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Daily anxiety about dental health

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darcy_

Junior member
Joined
Jan 4, 2020
Messages
6
Location
msk
Hi everyone,

I really hope this is coherent and appropriate for this forum. I've been too ashamed to divulge this fully to anyone I know in real life but I'm sure most people can tell my teeth aren't the best.

I never really took great care of my teeth till a year plus ago when I had my first wisdom tooth extraction. Prior to that I didn't really care about them and the only time I saw dentists were the very infrequent school-mandated visits. I have a lot of fillings for someone my age, I think. I even have two in my front incisors. I used to have bad breath and my gums bled all the time. I ate poorly, was very underweight, and was depressed from my early teens till recently so I was terrible at oral hygiene.

Ever since I got that wisdom tooth out I've been trying to step up on my oral hygiene. I brush twice a day with a Sonicare and fluoride paste (4 minutes a go because I have somewhat crooked teeth), I floss everyday and use interdental brushes for larger gaps, and use a fluoride rinse twice a day. I see the dentist for cleanings every 3 months, get fluoride treatment every round, and have gotten the last two problematic wisdom teeth out. I drink only water, milk, and tea. I've mostly cut sugary treats out of my diet. I rinse with water as soon as I've eaten something.

I was told I have quite a bit of demineralisation in my back molars after I got the first wisdom tooth out (from bite-wing x-rays) and got a rather big filling then. I've never stopped obsessing over that since then, especially because I know I have weak enamel (enamel hypoplasia). They're doing another bite-wing in a month.

I can't stop thinking about my teeth and it's getting worse as the consultation date is drawing nearer. I keep thinking I have a ton of new cavities and I'm going to lose all my teeth before I become 30. I am so upset that I didn't take better care of myself when I was younger. I feel like what I'm doing now is too little too late.

If anyone has any advice on how to cope with this overwhelming anxiousness about teeth or has gone though a similar experience, I would be so grateful to hear it. Thank you for reading my ramble.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,575
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Darcy,

Welcome to DFC!!:welcome: You are in the right place with alot of people who understand your struggles and want to support you in your journey!! Which it sounds like you are really doing well with your self care and really trying to conquer your fear and doing all you can. Anxiety is so real , and those What if thoughts can really hit hard sometimes.. YOu are doing all you can to move forward in a healthy way.

How do you feel about your dentist? How do they make you feel? sounds like you've had some experiences with them. I hope they are supportive and encouraging and can help ease your anxiety about this. I think for coping.. It is hard not to let these thoughts bombard you, try to take one step at a time, stay away from google /youtube.. it is not really helpful, I found when I was doing this and looking up everypossible information on something, it just spiked my fears . My previous dentist would tell me .. Dr Google can't see my teeth and doesn't know my history but he can.. and that is was so true.. just a thought in advice on getting through the overwhelming anxiety. If you can have really honest talks with your dental team about your anxiety, that really transformed things for me.. it was a bit of a jump off the deep end so to say, but my previous dentist who is the one I first took the chance with was so lovely about it all.

Anyways.. keep on posting here.. we will love to support you in any way!
 
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darcy_

Junior member
Joined
Jan 4, 2020
Messages
6
Location
msk
Hi @krlovesherkids777, thank you so much for your very kind words ❤

Currently I go to a public hospital so while they have a set group of dentists, who sees me might change every time I go. But they've all actually been very kind and look out for my teeth so much more than my previous dentists. I've never had x-rays before them and one dentist actually missed the huge cavity that the hospital team later fixed. I've just been too embarrassed to tell them how much anxiety I have because these thoughts feel so irrational sometimes.

And I agree on Dr Google, it always conjures up the worst outcomes. I admit I read a lot about dental issues, what to eat, etc in my spare time. I then end up getting troubled about what I'm eating, which isn't that great since I still have quite a ways to go with putting back on weight.

What your dentist said is so true though and after reading what you've said, I think I'll try to be more open with the team the next visit 😄
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,385
Hi darcy_,

very well done on not only finding the way back to dentist but to completely change your approach about home care and your diet. You have gone through quite a transformation and that is great.

When you are thinking about obsessing with your teeth and worrying, is it more like a general thing you have been dealing with for a longer time or more something connected to your worries about the next visit?

I can see how much you regret not taking care of your teeth in the past and it must be hard to think this way as you can't change the past. However, reading your post I wonder whether you have been able to. Neglecting oral hygiene and not eating right is very often simply a reflection of the inner state - if you are depressed and life is tough, how hard is it to take care of yourself? Building habits needs a lot of energy and discipline and that can be really hard if you are struggling in life.

Allow me to encourage you to look at the last one year and all the things you have acomplished and all the things you are doing right instead of looking back at what wasn't great. You haven't done anything wrong in the past, on the contrary: you have been really brave and managed to transform and that is huge.

All the best wishes and keep us posted
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,575
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Darcy,

I'm glad you are getting good care at the hospital and feel comfortable it seems even if it switches dentists sounds like you are quite comfortable.

I do encourage you if you find yourself more comfortable with one or two drs' that maybe you open up to more, it doens't hurt to ask the front desk when you check in.. or maybe even the dr. how that might happen . Great that you've had a good experience though with all of them it seems.

Being open is really hard but amazing once you do it with the right dentist.. if the dentist for any reason doens't meet your openness with kindness and caring way then you can choose someone who does . Really I agree with @Enarete you really are being brave and doing a great job!!
 
D

darcy_

Junior member
Joined
Jan 4, 2020
Messages
6
Location
msk
Enarete:

Thank you too for your very kind words. I was indeed having a rough time in school and in an abusive long-term relationship - I just felt like I didn't deserve the kindness of such a 'gentle' excuse for my dental neglect. I did try to approach a neighborhood dentist earlier when my front enamel began chipping during brushing, but was waved away as she said it did not deserve immediate treatment. Obviously I should've just gone elsewhere, but I was at the point in my life where I just couldn't bring myself to and believed I only deserved bad things.

Regarding the obsessing, it's a general thing that I've been dealing with ever since the first wisdom tooth extraction. I think it started off as a healthy worry (oh no! better care for my teeth now!) but it snowballed into this very quickly, especially after the last dentist missed the huge cavity (which I did ask him about). This is rather shameful, but sometimes after I'm done with my teeth at night I just keep inspecting the mirror and the anxiety just keeps growing.

I suppose sometimes you just need a clear and empathetic third party to give a better insight to your situation and you have done that for me, Enarete. I will definitely keep your words in mind the next time I start getting anxious in front of the mirror at night.

krlovesherkids777:

Thank you again for the encouragement! I think I've just gotten lucky since the team is small, but your suggestion of finding one or two dentists that work better with my anxiety is fantastic. I'll start noting down who I'd like to see more often and ask them and the hospital if it's possible to tack me onto them as some sort of regular. Thank you - I am really happy to have found this very understanding and supportive forum.
 
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