World Travel Tales

The Teeth Smashing Incident

Mexico, 2007-05-16

The surf has been really big in Puerto Escondido. Too big for me. So today when I woke up, and the surf was relatively small compared to what it has been, I thought I would give it a shot.

I managed to ride a few waves standing, and a couple that were bigger, I just rode on my belly. The water was really pushy, and the waves seemed to be less predictable than what I'm used to. Maybe that is just a characteristic of larger surf, or maybe it was just messy out there...

I caught this one wave that wasn't particularily huge, but I guess it was powerful. It slammed me hard, and I fell off my board. On the way off, my board got flung up into my chin really hard, and my jaw was forced together in an unnatural position. I realized instantly that my teeth were all fucked up, I thought I had broken one of the lowers out because I could stick my tongue through a spot where there was supposed to be a tooth. When I finally surfaced after being throttled by this wave, I spit, expecting to see blood, but there wasn't any.

I was confused. I started to swim to shore, still wondering what was up with my teeth, and still being slammed by waves breaking over my head. There was still no blood, but there was still no tooth where a tooth belonged. I couldn't bite down at all, because my bite didn't line up. It hurt.

When I got back to my hostel and looked in the mirror, I realized that my teeth had not broken, and none were missing, they had just been pushed into an unnatural position by the force of my jaw clamping shut. I took some Advil, and walked over to the internet cafe to call my dentist. When I got ahold of her, she asked me if I could just "push" my teeth back into place. So I tried, and although quite painful, they suddenly popped back into place! Sweet! I have three loose teeth on my lower set right now, but my dentist said they would tighten up again in a couple of days.

I don't think I'll surf this afternoon...

...view photos from Mexico.