So I’ve been having tooth pain for a couple of weeks now, and I was worried I had a cavity, so I went to see the dentist.
The good news: no cavities.
The bad news: it’s probably dentin hypersensitivity.
The dentist recommended that I start using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth: something like Sensodyne or Colgate Sensitive. The active ingredient of these is potassium nitrate—saltpeter (and the mechanism of action is by desensitizing the nerve endings(!)) but while I was at the grocery, I found Crest Pro-Health Sensitive + Enamel Shield, and its active ingredient is stannous fluoride (SnF2) (It’s mechanism of action is by plugging dentin tubules or something….)
Which got me thinking about Stannis Baratheon from A Song of Ice and Fire. Given that he is generally portrayed as cold-hearted and callous, I started wondering if GRRM is deliberately alluding to the Tin Man from A Wizard of Oz (“If I only had a heart….”)
Which got me thinking about the Baratheon brothers in general, and how Robert could be the Scarecrow (“If I only had a brain…”) and Renly (given his flight from King’s Landing in A Game of Thrones that left Beheaddard Stark in the lurch, and his general propensity of avoiding direct confrontation) could be the Lion (“If I only had courage…”)