I have a lump on my inner lower gum. It's not a sore or anything, just a bump that kind of gets irritated when I press it with my tongue. It only showed up in the last couple of days, and I couldn't figure out what it was. It grew too fast to be cancer, but I was worried it was an abscess or some other annoying problem.
So I went to the dentist. "That's an interesting little lump you've got," he said, and took an X-ray. "The good news it's not an abscess," he said. "Your bones look good, and you have nice teeth. Sometimes the gums just get irritated from food-related trauma. Did you burn yourself on anything hot recently? Eat a lot of potato chips?" I said no, and he wrote me a referral for a periodontist, saying, "It may just go away in a week or so. If it doesn't, you may have a growth in the bone that's getting infected or something, and you should go to a specialist."
I took the slip and went home. I was happy I wasn't going to have to have a root canal, but a little concerned about the possibility of having some exotic oral disease. What if I had to have surgery? What if they had to remove part of my jaw? What if they forbade me from eating chocolate?
Chloë was a little irritable and I thought she might be tired, so we nursed on the bed and fell asleep together. When we woke up, she was happy and playful; she grabbed the wipe rag and shoved it at my mouth, and I made "Aaaah! Gahhh! Graaah!" noises into it as I've been doing recently, and she laughed and slapped my cheek, then grabbed at my face, as she often does. Her fingers slipped into my mouth and grabbed at my lower lip, as they often do, and then at my teeth and gums. I removed her hand and remembered that I still hadn't clipped her nails like I'd meant to. I think I know where the lump came from.