Heat guard Tyler Johnson still reluctant to start wearing mouth guard

 

Tyler Johnson returned to practice Tuesday after having oral surgery Monday. (AP Photo)

Tyler Johnson returned to practice Tuesday after having oral surgery Monday. (AP Photo)

DENVER – Tyler Johnson photobombed Goran Dragic’s interview today and shouted: “You want to see my grill?”

Actually, Johnson’s grill is no different than it was before he had oral surgery Monday after losing a tooth during last Wednesday’s loss in Detroit.

On Monday, Johnson had a broken post replaced by a temporary that one day will hold another implant, a procedure that required stitches in his gums. He remains toothless.

Johnson – who missed Miami’s 112-104 loss to Boston on Monday – returned to practice today and expects to play Wednesday against the Nuggets for the start of the Heat’s three-game road trip.

“We tried to keep it light,” coach Erik Spoelstra said.

The biggest decision Johnson has to make now is whether to wear a mouth piece.

“Probably should start,” he said. “It might be time. We’re going to see how it goes tomorrow.”

Johnson, though, has never been comfortable protecting his teeth.

“I have to talk and I feel like my speech is slurred a little bit and I always feel like I have to take the mouth piece in and out,” he said. “And I like to chew gum.”

This is the third time Johnson has lost a tooth. The tooth that was knocked out in Detroit already was an implant after the adult tooth was knocked out during college.

Johnson also lost a lower tooth during a summer league game last year.

“I don’t think I was meant to have teeth,” Johnson said last week.

But as far as protecting those he still has by wearing a mouth guard. …

“I still don’t know if I’ll do it,” he said.

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