22 and terrified

D

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This might mostly be a vent post because I have been silently freaking out for 6-7 months. I was never thrilled to brush my teeth. As a kid, I hated the sensation and flossing was even worse. My father was a guy with barely any teeth in his head, a tobacco chewing southern man who just never really cared. My mom, I just remember her having a lot of work done to her teeth, getting new ones. She made sure I brushed and took care of myself when I was younger. When I was 13, she passed away. I was too depressed to do anything and I didn't have a parent who realized the importance of dental care anymore. My depression would only get worse, unfortunately, and I would lose even more people so young. My self care was lacking. My father never set me up to see a dentist, even when I had a wisdom tooth causing me severe pain. By the time I was 18, I offically didn't have insurance and couldn't afford help and was too afraid to owe money. When I was 21, I finally saw a dentist for the first time since I was 13. I went because of the wisdom tooth, I wanted it removed. I didn't think there was much else wrong with me. Sure, I had some cavities but my teeth were never hurting me. My gums never hurt me. If I wasn't in pain, surely nothing was wrong. I was told instead that I have gingivitis and shamed heavily to the point of tears for letting it get this bad and me being that young. He also informed me I would have to get my wisdom tooth removed before I turned 22 because my insurance would then stop covering it. He handed me a sheet of paper with different phone numbers to call and told me not to come back until I have an appointment to get it removed. He also said we would work on getting my mouth heathy meanwhile. I tried every number, every place that took my insurance couldn't get me in until after I turned 22 which means I was out of luck. I did what the dentist asked of me, I didn't come back. At first the fear he put in me was enough to make me obessed with my teeth. I was brushing regularly and flossing for a few months but the routine was hard for me and my mental health was still suffering. I stopped.

I brushed my teeth here and there but not as needed. One day when going to brush, I realized the bottom of my gums were a dark red. I freaked out. I hadn't realized this before, were they always that red? I wasn't sure so I again was back on the train of fear and started brushing regularly. At first, no problems. I did have some blood when flossing but not brushing. After a while, that bleeding stopped. Surely I was doing something right. I started having this weird sensation in certain teeth. Tingling, sometimes throbbing, sometimes I thought they were loose. I had felt a few of my bottom teeth sort of almost..pop into place or move sometimes. When I would go to touch them or see if they'd wiggle, they didn't. And my front teeth had the tingling and I sometimes was panicking that they were loose..but they didn't behave the way the bottom ones did. This was enough to say..well, time to set up an appointment. I found a clinic that accepted my insurance and I thought it was a good starting stone to at least get a cleaning and a checkup. Since this was a clinic for low income people, the waiting list was long and I wouldn't be able to see them for 4-5 months. So I continued to take care of my teeth meanwhile. I thought for a while that maybe I had been brushing too hard and too long because of my anxiety, being rough on top of what was likely gingitivis or.. even worse. So I started trying to brush less hard and time myself for two minutes. I was using various gum detox toothpastes, gum repair mouthwashes, enamel repair toothpaste. Saltwater rinses and flossing, trying to at least once a day. Rinsing my mouth after having anything sugary. I have been obessing. I learned a lot that I didn't know through the internet.

Pretty sure I found out that the front teeth have had gums recede a bit. I didn't know that was a thing. On top of all of this, suddenly I had two bumps pop up on the roof of my mouth. As if I needed more to deal with. They were mostly painless, sometimes maybe sensitive. They weren't circular and were close to my front teeth. Finally, the day to go get my teeth checked arrives and guess what..I had the wrong address. I called them and they said they couldn't take me in until another four months. So I'm back on the waiting list.

I'm 22 now, I have never drank or smoked. Or chewed tobacco. Yesterday, I woke up with what seemed to be either another bump or just my gum behind one tooth being really swollen. It is very close to the hard-ish bumps on the roof of my mouth. I was freaking out and trying to figure out what's going on through google. It didn't hurt, it was just there, that was enough. The next day, it was completely down. Yesterday, I took my phone and used flash to try and see what the roof looks like and that area behind the tooth. I saw the two bumps which weren't red, the same color as the rest of the roof. The swollen gum didn't look that crazy but you could tell it was swollen. But right behind my two front teeth and positoned sort of in between those two bumps was a red circle that was fairly large. I felt around that area with my tongue and it feels almost like an idention.

