• Welcome! This is a forum for anyone who is affected by a fear of the dentist, dental phobia, or specific dental fears.

    We are lucky to count a number of dentists among our members and moderators. Look out for the "Verified dentist" badges. If you are a dental professional who likes to help, please join our community!

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

Exteme anxiety of enamel loss

A

A_95

Junior member
Joined
Apr 30, 2020
Messages
14
Location
Finland
Hi,

I'm new here but decided to join and see what happens. I think about my teeth all the time, and it's getting to the point where I can't be with people, watch TV, attend online lectures because all I do is look at other people's teeth in jealousy and compare them to mine.

I've always had quite a lot dental work done (fillings and one root canal). And pretty recently my dentist told me that I have quite weak enamel in some of my teeth's parts that are near gums due to brushing my teeth too hard when I was a teenager. I was kind of surprised, because I never thought that I would brush too hard, but I just went to buy a toothbrush that warns me when I press too much. I realised with the new toothbrush that I have never really brushed that hard, but thought that maybe my enamel was just weak.

I never cared about the enamel too much (anxiety wise, of course I took care of my teeth very well so that I wouldn't lose any more enamel) but now, in about a month, my two front teeth have lost enamel. I'm not ready to share a picture, and it's difficult to explain, but I have two "corner teeth" in my upper front tooth row and between them my two front teeth are sort of covered a little bit by those corner teeth. So the corner teeth are sort of in front of the two front teeth. Almost half of both my front teeth are darkish, almost like brownish. I've avoided acidic foods, coffee or anything that may stain them, and I am just worried. My lower gums have withdrawn a bit, showing the lower area of the tooth without enamel, and that line has started to rise as well, and nearly half of my lower teeth are not white and I am pretty sure that's the enamel wearing out.

I am REALLY worried. I can't eat, I can't think about anything else, and I am terrified of this. I am 25. Will my teeth last until I'm old? I live in Finland where the fillings are the color of your teeth, and last year my dentist recommended putting a filling to the front area of a lower tooth to protect it because the gum had withdrawn quite a bit, but I am really worried that those fillings will eventually become lighter if my teeth wear out even more.

I am going to the dentist next week to talk about this, but I am really worried, ashamed, and guilty. I am worried what they will think of me if I cry. I feel like I have ruined my teeth even though I have tried my best. I am losing hope. When I speak normally, you can only see pretty normal teeth, but when I smile, you can see the parts near the gum where the tooth is darker. Also the corners of each tooth are a bit darker, so that my teeth look very separate even though they are tightly together.

I'm sorry about my English. I feel suicidal and bad. I know I am pretty and many people say they really haven't noticed anything about my teeth, but I just really don't believe them. I can also see that a month ago I had an ok-looking white-ish smile, and out of nowhere, in a month, the situation got this bad, even though I ate normally and took care of my teeth.
 
Last edited:
Sevena

Sevena

Super Moderator
Joined
Jun 24, 2012
Messages
834
Location
UK
Hello, welcome to the forum! Glad to have you here. :)

So some fillings and one root canal at 25 is really not bad at all in terms of having work done. Of course, the ideal situation is zero work - but few of us manage that, what with modern diets being so heavy in sugar. In fact, I reflected on it just the other day when I was watching a movie, it's surprising how many movie actors have visible fillings that you can see when they yawn or laugh or scream on screen!

So, your dentist didn't warn you of this to tell you that your teeth are doomed. The fact that you heard it from a dentist is good in and of itself. Your dentist is on top of the situation, and if you follow their advice, you will be too. Also, I doubt you have lost a terrible amount of enamel in only a month. These processes tend to be very gradual. Examining in detail our own teeth all the time makes us very anxious about them, and sometimes we perceive changes when there are almost none. It's a trap that many of us fall into, obsessively checking our own teeth, becoming paranoid about them, comparing them to others'. It can do a lot of harm to think this way. Your teeth won't look exactly like your friends' or loved ones', because everyone has a different mouth. If they look a different colour, they may have been stained by coffee or cola (smoking and snus will stain them too, just in case you partake in those).

