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    Thread: 30 year old, never been to the dentist and teeth are in a really bad state

    1. #1
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      Default 30 year old, never been to the dentist and teeth are in a really bad state

      I am 30 years old and have never visited a dentist. My parents never believed in sending me to the dentists as when my older brother went they said he needed very expensive treatment when he didn't - this led my parents to believe that all dentists were 'thieves' and therefore I never ever went.

      When I was in my early twenties the first tooth fell out - since then I've experienced severe dental pain intermittently and it's got to the stage where I can't cope any more. I basically have no back teeth anymore and I haven't smiled properly in years. I cover my mouth when I laugh because I'm so ashamed, eat soft foods and constantly obsess over the state of my teeth. I've kept this a secret from my husband and when the pain is really bad I sneak away to take painkillers like ibuprofen and paracetamol/codeine.

      I don't think my fear is so much of the treatment, it's the shame of letting someone see how bad it is, and I'm terrified that I'll need dentures - as parts of my gum where teeth used to be have closed over I'm not sure it will be possible to get implants. Also there's the cost implication - I don't earn a lot yet I'm not eligible for NHS treatment, yet my husband has recently got dental insurance from his workplace which covers me so I'm hoping I can use that and only pay 20% of the cost.

      I really need help - I'm tired of the pain and the embarrassment, I'm tired of waking up in the night because the pain is so bad, I'm tired of not being able to eat crunchy food - I haven't been able to eat an apple for about 8 years!

      Is there any hope for me?

    2. #2
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      Default Re: 30 year old, never been to the dentist and teeth are in a really bad state

      "Is there any hope for me?"

      Of course there is!

      Take advantage of the insurance and get yourself into a good dentist. There's NO reason to be suffering like this. There's nothing to be ashamed of, and no respectable dentist would give a second thought. It's their job to fix problems just like yours. It's what they've chosen to do, why would they judge?

      The thought of dentures IS scary, but now that I have had ALL of my teeth extracted and got both upper and lower full dentures, I wish I'd done it sooner. My dentist and I tried for years to save my teeth, but they just wouldn't cooperate. It's always best to keep healthy teeth, of course, but when that's no longer possible, dentures aren't the end of the world.

      *I* can eat hot and cold foods without pain.
      *I* can eat crunchy foods pain free.
      *I* can walk into the dentist's office and hand over my teeth to be worked on.
      *I* can smile without worrying if my teeth are showing.
      *I* can get close to another person and not worry that my breath smells bad.
      *I* can eat sweets and sticky foods without worrying about tooth decay
      *I* can eat a piece of pizza without biting down on a chunk of my own tooth.
      *I* can face a camera without giving a tight-lipped grimace in place of a real smile.
      *I* can go to bed at night without my mouth throbbing and keeping me awake.
      *I* don't have to floss any more.
      *I* can't lose or break a filling ever again.
      *I* don't have to worry about root canals.
      *I* won't need any more LA injections.

      I don't mean any of that to sound sanctimonious. It's really the first time I've listed all the things I LIKE about having dentures. The emphasis on *I* is in reference to the me now versus the me with bad teeth.

      So, even your worst-case scenario really isn't all that bad from here. But the only way to get started getting better is to make that first appointment. I've read a lot of cases on here where people thought their teeth were a lost cause only to find out they just needed a little work to be healthy again.

      So yes, there IS hope for you. Lots of it, and I'm sending more.

    3. #3
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      Default Re: 30 year old, never been to the dentist and teeth are in a really bad state

      Hi, I would like to reply to this post because it appears that the poster is in a similar situation to me.
      I too never went to the dentist, and am a 30 year old male. I suffer with pain too intermittently. I went to the dentists finally, and he told me to use some high-flouride toothpaste and mouthwash that I have been using.

      I too have to cover my mouth when I laugh and do not like to look at myself in a mirror when a smile......and here's the depressing part, its the only part of me thats left to "fix" - as I have worked tirelessley over the past two years with proper excerice, diet, supplements and now have muscles/pecs/abs etc that im proud of.....but when i smile.....yeuk!

      The dentist told me that I need to have 17 extractions, some of them will need to be surgical extractions. They told me I would be sedated.....I will ask them if I can have a general anasthetic if possible.

      The fear maybe irrational but I am really scared of dying during the procedure.

