I fished the "nut" out and realized it was a sizeable chunk of a molar. Fortunately it wasn't painful to lose this piece of tooth. I phoned the dentist's office and told the answering machine my problem.
Shortly after eight this morning they returned my call and made an appointment for 9:30.
The hygienist had a nifty little digital camera that was like a toothbrush, and with it she took several pictures of the huge hole. You know how your tongue can't resist exploring something like that over and over? It felt like Grand Canyon in my jaw.
Dr. Kerr soon fixed me up with a temporary filling. My mouth feels normal again. In May I have to go back and get a crown put on this tooth. Thank goodness that a crown will do it. I had visions of needing a partial plate. Jim and I are thankful to have our own teeth yet, and try to take good care of them.
Thanks to Dr. Kerr for some quick relief!