooked again.  Ouch!


My daughter was just up last weekend after having her 3rd gum transplant.  She has also inherited the tiny mouth with a crooked tooth here and there, despite teenage braces.  She loves to point out that it is all my fault that she has to go through these periodical dental ordeals.


When I was telling my brother about my daughter’s latest transplant, he reminded me that he had also had a gum transplant in the same area of the mouth that she and I had our transplants.  See!  It all goes back to my mother and her little mouth.  Although, they never did gum transplants back in her day.  She DID manage to hang onto all of her teeth until just the last decade when they started to crack and fall out.  Oh, golly, do we have THAT to look forward to?  Come to think of it…..this latest oral surgery ordeal all started because of a cracked tooth but I’m blaming it on the popcorn kernel I crunched down on, not genetics.



At any rate, looks like three generations of us are stuck with these tiny little mouths.  Shoot, and looking at that picture, it looks like that’s not the only thing I’m stuck with.  My mother always told me that if I continued to sneer at everything as a teenager, my face would freeze like that.  Looks like she was right.  I’ve  ended up with one side of a smile that has a permanent sneer.  Of course, it’s also the same side where I can do my notorious “Elvis” lip sneer.  I can do it, my brother can do it, and now little Sweet Pea can do it on just the one side.  I thought everyone could do it but apparently not.  It seems to be an inherited trait.  Ah, genetics!  That cosmic joke that binds us together in family groupings whether we like it or not.





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