Sunday, April 21, 2013

Weekend Wisdom: Or Should That Be Weekend "Whizdom?"

As nice as some people can be - and humble, too - in reality we're a self-centered lot. Well, except for when we think we're the only one in the world who does this or thinks that, but even that is a bit egotistical at times. We all like to think we're normal, but as Erma Bombeck says, "Normal is just a setting on the dryer."

Making our way through life, we have experiences that seem normal to us, in that we think everyone does things the way we do.  I mean, we've always done it that way or we've always been that way, so it must be the same for everyone else, right?  Not necessarily.

When I was in college, studying dental hygiene, I learned about the protruberance (something that sticks out) that I'd had in the roof of my mouth for as long as I could remember.  In fact, I never really gave it much thought until then.  It seems that not everyone has this, even though I assumed they did.

An example of mandibular tori
I learned it's called a maxillary torus (although technically mine is a mid-sagittal protruberance because of its shape) and it's simply extra bone.  No one really knows why some people have them and some people don't, but there is a hereditary factor.  I also have tori on my lower jaw (called mandibular tori), on both the tongue side and cheek side, as well as on the cheek side of my upper jaw.

There's nothing to be done about it and it's not harmful, unless I ever find the need to get dentures (please NO).  It creates a problem whenever I have to have impressions taken because the impression trays are not made to accommodate that extra bone. (Can't someone invent a flexible tray???) It also is a problem when I'm eating certain things like taco chips or very firm apples, because as I bite down, these things can scrape the tissue covering the bone and it gets sore.

About 7-10% of the U.S. population has mandibular tori.  It's more common in the Asian and Inuit population, and it can continue to form as a person ages, apparently stimulated by bruxism (grinding your teeth).  What does this say about me? That I'm highly stressed??

Well, anyway, it turns out that I'm "special" in yet another way.  We're going to get very personal here.  I've known for a long time that whenever I eat a lot of red beets that I'm going to have a "phenomenal" bathroom experience.  Plainly put, it turns my pee pink.  Sometimes I forget and for a moment I wonder if I've got a bladder or kidney infection.  Then I remember the beets.

I've talked to other family members and I was skeptical when they said they'd never had that happen to them, because gee...this was normal, right?  I mean, it happens to me just about every time I eat them.  I was sure they just weren't taking notice of their own pee.

Turns out that only one in eight people experience what's called "beeturia." It's caused in certain humans by oxalic acid in the digestive system not allowing the betalaine in the beets to be absorbed, so it's excreted.  Furthermore, they found that people that ate pickled beets experienced beeturia more often than those who ate boiled beets, due to the acidic nature of vinegar in the pickled beets.

Studies in the 1950s concluded that there was a genetic factor associated with beeturia, but later studies disproved this.

So now you know more about me than you ever wanted to and maybe yourself. If there's anything normal about any of us, it's that we're all unique.

*Thanks to Chris Tidrick for the "whizdom" pun.


Janet QueenofSeaford said...

Kylee, I have the bone growth on the roof of my mouth as does my mother. I never knew what the name of it was. Interesting information.
Additionally, my husband and I both get a bathroom reminder that we have eaten beets...think my kids do too. (will have to ask the kids). I thought it happened to everyone! So ---how about asparagus? Get that sulfur smell?

Dani said...

I, too, have pink pee - as well as an odorous urine after eating asparagus. But not RMan. Humans are strange , aren't they :)

Barbee' said...

I have the boney growths only mine are under my tongue, and mine are frequently injured by foods. I try to eat carefully, it doesn't help that I have short teeth. Also like you, they are a problem when having dental impressions made. And, again like you, I didn't know I was different, I thought everyone had them. At least one of our children do, too.

Anonymous said...

I also know the feeling w/beets and the 1st time I noticed it, it scared me until I rememberedd what I had eaten. But it does take more then one, usually I just boil them, put them under running cold water and just rub the skin off. With salt & pepper and eat them like an apple, out of this world. Blueberries, if I eat alot will do it too. And my son says about corn that you just BORROW that. comes out just as it goes in so why bother to eat it. Kids! but true.
I enjoy your posts. thanks.110

Kylee Baumle said...

Janet ~ A fellow beeturiac! About asparagus - I've only ever eaten it twice in my life and I don't recall the odor. I probably didn't eat enough of it, but I have heard that about it.

Dani ~ Yes, humans are strange and incredibly interesting!

Barbee' ~ I completely understand what you're saying about the tori! These are things that people who don't have them don't even think about.

Anonymous/110 ~ I don't really care for boiled beets. I like that tartness that pickled beets have. I didn't know that blueberries would do that! I'll have to watch for that!

I LOVE your son's comment about corn!!! And he's right. LOL. We just borrow it.

Anonymous said...

Funny how we all have these little quirks with our and my daughter both have these crooked pinkies called Clinodactyly, which is also pretty rare..but somehow by chance, both of my parents have it...I guess they can surgically fix it after your done growing, but I think it's doesnt hurt or harm anything. Just what makes us unique.

Tex Mike said...

I worry that the bone in my mouth will soon crowd out my tongue. I hate getting x-rays because the plastic film holder hurts so much when pressed against the bone- no fat there for the cushion.

Helen said...

And now I know. As someone quipped, I am truly (ahem) Helen Reddy. Thanks for the explanation, Kylee.

Kylee Baumle said...

Helen ~ Bwaaahaaaahaaaa!!!!!

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