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Absolutely terrified of potential gum grafts!

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Pinkwindsor

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Thank goodness, I have found this forum and someone to talk to instead of searching and searching for answers on the internet as I am completely terrified!

According to my Hygienist, I have caused my receding gums by stress or over brushing. I have my appointment with the dentist on Tuesday and I am completely terrified that I will need gum grafts. In the hygienist's words "You have quite a bit of exposed root" (On one tooth) I had no pain or sensitivity until that hygienist's appointment two days ago and now I am feeling that every ache or feeling in that area is caused by my receding gums.

I have gone out today and brought a soft toothbrush, sensitive toothpaste and mouthwash but I feel that it is a little too late!

I am absolutely terrified of needles as in the 80's, dentists needles were huge and to this day, I still have a needle phobia. I am also gutted that I have caused this damage to myself..
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

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Hey!

You're going to make it. This is going to be okay.

1. Back in the 80's we received very rudimentary brushing instructions. Next time you're at the periodontist ask for an appointment where you only talk about, and are demonstrated, brushing and flossing.

My understanding is that gum recession can happen to anyone, for any or no reason. Feeling gutted is natural; I encourage you to translate that shame/guilt into positive action that looks towards the future.

2. If you have to get a gum graft, it is going to be okay.

I have a thread or two about my gum graft experience. Here is the only one I can find:

https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/f...nt-of-it-vs-other-annoying-experiences.24319/

You can definitely, definitely handle this.
 
brit

brit

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Hi PinkWindsor
Was this your first visit to this practice? Why are you seeing a hygienist before the dentist? Highly unlikely gum grafts would be necessary and if they were, you would need to be referred to a specialist periodontist who would no doubt be able to provide lots of reassurance. I have a couple of areas of recession (probably also overbrushing) but with good home care and regular hygienist cleans, they have stabilised and not got any worse for 15 years. I would see what the dentist says on Tuesday before worrying too much. You can get high fluoride toothpaste on prescription from a dentist to decrease the sensitivity on any exposed areas. Hope this helps.
 
brit

brit

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The best daily home care is brushing morning and night with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing before bed and also using tepe brushes if there are any gaps big enough - a hygienist can advise.
The oral b electric rotary toothbrushes on a low setting or sensitive setting have worked well for me to clean well but not make anything worse. You can also get 'sensitive' brushheads for them.
 
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Pinkwindsor

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Thank you so much for your kind replies. Here in Scotland, we don’t pay for NHS dental check ups so I’ve going religiously to the NHS dentist every 6 months but using a private hygienist every 6 months privately as the NHS hygienist isn’t very good. I must have over-brushed as neither of them mentioned anything 6 months ago.

I have one tooth where you can see the yellow root part at the top (About 2mm) and on the other side no yellow root part but the white part of the tooth is about 2mm elongated to the ones around it. There are a couple of other teeth that have just about got the root ridge on the top. I don’t have any sensitivity or pain (Yet!) and no bleeding.

Trying to do mindfulness and lavender essential oils are constantly wafting around but it’s difficult to concentrate on much to be honest.
 
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Pinkwindsor

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Just to add to the above, I can feel slight ache in the area with the 2mm exposed root (Yellowy area above)
 
Gordon

Gordon

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As Brit says, an Oral B electric toothbrush is best, soft brushes aren't really any use for removing plaque and you can do a lot less damage with an electric brush :)

2mm recession is nothing to get worked up about, it's not a big deal and I doubt if a graft is indicated.

There may well be a bit of sensitivity from the exposed root, try rubbing the sensitive toothpaste into the sensitive area with your finger, last thing before bedtime and leave it there overnight, it works much better that way.

Edit to add, a private hygienist will be happy to check your brushing technique in the surgery with them and make sure you're doing it right.
 
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Pinkwindsor

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Thank you so much Gordon! I am getting really panicky about the probe thing that the dentist will stick into the pockets as I can only see 2mm of root above the tooth which I measured with my plastic ruler!

Sadly the hygienist did take the time to show me but when I got home, I failed to change so this is all my fault!! :shame: I've bought an Oral B toothbrush but the brush was still hard on it so I've ordered heads that are for sensitive teeth.

