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Breaking Point



Junior member
Aug 7, 2018
My ex was a drug addict. I had to go to AA and NA meetings with him. I had to go to rehab and sit in circles of people crying. His struggling and personal self-inflicted Hell was a constant topic. His mental well-being, emotional, and physical health took priority over everyone else's because he was an addict. As an addict he was susceptible and weak and in constant need of people keeping him accountable and support. It was exhausting. He never got clean. This isn't about him, but I wonder, why was everyone so comfortable talking about his addiction? His problems? Examining that issue and helping him- but all of my family and friends silently watch me struggle with my phobia and say nothing? Am I exaggerating? Unfortunately, I'm not. There was never a traumatic experience and my parents were very diligent about my dental health. It seems silly. It sounds silly, but it's not. I'm in a waking nightmare. Since I was very small I have always been afraid, and then in my teenage years I was old enough to start making the choice not to go at all. And everything became much worse. And tonight I think- I hope- I've reached my breaking point.
When I tell people I'm phobic of the dentist they usually quickly reply "Oh me too!" enthusiastically and talk about how nervous they are, how much they don't like it. While I appreciate the sympathy it also makes me a little angry because they're no longer listening to me. They don't understand the level of phobic that I am. I am truly phobic. I sweat, I shake, I feel nauseas, I'm crying and I'm disoriented- and that's just making the damn phone call for an appointment. Appointments I never show up for. It's embarrassing. I feel like a small child. Recently, six months ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. I was calm as they wheeled me into surgery to perform a cesarean. I had taken no medication to altar my state of consciousness.
As they cut into me I remained calm. Not long after they had me get out of bed and walk around. It hurt, but I did it. They pushed on my stomach which had been freshly cut into- major abdominal surgery and a baby removed- to squish out blood and all that out of me forcefully. It was incredibly painful. I groaned but I never cried. I was taking care of my infant daughter immediately. Breastfeeding. Up with her every night. It wasn't too bad. That's me. The person I become in the dentist's chair, I don't even know who that person is.
I have always been phobic, but my phobia reached a tipping point two years ago. I finally went to the dentist to assess the situation because I was having a lot of tooth pain. The dentist took a long look in my mouth, sighed, and said I had a cavity in every tooth. He said he recommended extraction of all of my teeth. He said to save my teeth would be a heroic thing, not to mention extraordinary in cost; and in the end I'd still end up having them pulled eventually. He said it was genetic that even if I had done everything I was suppose to I would have watched my teeth fall apart, one by one. He gave my front ones another year. I never went back. As a phobic I had been giving the most terrifying news I could. I went on with my life. When my mouth hurt I went to various doctors and got pain medicine and antibiotics. Every few months I took pain meds and antibiotics. That lasted me a few years.

It makes me sick it's been two years, but that's how long I've been putting wax in my teeth. It was very small at first. The size of a poppy seed because the cavity from my front tooth was starting to show. It was the wax from those candy bottles with juice in them. I don't remember when that wasn't enough. I began getting the kind of wax they have in the baking aisle in Walmart, chipping it off in chunks and putting it on the microwave on a porcelain plate. For one minute. So much of my life has been spent for two years in front of a microwave. Watching a plate slowly circulating. Hating myself. I melt the wax, dab my finger tip and then scrape it off with my nail creating a ball. If you do it that way then it's denser and whiter. If you use a chunk that's softened it's more opaque and looks stranger. I mold the wax into the holes in the front. That sustained me for a while, but my front teeth began breaking down more and becoming grey. I took a plate with wax on it to work. I started a new job and had to have an awkward conversation with my boss, when talking to her after my lunch break, why I was microwaving a plate of wax. She, like everyone else, wasn't quite sure what to say. But it was what it was. I kept a plate at home and a plate at work.

It began to be harder to keep up with the wax in my teeth. It would fall out after meals and sometimes, God forbid, at random if I sneezed. I lived in fear of writing up a loan for a customer and the wax falling out and a big black hole being in my teeth. To make things worse, there were new holes that needed filling.

When my daughter was born one of the biggest things I had anxiety about was something I expressed to no one, the fear that the wax was going to fall out of my teeth. I didn't have access to a microwave or my wax, which was at home. I didn't want the parade of friends and family (who came to see my beautiful little girl) to see my meth mouth. It's worth mentioning that I've never done meth. But if you look at my mouth it's that bad. While my teeth didn't look good by any means the wax was a thousand times better than black rotting holes. In the picture of me on the surgery table and my newborn daughter wrapped in a blanket next to me and my husband holding my hand smiling I'm smiling too- with my lips pressed together. It's how I've been smiling for a few years now. And even then, in that moment, I was thinking about my teeth.