Have a Google to see what foods and drinks are worse for enamel. Soda, coffee, anything acidic, or anything very sugary and sticky, these can damage enamel. Drinking more sugary or acidic drinks through a straw can help (...if you can find a straw, these days). Using mouthwash, or just drinking and/or rinsing with water after snacks or meals can help. Don't brush more than the recommended amount.

Continue to see your dentist. I presume you have appointments with a hygienist? The person that gives your teeth a thorough cleaning? They are important for reducing receding gums, as they clean out any gunk that is trapped in between your teeth and gum.

Please don't beat yourself up. Your teeth didn't go from "pretty much fine" to "about to fall out" in the space of a month. It sounds like you have developed anxiety about it. Are you prone to getting anxious and over-worried about things in other areas of your life? Because that may be something to look at getting help for, separate from your dental issues.

It's going to be okay. I bet your smile look fine. :hug4:
 
M

MountainMama

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
2,172
I just wanted to say that it is great that you are going to the dentist next week! Well done on that. I bet it won’t be as bad as you think. My husband has had issues with his enamel all his life. His mom says it runs in the family. He had fillings in all his molars and a few root canals by age 25. His enamel is “soft”, plus he is a grinder and has worn his teeth down that way as well. He has most of his molars crowned now and he thinks his teeth look awful, because he thinks they are dark. Honestly, I don’t think they look that bad. I have always thought my teeth were very yellow, but when I got a crown my dentist said my teeth were very light on the chart they used. I think we always see our teeth as worse than they are.
 
T

Thephilsblogbar

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
672
Location
United Kingdom
I had fillings since I was eighteen (not many) but I have mainly an over crowding problem, and possible weak enamel, but bad teeth run on my mum side of the family (no idea how my sister has escaped she has good teeth)
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,879
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Hello A-95,

Wanted to say :welcome: toDCF community! We are glad you are here and sharing your story! You are not alone inyour struggles. I know sometimes it feels like it.. especially when dealing with shame and embarrassment of teeth, only speaking from experience. I know how it is to look at others teeth and think.. if only.... or to just wish you could be at peace with your teeth or whatever else you are dealing with.

"I am going to the dentist next week to talk about this, but I am really worried, ashamed, and guilty. I am worried what they will think of me if I cry. I feel like I have ruined my teeth even though I have tried my best. I am losing hope"

I'm glad you are going to talk to the dentist next week. Do you feel very comfortable with this dentist? sounds like you know them a bit. I know to us it is so deeply personal and emotional but to them they just want to help us and you'd be surprised how kind and helpful and compassionate some dentists can be.. I was really blessed to have one that really helped me through my dental fears and shame when I talked about it. I really hope this for you too. you can test things out little by little sharing a little more each time or even all , whatever you feel to do..

I'm glad you are here , you have a good community that will support you! You are doing alot to take care of yourself!!.
 
A

A_95

Junior member
Joined
Apr 30, 2020
Messages
14
Location
Finland
Hi everyone and thank you so much for your support. I still have 4 days until my dentist's appointment, and I feel like the situation is getting worse. I definitely can see my teeth getting even weaker and more yellow, even though I have eaten very neutral, soft foods and flossed + brushed after waiting for at least an hour after my meals in the morning and evening. I can see that one of my lower teeth (front) has even chipped a little bit, so not only the enamel is wearing off. Maybe this is me just over-analyzing.

Sevena, thank you for your message, really. I am not sure whether this has all happened in a month of if I just somehow unconsciously forgot to check my teeth and just noticed this now. However, I've done everything I know and can to look after my teeth and eaten normally, so I worry if I have some kind of disease. I don't have an appointment with a hygienist, but I hope my dentist will give me one. I am usually anxious, so that's why I thought first that maybe I am just overreacting. However, because of those darker areas in my front teeth, it almost looks that I'm missing teeth or have gaps between them. I don't understand how I came to this situation, and I feel like I will never accept that I look like this now.

