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20 year old college student w/ severe periodontal disease

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gyxx008

Junior member
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
9
Location
Minnesota
Hello all,

I am very afraid of what might happen to my teeth. As a young kid, my parents never really took me to the dentist, I never formed good oral hygiene, and my dad had extreme periodontal disease too, which means my genetics could play a part in this.

I have a huge amount of tartar or calculus on my bottom two front teeth which looks like it is the only thing holding them in. They are now creating a gap in between the two so much that it has become noticeable and have made me feel very embarrassed and insecure to even open my mouth to talk.

Along with this, my front left upper tooth (#9, I believe) is loose now.

I’m currently going to school out of state and am back home for break so I finally mustered the courage to call a dentist for an examination. Mind you, I have always had a fear of the dentist because I am ashamed of my bad teeth and very embarrassed. I was extremely scared that the dentist would look at me in disgust and shame me for not taking care of my teeth properly. Particularly having the dentist judge me and making my already bad feelings worse.

This is specifically because a few years ago after not going to the dentist for 4-5 years...I finally scheduled a regular cleaning with a different dentist. When he started, my gums began to bleed. He completely stopped, looked at me as if he was disgusted and told me I needed to get up and rinse my mouth. He said I needed to get my teeth checked out. And left abruptly. He did not refer me to anyone nor tell me to go see a periodontist or even explain things to me. The way he handled the situation was very unprofessional and made my fear of dentists even worse. I felt that since he was disgusted, all of them would be so I just let my teeth and gums be.

Fast forward...

Already having done some research on my own, I wasn’t surprised to learn that I did indeed have periodontal disease...however, what scared me even more is that he says it’s considered severe for me because of how young I am. He told me that my front upper loose tooth had too much bone loss and I had to get it extracted.

Immediately, I felt anxious, stressed, sad, and worried.

He was able to refer me to a periodontist and get me in to meet her the same day. The periodontist confirmed that I needed to get the upper front tooth removed but also another one in the front removed too (#7) in order for the other front tooth to survive (#8).

This made me freak out and I broke down in tears in the clinic. I was so sad and scared. I can’t imagine losing my front teeth and because of so much calculus buildup on the bottom, I’m sure my two bottom front teeth are coming out too. I’m so afraid that once I do my scaling and root planning that they will fall out and if not that, they will loosen up so there’s no choice but to extract them too.

The other thing is that I’m on a time crunch too. I have to go back to school tomorrow to start my new term but I can’t let my periodontal disease prolong before all my teeth fall out. However, I decided to prolong my stay at home to get my first scaling and root planning done and then fly out to school for a couple days so I don’t miss so many days..the. Fly back home the next week for the second scaling.

I’ve been so stressed and depressed. Haven’t been able to eat and I’m afraid that if I do, I’ll make the disease continue on...so I lose my appetite and end up starving. My mom keeps telling me to eat but because I’m so sad and angry at myself I just tell her that maybe I should just die. I feel especially guilty because I don’t have the money and I only have insurance through the government (medical assistance) so my mom will have to foot the bill which I feel completely horrible for because she herself is no longed working herself.

On top of this, college is not cheap and I have to deal with this financial situation too. And I’ll be flying back and forth from school to home to take care of all of this...so more money to spend and catching up with academics. It’ll be hard to take a break too because I need to take classes for my major this term and financial aid will most likely not extend past the four year limit...so if I stay an extra term then I will have to pay a lot.

The one good thing is that because I’m under 21, my insurance will be able to help me a little with the cost. And I have my first scaling and root planning is tomorrow for 1/2 of my teeth.

I’m really scared about the pain as I have low pain tolerance and I’m normally very squirmy/anxious.

Sorry if it seems like I’m complaining too much. I just need to unload this stress and would very much appreciate some kind words of encouragement or support. Any suggestions, ideas, and advice to help my situation.

I really hope my bottom teeth don’t fall out, but if they do...I have sort of come to terms with this and eventually have to accept it. I hope a flipper can be made ASAP so I can have it by the second session of my periodontal treatment.

If you read this far, thank you.
 
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ReginaPhalange

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2018
Messages
178
Location
UK
Sorry I can't give you much advice or suggestions (hopefully someone here will), but I really hope things start getting better soon, especially emotionally. At least by getting treatment, your mouth will only improve. I'm sure it'll be worth the sacrifices you're making.

Definitely be open with the dentist about your fears and anxieties and bad experiences. There is a template on this website that you could give to them or email them in advance. I think it's called Handle Me With Care. I haven't used it but I like the idea of it. Oh and apparently pain free dentistry is the norm now, so try not to fear the pain too much.

And don't worry about complaining too much, the forum is all about the support!
 
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gyxx008

Junior member
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
9
Location
Minnesota
Thank you. I really hope I get better physically, mentally, and emotionally. I’ve been thinking about this non-stop.
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,453
Dear gyxx008,

sorry to read about your situation, it sounds like you are under extreme pressure right now, not only when it comes to dealing with your dental health and your phobia but also financially and at the same time you keep on traveling back and forth to keep on with your studies. It might not be so visible to you right now but this is huge. I can't even imagine how draining it must be to take care of all those things simultaniously.

