• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is has a severe fear of the dentist or dental treatment. Please note that this is NOT a general dental problems or health anxiety forum! You can find a list of them here.

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Dentist found <15% bone loss in my lower front teeth, trying not to panic but I am.

@letsconnect Thanks for your insight. Selling products usually does seem to be the underlying motivation. I was OK with a lot of Dr. Burhenne's recommendations until he advised taping one's mouth shut at night, and he even sells the tape. What do you think about nano-hydroxyapatite tooth paste? It isn't his original idea, but according to the advertisements, astronauts brush with it in space for remineralization, because weightlessness causes even teeth to start losing calcium. Like anonfemale's dentist, the articles say not to rinse out the toothpaste after brushing because it helps strengthen the teeth. But I can't stand the feeling of having something pasty in my mouth, so I draw the line there.
@Mboone50 Do you think I shouldn't leave the toothpaste in my mouth after brushing and flossing?.
@anonfemale spit and don’t rinse is the standard advice for fluoride toothpaste so you’re doing everything correctly 👍! This h er lps the fluoride stay in contact with teeth for longer. Fluoride has been proven to help prevent tooth decay.
@Mboone50 from a brief look around Google scholar, it appears that nano-hydroxyapatite toothpastes are as effective as some other agents for preventing demineralisation, but probably don’t prevent decay as well as fluoride-containing toothpastes do.

Using a nano-hydroxyapatite toothpaste that also contains fluoride would be ok (if you can find such a toothpaste). If you’ve never had decay before and you have a diet that’s very low in sugar then fluoride isn’t so important.

There’s a fair amount of info on these topics right here on our website if you’re interested:

