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by Abigail Van Buren

Wife's Green-Eyed Monster Makes Husband See Red

DEAR ABBY: I have had this problem for years, and it keeps getting worse: my teeth.

I have no dental plan and I'm unemployed right now. Abby, I hide my teeth 24 hours a day. If someone talks to me, I turn my head and pretend to be interested in something to one side, so he won't see my teeth. I don't even brush my teeth in front of a mirror because I get too depressed. I often have dreams about my teeth falling out with all my friends watching and laughing. It's a living nightmare.

Abby, I feel like my life is going nowhere. If I could just get my teeth fixed, a whole new world would open up to me. Meanwhile, I'm ... KEEPING MY MOUTH SHUT

DEAR KEEPING: Schools of dentistry (as well as state and local dental societies) operate dental clinics where low-cost -- or free -- dental care is available for those who qualify.

Your county dental society should be listed in your telephone directory. And any dentist can refer you to the nearest dental college.

Do not delay. Your general health can be undermined by infected gums and decaying teeth.