I was sorry to read about how that dentist treated you. Dental care and oral health is something we mostly learn from our parents so you certainly haven't done anything wrong (and your parents did the best they could so it's not their fault either), you just have been really unlucky. You deserve nothing but support and a helping hand on your journey and that's what a dentist should be able to offer you. You seem to have a dentist and a periodontist now, I can only hope they treat you kindly and do their best to put you at ease...

It sounds to me that a lot of your fear comes from not exactly knowing what will happen to your teeth and how the time after the scaling and root planning will be for you, as well as the costs. It might be a good idea to have a profound chat with your periodontist or dentist about those things and what might happen to which teeth of you after the cleaning. They might be able to plan some precautions with you or a worst-case-plan of action (like immediate denture / flipper) to make sure you suffer as less and as shortly as possible. And while this part is not directly dental, it might be good to have a chat with your mom too, if you haven't already. Maybe just to tell her how uncomfortable this situation is making you and that you wished to be able to pay it yourself. Such open conversations help sometimes...

The last thing you should discuss with anyone who is about to treat you is your fear of pain. They should be able to make the treatment painless for you and give you advice about what to expect afterwards and how to go about the aftercare.

Last but not least, this is the lovliest (am I spelling it right?!) place to be when dealing with any kind of dental fear, please feel free to write as much as you like (we also have a journal section here on the forum which is excelent if you like just to write your thoughts). Nobody will judge you and we are all here to offer support. :grouphug:

All the best wishes and do keep us posted
 
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gyxx008

Junior member
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
9
Location
Minnesota
Thank you for your advice and kind words. I have my scaling today and I’m nervous, but here it goes. I really appreciate your comment!! ☺
 
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comfortdentist

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Jul 19, 2009
Messages
2,869
Location
Miami, Fl
In general remember the following:
There is nothing your teeth like more than be cleaned nicely. There is no greater return on your money than having your teeth cleaned if you have periodontal disease. Floss and brush completely everyday.
Secondly if the dentist is a jerk leave them if the hygienist is rude or mean tell the dentist first as the dr might not know.

As to your personal situation you could post photos and x-rays if you want any input from the dentists on this site. Generally you can get some ideas of a conservative approach to buy you time if that's what you need.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,682
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Gyxx008,

First off, I'm so sorry you had to experience that really jerkish behavior from this dentist.. wow.. this would leave me upset and confused and want to run. I agree you deserve someone who will treat you kindly and not in any demeaning or rude way. There are so many great nice dentists out there. I hope you will find some that treat you kindly and help you get on tract and feel better. How did your scaling and root planing go? We are rooting for you and here to support you through this.. let us know how it went!!
 
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gyxx008

Junior member
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
9
Location
Minnesota
Hello, everyone.

My scaling and root planning went super well yesterday. The hygienist was incredibly kind, sweet, understanding, and patient. I was so grateful that the whole office handled me in such a good manner! I told her about my fears and anxiety. She made extra sure that I was comfortable! ☺

She first looked at those two bottom teeth with calculus and my numbers—reassuring me that they would not fall as they didn’t have a lot of mobility. She said if it does seem like the teeth is going to come out when cleaning then she’ll stop completely and move on to another tooth.

She told me everything she was doing when cleaning and made conversation with me to keep me calm. I even brought my music to listen to while she cleaned but felt better off without it because I really enjoyed our conversation.

I also told her about the rude dentist and she said, I have nothing to worry about because she would not be disgusted and she sees things like this all the time. She even told me that there are worst cases and she’s here to help everyone get back on track with their oral health.

I was so happy and glad after the cleaning that I even asked for a hug. 😄

Unfortunately, my next scaling and root planning is not going to be with her as she only comes in on Thursdays and I scheduled for Friday to not miss so many days of school. I’m sure I’ll be fine though as it seems like the whole office are aware of dental phobia/fear and they only show kindness to their patients.

As for the pain, the shots are the most painful thing you’ll feel. However, she had to keep giving me shots of novacaine in areas that wore off or that were sensitive because the roots were already exposed (one of the bottom tooth). My mouth stayed numb for a couple hours and when it finally wore off...it was a bit painful and sore but rinsing with a warm water and salt solution will help tremendously.

I’ve been able to feel more relieved and eat a little more. I hope this motivates me to change my lifestyle too as everything is connected in our bodies and improving my health overall will help my gums too.

I am sad about my huge gap in the bottom teeth though, but the hygienist says that once I get a healthy foundation (restored gums) than I can consider braces to shift them back.