Unfortunately, Gordon is away this week so I’ll try and answer as many of the questions as I can on here, with the caveat that I’m not a dentist… and I’ll try and find some other dentists to maybe help out!
@Beamarie I found out today that I have 20 to 30 percent moderate bone loss in my back teeth and gums. I am very worried about it and haven't eaten since I found out. How are you?.
@Beamarie your situation sounds quite similar to mine. I’m also in my early 30’s and haven’t been to the dentist in years. My wisdom teeth started causing me issues this past winter which lead me to having to finally seek care. I went directly to an oral surgeon and got my first x-rays done in probably over 15 years… on the X-ray it looks like I too am developing bone loss in my front bottom teeth. It’s looks to be around the same as yours (looking at your X-ray photo you provided). I of course panicked when I saw this and have been ever since… I too have a misaligned bite and never use my front teeth so I was told that could cause loss of bone density. I am also terrified to loose those bottom front teeth. I developed a small gap between my bottom front two teeth a few months ago so now I’m even more concerned. I hope things improve with your mouth. I’d like to hopefully hear updates from you especially being that it sounds like our situations are somewhat similar. And also good luck with the new baby!
@anonfemale Hi, Anon: I just got your message. I understand completely that impulse to stop eating! Every time I went to a periodontist, I was told that my teeth could start to fall out "at any time," so I would go home and be afraid to use them for a day or two. But guess what? They are still in my mouth. Actually, biting and chewing count as weight-bearing exercise, which is good for bone. So go ahead and eat!
@Mboone50 Thank you for your reply. I have been eating better, except for the last few days because I have a cough and a cold. I have had fluids over the last few days and a bit of food. I am still worried about the moderate bone loss in my back teeth and gums and worry that I might lose my back teeth, but the dentists on here said that it takes decades to get meaningful bone loss and that not everyone who has bone loss loses their teeth, so I am trying not to worry too much. And like you said, your teeth are still in your mouth, which is great. I'm glad to hear that biting and chewing is weight-bearing exercise and is good for bone. I feel anxious when I look at my back teeth and when I am brushing and flossing them because it makes me think about the bone loss that I already have. I wish I could have prevented it sooner, but I didnt know that I had to floss or what to floss with when I was younger. I know I cant change what has happened. I'm not sure whether bone loss just gets slowed down or if it can be stopped.
@Anxiety Riddled Hi, I don't know if you saw my earlier post, but I am 73, and I was told I have 30-90% bone loss and my teeth were almost hopeless. But they are still in my mouth. I, too, have been reading about maintaining bone density by using one's teeth. Unfortunately, I was very careful not to use my front teeth for fear that they would break off, but now I see that wasn't such a great idea. I've now gently biting down on my finger with my front teeth to give them "weight-bearing exercise."
@anonfemale Do you disclose your autism when you go to a doctor or dentist? I'm asking because these professionals should understand that they need to be careful about what they tell you, that your mind processes information more thoroughly than the neurotypical brain, and it's harder for you to move on from an idea once it sticks. All of the periodontists I went to gave me the same doom-and-gloom message, and they all made me feel like an idiot who had done this to myself through negligence. Fortunately, I have had three kids, so I know how to deflect criticism, but my autistic son would have been devastated if they'd dumped all their prophesies on him. Everything I've read says that bone loss can be slowed down, and it sounds like you're doing the right things.
@Mboone50 Hi, I did see your previous post. I’m sorry about your bone loss but I’m so happy for you that you have been able to save your teeth! It’s quite frustrating the inconsistent information there is out there about bone loss and how it progresses. It seems to vary widely person to person. I’ve unfortunately barely ever used my front teeth due to an overbite, they just don’t seem to work for chewing. I rip my food up like a child haha. I believe my bone loss progressed due to bacteria/plaque build up. I’ve never been able to keep my front bottom teeth clean and I never knew how detrimental that was unfortunately until now. I never knew you could get bone loss in your teeth (I wish I had known). I’m at the point where I’m literally afraid to do anything and it’s so defeating. I’m terrified to even brush my teeth because I’m afraid I will make them loose or they will fall out which I know by not doing I’m making that more likely… I just can’t get over the sensation that my teeth are loose and I believe it stems from my anxiety (I don’t think they are really moving, I think it is in my head)…
@Anxiety Riddled I really understand what you're feeling, and in my case, I actually was told that my teeth could start falling out at any time. But just think about how hard it was to get your baby teeth to fall out. They didn't just drop on the floor; you had to wiggle and wiggle them, and loosen them, and in the case of baby teeth, the body had already dissolved the roots to get rid of them. Your permanent teeth are rooted in your mouth and gums, and it would take a lot of force to get them to fall out. Just keep them clean, don't eat sugars or processed carbohydrates, the usual stuff.
@Mboone50 ugh my stomach would drop if I was told that. I feel like some of these medical professionals are so heartless with their approach and responses to patients. I see what you’re saying about baby teeth, that’s a good comparison. I just hate worrying about it as much as I do. I haven’t even had a chance yet to have a general dentist look at my teeth. I just had all 4 wisdom teeth out last week so I’m healing from that. I’m hoping to get to a dentist this summer (it’s been years).
Yikes, getting wisdom teeth taken out is no fun. As long as your remaining teeth aren't loose or severely decayed, there is hope.
@Mboone50 surprisingly my recovery is going pretty well so far. Fingers crossed no dry socket or infection.. that’s my biggest worry. I’m hoping the loose feeling I get in my teeth is just my anxiety. The oral surgeon I went to made it sound like all of my teeth were structurally sound as if right now (I just have to let myself think that rather than always thinking they are moving). I’m hoping to get through this mental block soon.
If your teeth were moving, he would have told you. Also, it would be hard to bite down and chew if they were truly loose. It's weird that our teeth are the source of so much worry and anxiety. I guess that's why this support group was formed.
@Mboone50 My bottom front teeth feel like they move sometimes too, but I have heard that teeth can move a little bit. I did disclose my autism to the dentist I saw. What he told me about the bone loss does stick in my mind a lot. It's so confusing because another dentist at another surgery told me that I had bone loss in my back teeth and gums five years ago, but I have seen two other dentists and two hygienists at the surgery I go to now, before I saw the dentist that I see now and they didnt say that I had bone loss. The dentist that I see now said that I had bone loss 6 years ago and the bone loss hadn't changed much in 6 years. I'm worried because sometimes I dont brush and floss at night and only brush and floss in the mornings and because I have been so tired and weak with the cough and cold I have now, I haven't brushed since Friday morning ( I have been sleeping a lot). I just hope that I can still remove the plaque with my interdental brushes, water pik and the electric toothbrush if I start brushing and flossing twice a day a lot from now and I hope the bone loss hasn't gotten worse from not brushing and flossing and hope that the plaque hasn't turned in to tartar. It is weird that teeth and gums cause so much anxiety. Talking on this forum helps though.
I hope you feel better soon. You have to keep remembering that your teeth aren't that fragile. If they were, no one would have teeth by a certain age. I have heard that dire warning that if you don't remove the plaque within three days, it becomes tartar, as if tartar were some deadly poison that is going to vaporize your teeth on the spot. I am not a good example, but I managed to keep my permanent teeth in my mouth for over 60 years, and all I did was brush and floss them. I ate whatever I wanted until I was 50 (and mysteriously developed a gluten allergy), and the teeth themselves are still in good shape, despite the bone loss, which could be the result of having four kids later in life. I still haven't lost any of my teeth yet. By all means, take care of your teeth, do that your dentist says, but don't become their slave. Your teeth are in your mouth to serve you, not the other way around.