I'm trying to find anywhere else to take me in sooner but I have to know.. what in the world could possibly be wrong with me? I'm so scared, ashamed, and angry with myself. I am scared to know what the end result is. All of my teeth are still in my head and though I have some tooth decay in my back teeth, none of these problems happened until I started taking care of myself. I didn't think I was this bad off but I guess I must be. What should I be doing as I wait to get professional help? I'm assuming dental decay, advanced gingivitis or worse, and maybe palatal tori? I'm not sure what the red circle is. What steps might happen after I see the dentist? How do I know if I'm going to lose my teeth? Save me.
 
Gordon

Gordon

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No need to be ashamed, dentists don't care what your teeth are like really, we just want to get in and fix them. Dentists are doers mostly.
At 22 you haven't got advanced periodontal disease, it takes decades to cause issues. So you're not going to lose your teeth.

The bump behind your front 2 teeth is probably the incisive papilla, it occasionally gets bumped or burned and can swell up slightly/get red, nothing to worry about.
 
D

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No need to be ashamed, dentists don't care what your teeth are like really, we just want to get in and fix them. Dentists are doers mostly.
At 22 you haven't got advanced periodontal disease, it takes decades to cause issues. So you're not going to lose your teeth.

The bump behind your front 2 teeth is probably the incisive papilla, it occasionally gets bumped or burned and can swell up slightly/get red, nothing to worry about.

You don't even know how much of a relief your message was. I was crying last night off on and on until the morning. So it's still probably reversible right? If I find a way to go to regular dentist visits and continue taking care of my teeth?
 
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Molar_bear

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Hi

I just wanted to add alongside the dental questions you have answered already, justl that you should not feel ashamed. it was not your fault, so don’t be angry with yourself. I know it’s easy for me to sit here and say, but, I have learnt it from my own experience. I didn’t go to the dentist for about six years and didn’t take proper care of my teeth in a sense. I always brushed, but, I ate too much sugar, drank too much fruit juice etc. And didn’t always floss. Anyway at 19 I went back to the dentist as I suppose it was time as a I was in pain and had to face my fears. But I was so embarrassed that I needed a RCT and a few fillings at such a young age in my mind. And was annoyed at myself for not acting sooner. But I realise now I wasn’t ready in terms of my anxiety and I can’t change it, so don’t wind myself up over it.

In relation to feeling like you need loads of work too. I thought that and was convinced it would be a worse and I would need lots of treatment or extractions. But things were not as bad as I thought and I didn’t. Little marks were not the big problems I thought they were etc. And there is so much that can be done today to save teeth.

I hope this isn’t somewhat reassuring to you that others have been there and got though it and that you may not have all the problems you think you do. Only a dentist can tell, so google self diagnosis can be wrong!

Well done for taking the steps to improve your dental health routine and making an appointment good luck.
 
D

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As much as this comforted me at the time, things have only gotten worse so I really need an opinion. My front bottom teeth, have been feeling sort of like they pop into place and feel odd. I know you said it's probably not advanced periodontal disease at my age but now those few teeth look like the gums are receding quickly and in-between them my teeth are turning this brownish-yellow color. I didn't know about the color change until I looked with a light in a mirror. They pop more often and if I touch my hand against the outside of my mouth, I feel a shift or movement. I found another dentist to take me in sooner but it's still next month.

I don't know why things are getting worse when I'm brushing and flossing as needed.

No need to be ashamed, dentists don't care what your teeth are like really, we just want to get in and fix them. Dentists are doers mostly.
At 22 you haven't got advanced periodontal disease, it takes decades to cause issues. So you're not going to lose your teeth.

The bump behind your front 2 teeth is probably the incisive papilla, it occasionally gets bumped or burned and can swell up slightly/get red, nothing to worry about.
 
Gordon

Gordon

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Teeth move, they aren't fixed solidly into their sockets. Feeling this movement is perfectly normal. Honestly there's no way you've got advanced periodontal disease at your age.
 
D

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Teeth move, they aren't fixed solidly into their sockets. Feeling this movement is perfectly normal. Honestly there's no way you've got advanced periodontal disease at your age.

What could be making my gums recede so quickly and turning in between those teeth brownish? I'm sorry to keep bothering you I'm just really scared.
 
Gordon

Gordon

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It's a reaction to the presence of plaque. The stuff between the teeth is probably calculus (tartar) which your dentist will clean off for you. You're not bothering me, it's what this site is for.
If you want to put a photo up of the area I can give you a better answer.
 
