Crumbling tooth... So embarrassed.


Meera Reed

Junior member
Jun 20, 2015
For six months now I've had a hole in my top left wisdom tooth. It keeps getting bigger and bigger. Tonight as I was brushing, large chunks of it crumbled into my mouth. I wasn't even brushing that tooth.

I know I have to go see a dentist, but I'm so mortified. Growing up, I had good health insurance, went to the dentist every six months, etc, etc. however, now that I'm older my habits have lapsed. I went through a long period of severe depression in which I was not taking care of any part of myself, let alone my teeth. I often didn't even brush. I also took up smoking (all under the logic of who cares about long term damage, I don't want to live anyway). That is mostly better now thanks to treatment, and I now try to take good care of my teeth, brushing and flossing twice a day. But I'm so mortified about this tooth, and not having been to the dentist in five years, probably. I'm also terrified I'll be told the rest of my teeth are horrible and will have to be replaced and I'll end up with dentures at twenty-six. Furthermore, when I was in my late teens, my dentist wanted me to have my wisdom teeth removed and I never got around to it so I'm feeling ashamed. If I'd just listened when I was nineteen, maybe this situation wouldn't be so bad.

Also, I'm a poor student on public assistance and I'm really confused about my coverage. I am currently under the state's private coverage option, which provides coverage for dental emergencies, but we are transitioning to the Medicaid expansion which covers all dental, and so I have no idea what I'm actually covered for. All the info the state has up is all very don't worry, you won't even notice! But obviously I'm confused and can't get straight answers. So that's adding to my anxiety as well.

The he state of my teeth brings up memories of a very bad time in my life. I don't really want to have to face it in front of a relative stranger. (Well, one I have to look in the eye. Obviously you are all strangers to me.)


Super Moderator
Staff member
Jun 14, 2012
First, welcome!

There's a lot in you're post so I'll try to respond to what I can. First, about the wisdom tooth... I was 14 when I was told I needed mine out and was 30 by the time I was able to find the courage to do it. Mine were awful - completely black. I did not have regular dental care as a child so my teeth weren't starting out in great shape to begin with. When I finally got my wisdom teeth out it was after not seeing a dentist for 6-7 years. Trust me, when you go to the dentist they will surely have seen worse!

In terms of going from Medicaid to an expansion program, my guess is that the vague information on your state's website is because there are probably still things to figure out. Also, in most states, even for dental, you will have to choose a plan from plans that have varying degrees of premiums and cost-sharing (deductibles, copays, co-insurance, and annual limits). Do you know when the expansion programs are supposed to start? If you feel comfortable, you can send me a message letting me know what state you are in and I can see if I can find more info - I work in the health insurance field so I may be able to find some info for you.

Even with Medicaid dental, extractions are usually covered. Depending on your situation, most of the time dentists in the U.S. will extract wisdom teeth rather than trying to take measures to save them if they are decayed/broken/etc.

I hope that some of this info is helpful.