About 30-40 years ago, I read an unsettling story called "The Itchy Teeth". Here's how I remember it:

There is a boy whose teeth itch. His mother is irritated by the constant sound of her son scratching at them with his fingernails.

The boy wants to stop irritating his mother, so he works with a chemistry set and creates a powder. When he puts the powder on his teeth, they stop itching ... but he becomes very small.

He shows the effects to his mother. In the last paragraph of the story, his mother sees how small he is, and puts her foot down on top of him.

I'd like to reread this disturbing short story. Google searches for "short story the itchy teeth" just come up with medical diagnoses of gum disease.

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F! You might be able to improve your question by going through the guide in case it helps you remember any additional details you can edit into the question.
    – DavidW
    Commented May 15, 2019 at 13:56
  • Wow. Sounds Russian.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented May 15, 2019 at 14:18
  • 3
    Why are people voting to close this one?
    – Moriarty
    Commented May 15, 2019 at 22:55
  • 2
    @closevoters This is certainly a science fiction or fantasy story, with the shrinking. Commented May 15, 2019 at 23:14
  • 2
    That's hilarious. I'm LQTM still. There was a Theodore Sturgeon story about someone who smiles and shows big teeth so much that his rather dumb friend says, "Hey, was your mother a piano or something?" Turns out he's an alien who smiles when he is in psychic pain from being around idiot jerks. Definitely not the story asked about, just the only other one about teeth that i know of. And I'm still laughing. Commented May 24, 2019 at 1:14

1 Answer 1


"The Itchy Tooth" by Jack C. Shuffler

Excerpts from Evergreen Review, Volume 12

They immediately began to make fun of him, calling him such names as "Blotty" and "Itchy Tooth." His fat little hand felt the cool surface of the small glass tube in his pocket. He took it out of his pocket, tipped the tube, and poured a small amount of powder on his tongue. He shrunk to the magnificent height of six inches.


Her thoughts were interrupted by the grating noise that she had come to recognize as a tooth being scratched. She felt like screaming.

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