I got to the point where I was putting in fresh wax after every meal and in three different places in my mouth. It was exhausting. Maybe it would've ended there, if my Mom hadn't introduced to me to a moldable plastic. I know that she thinks she was helping, but now, after staying up all night in pain soaking a cotton ball in clove oil and taking Tyenol3 I can admit to myself that she's enabling. I don't know why you would enable someone with a phobia, but just like dealing with letting people know I Put wax in my teeth, it is what it is. Some background on me, I'm twenty-seven years old and have an otherwise normal, wonderful life. My husband has a very good job that allowed me to quit my job and stay at home with our baby. We live on the lake. I love our house. I'm surrounded by love and peace. But I'm in constant pain. I live in a personal Hell. My Mom, in an attempt to "help" showed me this plastic you could pour into a bowl with water than microwave, once again, for two minutes. It would become clear than you could mold it. THe first time I did it I made a terrible mistake. I just shoved apiece of plastic into the biggest hole in the very front of my mouth. It dried bulbous, malformed, and dazzlingly white. It was so monstrous and stupid looking, and very, very firmly stuck. I doubled over in the hallway and sobbed. But not even then did I go to the dentist. Eventually my tooth broke enough for me to disoldge the piece of plastic that had been so unsightly. After that I got smarter and began molding in the wax into the holes first, and then molding the plastic shell over the teeth and wax. This way I could roughly re-create my teeth with a faint whiteness. Sometimes it turns out pretty passable. I change it every few days. Each cavity and pain has it's own personality at this point.

I have broken tooth in the back left that is shattered and a nerve is exposed. I keep wax packed into the cavity to keep it from getting too irritated. I can't use plastic because it's so sensitive I'm afraid it would get stuck and I'd be lost in excruciating pain. Broken back left tooth when it has a pang it's the sort of pain that is a lightning bolt down your body. It's the nerve. It makes your toes hurt. I only have to replace the wax maybe once a week. Then there's chipped tooth next door, it's been causing me pain tonight but usually is pretty good. Chipped tooth is so jagged that it tears at my tongue and makes my tongue bleed. I've been keeping plastic on chipped tooth, but tonight switched to wax because it was aching and throbbing so much. Dislodging plastic can be tricky business and not always a guarantee. on my top left is a huge hole, where there was a filling at one point but it fell out. It's twin is on the middle right in the same place, same situation. Both of those are filled with plastic and never hurt. On the bottom right there are two bottom cavities, also twins, that have recently caused an absess, and on the middle right is missing tooth. That is the tooth I worked up the guts to get pulled when pregnant because it kept causing pus and blisters in my mouth it was so infected and I was worried about my baby. Then there's caivty tooth in the back right and it's neighbor, shattered tooth. They're okay if I don't lick them a certain way. My front teeth are in a bad way. I have to constantly work on them. Every few days I change out the wax and plastic. Sometimes it takes several tries to get a good plastic mold. One time I worked on it for two hours and ended up sobbing hysterically, and quietly. I only do it after my husband and daughter have gone to bed.


Well-known member
Oct 27, 2017
Call 211 (or your local equivalent) and tell them what you told us.

Help is available. You don’t have to live like this.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Jul 26, 2017
Minneapolis, MN

Thank you so much for sharing your story! I'm really sorry that no one has really listend to your story and helped you in a compassionate way.. It feels like you have done alot of caring for others and alot of compassionate but it would only be nice to get some back, especially with something that is so draining and overwhelming.. I have had the "I don't matter" but everybody else does mindset for so many years and its so hard ..I don't know if thats you, but I got to that point with my oral health, scared, and awful and desparate, but I couldn't do for myself and no one wanted to listen either or care until I found a good dentist who actually did. I can't imagine the amount of work and energy you spend on your teeth all to keep from dealing with them, , the pain , the shame, the vicious circle.. and it doesn't help how the dentist you went to treated you as it seems.. I would only want to run far from any dentist after that .. ugh..

I wonder .. I know myself and several people on here.. have made appts.. after taking everything we had of courage.. just to go and meet the dentist. and specifically tell them we just want to meet them and talk and see if we might feel comfortable.. and that they would not even look. You would go and most times they would not even put you in any dental chair.. just talk and chat about you and your fears.. This really might be a good first step and then you may find you feel open enough with someone to disclose your concerns..

Maybe thats an idea... You are in the right place here! We are here to help and have all been through alot. :).. and remember you are worth it !!!


Well-known member
Jul 1, 2018
I am so sorry you have been through so much. I can't make it through a dental procedure without nitrous oxide, although I have no issue with medical procedures, much like what you described.

Do you have the option of a different dentist, that would be more sensitive to your phobia? I know that it won't help with what needs to be done, but maybe they could come up with a plan to help with your anxiety.