I also haven't eaten much as I'm so worried about damaging my gums further with crusty bread etc!! Would this happen?
 
Gordon

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The standard Oral B brushes are fine. The advantage of the electric brush is that it stops when you put too much pressure on, so you can't do so much damage as with a manual.
The probe thing isn't too bad, it's just weird feeling, surely the hygienist has already been doing probing anyway?
You can't damage your gums by eating on them.
 
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Pinkwindsor

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Thank you so much. I'm experiencing toothache today further on up my jaw right at the back and I've convinced myself that the two issues are related! I can't quite see my gums there which doesn't help! (Just my canines where I can see the roots) I've Dr Googled and I've read that the probe gets pushed in until bleeding takes place and that has been absolutely panicking me! I feel so irrational with my thoughts and am absolutely doing everything I can to stop myself thinking too much about having to get into that dentists chair tomorrow.
 
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geos

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Thank you so much. I'm experiencing toothache today further on up my jaw right at the back and I've convinced myself that the two issues are related! I can't quite see my gums there which doesn't help! (Just my canines where I can see the roots) I've Dr Googled and I've read that the probe gets pushed in until bleeding takes place and that has been absolutely panicking me! I feel so irrational with my thoughts and am absolutely doing everything I can to stop myself thinking too much about having to get into that dentists chair tomorrow.
They simply slide the probe under your gum until it hits resistance. Depending on your teeth and gum level of sensitivity you will feel it more or less and it’s pretty quick to do. You shouldn’t bleed from them measuring your gums.
 
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Pinkwindsor

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They simply slide the probe under your gum until it hits resistance. Depending on your teeth and gum level of sensitivity you will feel it more or less and it’s pretty quick to do. You shouldn’t bleed from them measuring your gums.
Thank you… it's good to know what to expect.
 
Gordon

Gordon

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I've Dr Googled and I've read that the probe gets pushed in until bleeding takes place
Good grief, that's terrible! What idiot wrote that?

The probe has a small ball on the end, it's gently worked into the space between the tooth and the gum until resistance is felt. A lot of dentists use a probe with a "break" action so that the maximum amount of force that can be used is limited, which gives more accurate readings between dentists.

Bleeding on probing is an important clinical sign that there is active disease present.

I repeat, your hygienist should have been using a probe on you at every visit, so this is nothing new.
 
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Pinkwindsor

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Good grief, that's terrible! What idiot wrote that?

The probe has a small ball on the end, it's gently worked into the space between the tooth and the gum until resistance is felt. A lot of dentists use a probe with a "break" action so that the maximum amount of force that can be used is limited, which gives more accurate readings between dentists.

Bleeding on probing is an important clinical sign that there is active disease present.

I repeat, your hygienist should have been using a probe on you at every visit, so this is nothing new.

Thank you Gordon… just about to go to the dentist. I haven't eaten very much for a couple of days as I have a dull pain in the area with the exposed tooth, as well as being extremely anxious. My husband is coming with me as I most probably wouldn't go as I'm that terrified.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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I hope everything went well for you yesterday :grouphug:
 
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Pinkwindsor

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Well…. The dentist took one look at my mouth yesterday and said that nothing needed to be done apart from taking greater care of my oral hygiene and wearing something at night to stop me from clenching my jaw together! :redface:

I wasn't too happy with the hygienist though who decided to discuss my awful oral hygiene in front of another patient in the waiting room! :( If only she had known that after her comments last week, that I had not eaten much due to being absolutely terrified of what I had done to myself and of further treatment. I had panic attacks leading up to yesterday as well as having light-headed moments (In town, by myself…not good!) and without the support of this wonderful forum and my husband, I just wouldn't have gone to the dentist yesterday!
 
Gordon

Gordon

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That's totally unacceptable behaviour from the hygienist, it's up to you how you proceed but if that was a member of my practice I would appreciate it if you let me know so I could deal with it...

As a side note, have you tried treating the sensitive area yourself yet? Any joy?
 
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Pinkwindsor

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Yes, I was absolutely mortified! I don't think I will go back to the practice again.

No I haven't, should I brush my teeth and then blob sensitive toothpaste on to the gum afterwards?

I can't think you and everyone enough on this forum for getting me through such an awful ordeal by the way! :grouphug:
 
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