How Biting an Olive Pit Resulted in Two Years of Agony for Dennis Kucinich

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Photo: J.D. Pooley/Getty Images

Apparently Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich has now settled his lawsuit with the operators of the congressional cafeteria after biting into an olive pit hidden within one of their wraps in 2008. But in order to let his supporters know that his cause was just, he detailed, in a sometimes gross e-mail, how that olive pit caused a chain reaction that wouldn't be resolved for nearly two years:


When I bit into the olive pit, (unbeknown to me at the time), upon impact the tooth split in half, vertically through the crown and the tooth, below the level of the bone. Externally there was no evidence of a break. This was not about aesthetics. The internal structure of the tooth was rendered nonrestorable. Although the pain was excruciating, I shook it off and I went right back to work.

This tooth is a key tooth which anchored my upper bridgework. The injured tooth and the bone above it became infected. I took a course of antibiotics for the infection, had an adverse reaction to the antibiotics which caused me to have an intestinal obstruction and emergency medical intervention.

Later, my dentist referred me to a specialist who informed me that the damaged tooth had to be removed. A third dentist removed the tooth and I was fitted for a temporary partial. I waited for the bone to heal. An implant was placed, but it failed. Many months later still a second implant succeeded. My bridgework had to be completely reconfigured, a new partial was designed, so this injury did not affect only one tooth, but rather involved six (6) replacement teeth as well. A new crown with a new precision attachment was engineered and put in place. To clarify, no dental expenses were covered by any health plan, nor did I have dental insurance that covered the injury, which, until it was resolved, affected my ability to chew food properly.

Kucinich Settles in Olive Pit Incident [Weigel/Slate]