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braces and gum recession, anxiety and depression



Junior member
Oct 21, 2021
Hello. So, my life is a mess.

I first got braces in primary school. I think I was 11, but it might have been earlier. That time was only on my top four front teeth to fix my one central incisor that was growing sideways. I think I had them for a year, maybe two, before they got taken off and I got a plate. Some years later, in early teenagerhood, I got braces again - i don't know why, I thought my teeth were fine, but I was a kid, and went with whatever the adults around me did - and have had them ever since. I will be 23 in less than a month.

Due to depression, anxiety, and generally a lot of self-hatred about my appearance, I haven't cleaned my teeth nearly as much as I should have. I haven't worn the bands the dentist gave me (probably over a year ago at this point), and I haven't been to see him since February. I noticed a few months ago that the back of my bottom gums were starting to receed, but because of covid, and because anxiety, i didn't do anything about it. They're not as bad as images I've seen on the internet, but I'm still really worried. I get some pain occasionally, but I'm also prone to migraines and cluster headaches so i don't know if it's because of my teeth, or because of that. Recently, it seems like the back of the top gums are also receeding, and I noticed the front of the bottom lateral incisor is also receeding.

The dentist has been doing my treatments for free as part of a thing for disadvantaged families, and he's very good at what he does, and I'm worried he and my parents are going to be disappointed that my teeth are so bad after so many years of braces. I haven't told anyone about the receeding gums because I'm anxious how they'll react. My mum out of the blue just called me to say she's made me an appointment with him for Monday (four days from now), and I don't know what to do except panic.

I'm worried the dentist and my parents will be angry, or that my bottom front four teeth will snap or fall out when he tries to remove the braces, and what will have to be done about the gums, abd how much fixing them will cost, and if we'll have to pay for it, because when I had to get one top canine exposed to help it come down, we had to pay for that, and it was almost $2000. I also hate myself for being too anxious to tell anyone in my family about it, and for letting it get this bad.

(I live in Australia.)
Hi phainu, just wanted to wish you all the best for tomorrow ?! Guaranteed that your teeth won't snap or fall out when he tries to remove the braces. It sounds as if you could do with some support around the depression and anxiety, and self-hatred around your appearance. Could you maybe approach your GP about this and ask for help? Perhaps they can refer you to a counsellor who can support you through this (I'm not sure how things work in Australia).

Please let us know how you got on! All the best ?