D

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It's a reaction to the presence of plaque. The stuff between the teeth is probably calculus (tartar) which your dentist will clean off for you. You're not bothering me, it's what this site is for.
If you want to put a photo up of the area I can give you a better answer.

I tried to get a picture but it’s not the best quality.
 

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Gordon

Gordon

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Fine for our purposes. You've got some heavy calculus (tartar) deposits in the usual places between your lower front teeth. A few minutes work from a dentist or hygienist will sort that right out. There's a tiny bit of recession but pretty normal looking for somebody your age.
 
D

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Fine for our purposes. You've got some heavy calculus (tartar) deposits in the usual places between your lower front teeth. A few minutes work from a dentist or hygienist will sort that right out. There's a tiny bit of recession but pretty normal looking for somebody your age.

Should I be worried about things getting worse before my appointment next month?
 
Gordon

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Nicci

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Just wanted to say try not to be ashamed. You were grieving for one, probably one of the biggest losses you'll ever go through.. The original dentist could have been kinder for sure but I dount he knew all your circumstances.
You were probably not able to fully understand consequences (of not brushing) at a young age, let alone find a path through the loss of your mum. My parents used to let me drink soda all the time.. Eat apples with a side of sugar! I really picked up some bad habits.

I lost my boyfriend in my 20s and I completely gave up on myself for the majority of my pregnancy.. Sure I tried to do what I was meant to, but self care was non existent.

No one took me to the dentist for years from what I can remember, I remember a filling falling out with sweets as a kid..
Then going at 19 ish with extreme pain (having a tooth with a hole pulled)..
Then going again after my baby was born.. Suprise Suprise I needed about 12 fillings. One of which was joined together, so decay formed underneath and I lost those two teeth.. Its been work and pain since tbh. Point is, Imo you should be proud you're aware of it and have turned things around. Perhaps you'll have a period of depression again, you can't really help that.. Just try your best to do what you can to feel better - I do understand how much effort it can take at times x
 
D

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Just wanted to say try not to be ashamed. You were grieving for one, probably one of the biggest losses you'll ever go through.. The original dentist could have been kinder for sure but I dount he knew all your circumstances. You were probably not able to fully understand consequences (of not brushing) at a young age, let alone find a path through the loss of your mum. My parents used to let me drink soda all the time.. Eat apples with a side of sugar! I really picked up some bad habits. I lost my boyfriend in my 20s and I completely gave up on myself for the majority of my pregnancy.. Sure I tried to do what I was meant to, but self care was non existent. No one took me to the dentist for years from what I can remember, I remember a filling falling out with sweets as a kid.. Then going at 19 ish with extreme pain (having a tooth with a hole pulled).. Then going again after my baby was born.. Suprise Suprise I needed about 12 fillings. One of which was joined together, so decay formed underneath and I lost those two teeth.. Its been work and pain since tbh. Point is, Imo you should be proud you're aware of it and have turned things around. Perhaps you'll have a period of depression again, you can't really help that.. Just try your best to do what you can to feel better - I do understand how much effort it can take at times x

I really appreciate your reply, I don't know why it made me cry a little but I guess I'm a softie lol. Part of me thinks there will always be a part of me that is the 13 year old kid who wants their mom back and though years pass, I still feel really lost and upset. Then I lost both my sisters and my grandfather, so it really felt like there was no point. I'm getting to a place in my life where I take care of myself because I care. It's easy to say I should do this or that, it's very hard to wake up and get those things done. I have been beating myself up about the things I failed to do to prevent my current problems, and it hasn't benefited me. I'm sorry to hear about your loss and I'm sorry you understand the struggle of selfcare too. But I'm also proud of you! I have a fair amount of dental work incoming from my cavities and everything else, but I'm hoping things won't be as bad as I think. I'm sending you all the good vibes!
 
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Nicci

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I hope you can get some support or counselling for your losses, I don't know if there's a way to do that for free where you are? My child has grief counselling for the loss of his Dad, different circumstances I know, but I think it's important to deal with it as best you can with a professional able to talk you through or just give you coping skills for the future.. Like you we had a period of loss after loss ( It was a running joke at my wedding that there were people at the rememberance table than in the whole place! (I think we just made a joke of it to help with the hurt, rather than being cruel iykwim)).

Your teeth look good to me BTW, I know I'm not a dentist, but from your description I was expecting something far far worse than the reality! I'd be happy with those teeth 😂
I'm sure everything will go well for you, we usually fear the worst, maybe it's just a safety thing, bracing ourselves just incase! ❤️
 
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