First things first: yes, this “whispering” phenomenon has invaded every niche of our well-being. It all started in a novel with just this one guy, he whispered to horses, then Cesar Millan got famous shushing dogs on TV. There are book whisperers, baby whisperers, ghost whisperers. OMG, there’s even a Bra Whisperer if you need someone to speak quietly with you or your wife’s upper anatomy.
So I just realized the other day that, I am, in fact, the gum whisperer.
Is it because I’m the world’s utmost authority on periodontal disease? Do I have such a kingdom of knowledge that it only makes sense to become an intellectual philanthropist to my patients and can cure them of every infirmity that sits just inside their lip line? Do my mad hand skills mean that I can strip only the glue off of a postage stamp with a Gracey 13/14 while it’s still stuck to an envelope behind my back as PROOF of my superior subgingival scaling abilities?
I am the gum whisperer because… I actually whisper to people’s gums.
“Hang in there, interproximal gingiva! Give that #5 an extra squeeze for me today because that class II mobility is making my probe shake.”
When you’ve given up trying to convince the lifelong smoker that nicotine is his enemy, sometimes it’s just time to try a new approach. Maybe the person attached to those gums will think you’ve gone a little cray-cray, or maybe, just maybe, they might realize that you’ve started digging into your bag of desperation because they just don’t want to hear what you have to say. They’d like to give you their problem instead of dealing with it themselves.
Years ago, I took care of a patient that was into visualization, in a new-agey kind of way. She asked me to paint pictures and describe what healing needed to take place in her gums, so that she could create a pathway for sending her healing energy into the periodontium. I dunno, it was kind of soothing for me, too.
So occasionally I’ll speak softly to a patient as I’m nudging their gums, kind of like scratching a dog’s belly, “You like that, yes you do, yes you do!” Well, not that silly — definitely more clinical-minded because really, I don’t want people to start asking me to read their auras or anything like that.
Please let me know if you’ve found yourself talking to teeth, tongues, whatever body parts have engaged your healing linguistics, so that I don’t feel so all alone in this situation. And if I really am crazy, then it’s probably best not to let me in on the truth.