MountainMama, thank you for sharing your and your husband's experiences. The worst thing is, my family has beautiful teeth and my sister is even a dental nurse. So the shame of my teeth is incredible. I wish I could start over. My mom saw the enamel loss in my front teeth when I asked her the other day, and encouraged me to go to the dentist again. I feel like I've ruined everything. I

Thephilsblogbar, thank you. I bet you have a beautiful smile. I wouldn't mind having yellow teeth or weak enamel, but mine almost looks like the enamel has chipped off at some points of my teeth, which I don't understand.

krlovesherkids777, thank you. I do know this dentist a little bit, but I don't know if I feel comfortable enough to talk to them about this, but I know I need to. I think she would understand. I am just not sure if I can handle whatever she will tell me on Thursday. What if she is shocked too? If you want to share, could you tell how did you approach this topic with your dentist? I feel really weird to even start.
 
T

Thephilsblogbar

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
672
Location
United Kingdom
Thanks my teeth would be okay if I did not having a overcrowding problem, and did not have this overbite. I was due to go to the dentist this week (I go every three months) but due to lockdown and the covid19 I don't know when my appointment will be, as the dental practice is only talking urgent calls from home.
 
A

A_95

Junior member
Joined
Apr 30, 2020
Messages
14
Location
Finland
Thanks my teeth would be okay if I did not having a overcrowding problem, and did not have this overbite. I was due to go to the dentist this week (I go every three months) but due to lockdown and the covid19 I don't know when my appointment will be, as the dental practice is only talking urgent calls from home.
I'm sorry to hear that you will miss your dentist's appointment. I have been told to go to the dentist once a year, so I usually go every summer. Do you think it would be a good idea to go more? Or do you go every 3 months because of your treatment?
 
T

Thephilsblogbar

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
672
Location
United Kingdom
I'm sorry to hear that you will miss your dentist's appointment. I have been told to go to the dentist once a year, so I usually go every summer. Do you think it would be a good idea to go more? Or do you go every 3 months because of your treatment?
I think my dentist likes to see me more often than usually, mainly because I have the overcrowding problem and get a build up of plaque (I supposed going more often helps catch small issues)

I think going to the dentist may help you more. but you need to ask your dentist should you go more often if you worried about the enamel,

I am nearly 40, it's only been the last 7 years I been going more often, the last dentist I had at the practice I saw every 6 months, and he tried to replace fillings very quickly.
 
A

A_95

Junior member
Joined
Apr 30, 2020
Messages
14
Location
Finland
I think my dentist likes to see me more often than usually, mainly because I have the overcrowding problem and get a build up of plaque (I supposed going more often helps catch small issues)

I think going to the dentist may help you more. but you need to ask your dentist should you go more often if you worried about the enamel,

I am nearly 40, it's only been the last 7 years I been going more often, the last dentist I had at the practice I saw every 6 months, and he tried to replace fillings very quickly.
You're right, I should ask my dentist whether I should go more often. This website has made me realise that maybe my dentists (recently I have visited 3 different dentists because of my root canal that was very difficult and painful) are not careful enough. For example, I have never even heard of replacing fillings or dental hygienist cleaning between your tooth and the gum that was mentioned earlier. I have only been told that because my gums have been withdrawn from my front-bottom teeth, they cannot be fixed anymore, and all I can do is stop it from going worse. Maybe my dentist is not careful enough or does not know about these procedures? She is the only dentist I have felt comfortable with. I live in a small town and some of the dentists I had to visit for my root canal problems were absolutely terrifying and expensive.
 