    4. #4
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      Default Re: 30 year old, never been to the dentist and teeth are in a really bad state

      Hi,the shame is a huge thing isn't it?What I've found to help me is before I let the dentist tip me back in his chair is to tell him how bad they are and how ashamed I am and that I know I should have made the appointment years before....basically anything that I'm worried he's going to tell me in a patronising manner!
      He's not going to judge you...and even if he does,so what?Once he's fixed your teeth you only have to see him briefly every six months for a check up...right?(I'm not making light of your anxieties...I've been there)

      As for not qualifying for NHS.
      We don't qualify for the totally free treatment but still managed to find an NHS dentist.The maximum you have to pay for a course of treatment is £198.Believe me I know that's still a lot to find,but better than what some people have to pay private.Also,I'm still to fill out the forms so I don't know if we'll qualify,but you can also claim back some of the money if your wages are low.I don't remember the name of the form but I'll let you know when I find it.

      Do a bit of research of dentists in your area,ask friends where they go and maybe make your first appointment to just have a chat and quick peek inside.Most dentists are human......and not in the profession to judge,but to help people out.Most importantly,they're there to provide us a service.We're the customer paying there wages,so even the ones that aren't human don't have the right to make you feel ashamed.

      I won't say a lot about dentures...Cielo has done a great job of listing the positives and also like she said,until you've had that first appointment you don't know for sure that's what you need.

      I know it's not easy,but try to stop beating yourself up about it.You can't carry on living like this and the best thing...YOU can change it!If you've got the inner strength to put up with such intense pain,you're strong enough for the next step...{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}

      Leo.Two weeks ago I had my remaining thirteen top teeth and one lower removed under sedation.Honestly didn't feel a thing and although I was a little 'not quite with it' for a while after I think after GA you can feel pretty groggy for a quite while after?Personally,I'd go with the sedation.
      And your irrational fear...stupid isn't it???In my head I was convinced when I kissed the kiddies Goodbye it was the last kiss they'd be getting from their Mummy.....of course it wasn't and when they got home they were smothered with lots and lots.
      Years ago,when my head was absolutely choc a bloc,constantly,full of irrational thoughts I saw a complimentary therapist.She taught me that I have a little black box in my head(obviously not a real one!)Anyway,that blackbox is home to all my negative thoughts.I might not be able to stop it from sneaking open but it's up to me to slam it shut when it does!It took me a while,but it really helped me keep them to a minimum and years later,I still find myself shutting that box.The trick is,once you've shut it try desperately to think of something else.
      All the best,you'll do absolutely great.

    5. #5
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      Default Re: 30 year old, never been to the dentist and teeth are in a really bad state

      Hi girltuesday

      Like you I was also very embarrased and ashamed to go to the dentist, like you I couldn't eat hot or cold foods, like you I too had constant pain and lived off antibiotics and painkillers and like you I never smiled. In the end I had to admit defeat, I just couldn't cope any more and assumed that if the abcess (that I later found out was about to block my windpipe) didn't kill me then going to the dentist would - but I was at such a point and so scared that death seemed a better option than what I was going through - sounds very dramatic I know but those were my thoughts.

      I started by e-mailing a couple of dentists explaining my whole situation, everything. To cut a long story short one of them contacted me and after meeting him for a chat I started my treatment - that was 18 months ago. My teeth are still a 'work in progress' and there have been 3 dentists in my 'team' none of which have ever made me feel ashamed and I trust them 100%

      I am about 2 months from the end of my treatment and the pleasure of not being in pain and being able to sleep is simply amazing plus when my braces come off I will finally be able to smile too

      There are alot of positive stories on here, take time and have a read, hopefully they will give you the strength to take the first baby steps.

      You could also show this web site to your husband............


    6. The Following User Says Thank You to April For This Useful Post:

      jane1 (28th April 2013)

    7. #6
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      Default Re: 30 year old, never been to the dentist and teeth are in a really bad state

      Hi there poor you. I am off too the dentist this tuesday full of fear that the same will happen to me.I am also suffering from awful anxiety at the moment on top of dental phobia.I am a nervous wreck!! I am having to take Diazepam prior to my visit. But I fear that I that the NHS will not accept me and that I will have to go without dentures even. I cant afford too pay huge amounts of money. But I am reallt terrified . Regards amandah

    8. #7
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      Default Re: 30 year old, never been to the dentist and teeth are in a really bad state

      Hello.
      I just felt like I would like to add a few thoughts. I am in my late 20's and wasn't ever at a dentist until recently. I know how you feel regarding the embarrassment and your husband not knowing about your situation, I know what you mean-exactly. For me, like you say, the biggest fear wasn't the treatment, but more the fact of letting someone see the state of my mouth. That terrified me and it took me a while to actually open my mouth, but finally I did!! I no longer have bits of tooth falling off and teeth crumbling away. My teeth are still not perfect but I have made a start. Find a dentist you can trust, who is understanding and who you feel comfortable with. Yes it can be a little expensive but I see it as money well spent! Just take a deep breath and do it!! You will be fine! Good luck

    9. #8
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      Default Re: 30 year old, never been to the dentist and teeth are in a really bad state

      Hi there! I'm in exactly the same situation as you, I can't tell my husband because of the shame and am absolutely scared stiff at the thought of anyone or anything going anywhere near my mouth due to the embarrassment of the state of my teeth. I have lost nearly all my back teeth except 2 and they don't look fantastic, I also have a lot of broken teeth and lots of tartar. Thanks to this forum I managed to email about 10 NHS dentists in my town and surrounding area and I got a reply from a lovely man who says he has treated other phobic patients and is going to contact me next week as he has gone away for the weekend, he also said that if I didn't want to talk to him we could continue emailing until I feel ready to talk to him!