I can honestly say half of my mouth feels so much better!! And it was so worth it as all of you have said! Thank you so much for everyone reading! I hope this motivates or helps anyone on here that needs it! ❤❤❤
 
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gyxx008

Junior member
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
9
Location
Minnesota
I’d also like to add that I don’t have to take the term off, just one less class so I don’t have too much to miss or catch up on as I’m traveling back and forth. I can possibly take summer classes to make up the one credit I’ll be missing! I’m the type of person to overstress and you can say I’m a worry wart, but I’m doing better. Still a little anxious and worried about the financial situation...but one step at a time. 😀
 
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ReginaPhalange

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2018
Messages
178
Location
UK
I'm so glad to hear it went well :cheer:

It makes me feel a bit better about what I've got upcoming so thanks for updating!
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,453
Thank you for the great update, really delighted to read this, very well done! Sounds like you got excelent care and all your concerns were addressed in a reassuring way, so lovely to read that. The fact that you feel comfortable enough to see a different hygienist next time shows that they made a great impression, that's amazing. Give yourself a huge pat on your back! (and keep us posted:)
 
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gyxx008

Junior member
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
9
Location
Minnesota
Thank you for the great update, really delighted to read this, very well done! Sounds like you got excelent care and all your concerns were addressed in a reassuring way, so lovely to read that. The fact that you feel comfortable enough to see a different hygienist next time shows that they made a great impression, that's amazing. Give yourself a huge pat on your back! (and keep us posted:)
Thank you!!! Will definitely give updates on the healing process!! ❤
 
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Surreyvwphobic

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Messages
214
Location
In dental heaven
Hello and hugest congratulations on your recent success with your hygienist after many terrible previous experiences. Having been down a simular road myself, I can totally understand and sympathise with what you have gone through. I agree wholeheartedly that there is no excuse whatsoever for any dentist or hygienist to be rude and uncaring; like yourself, I was amazed recently at how wonderful and loving my new hygienist has turned out to be (you will find the whole story in the "journals" and "share success" sections), and actually dozed off in my last session. The very best to you for continued progress and we are all routing for you! Simon XX
 
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Sam44

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2015
Messages
35
Location
UK
Well done you!! I have the same problem my teeth were very loose, I had 3 out at the front and now have false ones 😔they look so much better tho. But now the two bottom front ones are loose one especially. I don’t want a gap but it’s going to have to come out! I glad you have found someone who understands, good luck
 
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Spider

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 26, 2013
Messages
107
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
I just read through and loved your amazing update! I'm so glad the cleaning went well and it sounds like you found a really good dental office. When they treat you with respect, and like a friend, it makes such a HUGE difference. Keep us updated!!
 
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gyxx008

Junior member
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
9
Location
Minnesota
Well done you!! I have the same problem my teeth were very loose, I had 3 out at the front and now have false ones 😔they look so much better tho. But now the two bottom front ones are loose one especially. I don’t want a gap but it’s going to have to come out! I glad you have found someone who understands, good luck
Hi, I know I’m responding a year later but I hope you got your situation figured out. I still have that gap in my bottom teeth. It sometimes makes me feel sad because I’ll see old photos of myself when my teeth were are aligned and close to each other. BUT that is part of the grieving period, which is what you’re allowed to do for your teeth. They are/were a part of you. I still struggle to accept my teeth the way that they are now but I’m taking it one day at a time. Take care of yourself. Thank you for your comment as well!
 
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gyxx008

Junior member
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
9
Location
Minnesota
I just read through and loved your amazing update! I'm so glad the cleaning went well and it sounds like you found a really good dental office. When they treat you with respect, and like a friend, it makes such a HUGE difference. Keep us updated!!
thank you! And I completely agree. I’m very fortunate to have found the clinic that did my scaling and root planning. I’ve continued going to them for my regular maintenance cleaning. Each time I’ve gone, the numbers show improvement in my gums. Compared to the first time some pockets were 6-7mm and they are now down to 3-4mm. Unfortunately because of COVID, the clinic closed down before I could get my cleaning in March. I’m consistently flossing and brushing so I’m hoping my pockets haven’t gotten too bad. Really hoping that the virus calms down so that I can go get my teeth/gums cleaned..As well for other people who need to too. But more importantly so no one puts any of the dental workers at risk too.

best wishes to you.
 
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Sam44

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2015
Messages
35
Location
UK
Hi, I know I’m responding a year later but I hope you got your situation figured out. I still have that gap in my bottom teeth. It sometimes makes me feel sad because I’ll see old photos of myself when my teeth were are aligned and close to each other. BUT that is part of the grieving period, which is what you’re allowed to do for your teeth. They are/were a part of you. I still struggle to accept my teeth the way that they are now but I’m taking it one day at a time. Take care of yourself. Thank you for your comment as well!
Hi

My situation is still the same, except one bottom tooth came out and I have another that’s loose😳I did so well a few years ago going to the dentist but when my dentist left, I went back to square one!! I really need to get treatment but I’m terrified mainly like you said, embarrassed of how bad my teeth are and having to let someone see in my mouth. Glad things are working for you tho and thanks for asking 👍
 
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