      It's soooo hard making that first step but if I can do it anyone can! I know i've got along way to go but a 10,000 mile journey starts with 1 step.

      Try going online, I found a list of dentists on NHS choices and just went through them contacting the ones who were taking on new patients and explaining to them the bad place that I am in via email.

      Good luck x

    10. The Following User Says Thank You to breslin3179 For This Useful Post:

      jane1 (28th April 2013)

    11. #9
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      Default Re: 30 year old, never been to the dentist and teeth are in a really bad state

      I am 31 and in the same boat as you! Except I have no dental insurance. Just know you are not alone!

    12. #10
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      Default Re: 30 year old, never been to the dentist and teeth are in a really bad state

      Hey Girltuesday,

      You hang in there! I'm 33 years old and until 2 months ago hadn't been to the dentist since I was 10 years old. I am the oldest of five kids and my father worked in construction. My parents did the absolute best they could and I have all the love and respect for them in the world, but there were always things more important than my teeth when I lived at home. After highschool I chose college over having dental work because I wanted to make sure that I could provide better for my family.

      The first broken tooth for me happend 15 years ago and the trend continued since. For years it was only back teeth and since nobody could really see those I just took the approach that I could "grin and bear it". About two years ago I had a tooth chip that left a gap between my upper two front teeth. This was embarrasing but small so I got over it. Then about a year and a half ago while eating a baked potato (yes, a baked potato!!) one of my upper front teeth broke in half. I just wanted to cry and hide. I was sitting in a resteraunt with my wife and when I took my hand away from my mouth she saw it. My wife had a look come across her face like she was going to be sick. Me, I wanted to run away. I decided right then that I wasn't going to let anyone see it again so I stopped smiling. *Had I been thinking more rationally I would have finally made a detist appointment*. Instead I began to cover my mouth when I laughed, or yawned or did pretty much anything else for that matter and thought that no one noticed. What I find out was that most people were just too polite to say anything.

      A couple of months later my wife and I traveled back to visit my family for the holidays. I thought I was doing a great job of hiding my missing front tooth until my younger brother (God bless him) took one look at me and said "dude, what happened to your face". Its funny how siblings can be so "wonderfully" honest even when you don't want to hear it. Yes, I did resist the urge to provide my brother with a fist induced gap of his own .

      I still put off a trip to the dentist another full year. One day after Christmas 2009 I had an abcessed tooth that was swollen enough it looked like I had a ping pong ball tucked in my cheek (I actually tucked a ping pong ball in my other cheek and they almost matched). This time the pain was so bad that I couldn't take it. My wife found a dentist that was taking emergency appointments on a Saturday and that is where my current treatment course began.

      They gave me some antibiotics to get the abcess under control and scheduled a follow up appointment for an evaluation. My first thought was to ditch the next appointment but I decided it was time I stopped running. With a couple of follow up appointments for consultations (the last one I took my wife along to meet the dentist as well) my treatment plan is layed out.

      I am now five weeks away from removal of all of my upper teeth and most of my lowers. I will have a full denture on the upper immediately and be prepped for back implants on both sides of my lower jaw. This is a ton of work, and at first it sounded really scary (I mean dentures at 33???) but I can't tell you how excited I am now about having the procedure done.

      Sure I still have some anxieties. I felt like I was the only one. But I found this site earlier this week. I made one post before work on Tuesday (and cried my eyes out while doing it because I was finally making public my emotions) and the response from folks has been so great. It is amazing that typing to some strangers can make such a difference.

      I know I have rambled on forever here, but what I'm trying to say is "just do it!". I put off that first appointment so very long and now the thing I want most is to speed up my treatment and have it done. Find a dentist you like (yes, they exist =) and be open and honest with your dentist about your fears. Don't feel like you have to make every decision on your first appointment either. Talk to the staff a couple of times and then make an appointment where you can bring your husband in as well. He is going to have questions and will be an important part of your decision making. My wife had some very insightful questions about my treatment and has been such a vital part of my support.

      You can do it!

    13. The Following User Says Thank You to Trombone76 For This Useful Post:

      jane1 (28th April 2013)

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