T

Thephilsblogbar

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
672
Location
United Kingdom
You're right, I should ask my dentist whether I should go more often. This website has made me realise that maybe my dentists (recently I have visited 3 different dentists because of my root canal that was very difficult and painful) are not careful enough. For example, I have never even heard of replacing fillings or dental hygienist cleaning between your tooth and the gum that was mentioned earlier. I have only been told that because my gums have been withdrawn from my front-bottom teeth, they cannot be fixed anymore, and all I can do is stop it from going worse. Maybe my dentist is not careful enough or does not know about these procedures? She is the only dentist I have felt comfortable with. I live in a small town and some of the dentists I had to visit for my root canal problems were absolutely terrifying and expensive.
The dental practice I go to, there is one I would not see (I had to see her twice and my dentist was away on holiday when it was my due appointment) she is a very good looking and she is very rough with the cleanings..
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,879
Location
Minneapolis, MN
A_95,

I know the last few days are the hardest to wait!! 😳😳😳..I know they are for me.

"I am just not sure if I can handle whatever she will tell me on Thursday. What if she is shocked too? If you want to share, could you tell how did you approach this topic with your dentist? I feel really weird to even start. "

I really hope she handles it very kindly and gracefully, to give you more peace and confidence in your dental situation and your relationship with her as well.. it really does boost trust when you put yourself outself out there in a really vulnerable place and share your fears..

For me thankfully my dentist really appreciated my trust and understood what it took me to tell him. I tested him out the first few times I saw him and have to say because he almost immediately put me to ease with his demeaner I think I started those tests quicker.. At the time I was going to therapy for anxiety.. and I thought.. what the heck .. I'm just going to try, I'm going to put it out there just tell him. I did it because he was intitally kind and easy going and had a great chairside manner to start.

The first time I told him I was scared of him dropping things down my throat.. (he was recementing a crown that fell off) he says. "me too".. and I had to chuckle and thought. omg he is funny did he seriously say that.. he then went to share how his mom was dental phobic and took a while for her to let him work on her , and him sharing about this was very endearing to me listening how he treated his mom who was also phobic.so that was good.

Then the 2nd time I told him how I was afraid of the local and it hurting and basically giving the assisatnt the death grip. which I never needed . didn't feel a thing.. he sat and explained to me ways he makes it painfree and any dentist can, this again just made me trust him more.

There were times I told him my teeth were the worst, I was afraid he would switch me to a new dentist, I was afraid I was totally annoying pt etc etc. he reassured me everytime. of every fear..

There were times I was so afraid of telling him these things especially as I got closer and came to value him even more. because it would be more of a loss. he never rejected me and only treated me kindly..

I really hope that as you step out sharing that you will be met the same as I was . very kindly..

One of my favorite sayings is "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. This is one of those times it really did...
 
A

A_95

Junior member
Joined
Apr 30, 2020
Messages
14
Location
Finland
The dental practice I go to, there is one I would not see (I had to see her twice and my dentist was away on holiday when it was my due appointment) she is a very good looking and she is very rough with the cleanings..
You're really lucky to have found this type of dentist. I live in a very small town so there's not many options, but so far I have liked my dentist but I question a little bit whether she really does everything that is needed.
 
A

A_95

Junior member
Joined
Apr 30, 2020
Messages
14
Location
Finland
For me thankfully my dentist really appreciated my trust and understood what it took me to tell him. I tested him out the first few times I saw him and have to say because he almost immediately put me to ease with his demeaner I think I started those tests quicker.. At the time I was going to therapy for anxiety.. and I thought.. what the heck .. I'm just going to try, I'm going to put it out there just tell him. I did it because he was intitally kind and easy going and had a great chairside manner to start.

The first time I told him I was scared of him dropping things down my throat.. (he was recementing a crown that fell off) he says. "me too".. and I had to chuckle and thought. omg he is funny did he seriously say that.. he then went to share how his mom was dental phobic and took a while for her to let him work on her , and him sharing about this was very endearing to me listening how he treated his mom who was also phobic.so that was good.

Then the 2nd time I told him how I was afraid of the local and it hurting and basically giving the assisatnt the death grip. which I never needed . didn't feel a thing.. he sat and explained to me ways he makes it painfree and any dentist can, this again just made me trust him more.

There were times I told him my teeth were the worst, I was afraid he would switch me to a new dentist, I was afraid I was totally annoying pt etc etc. he reassured me everytime. of every fear..

There were times I was so afraid of telling him these things especially as I got closer and came to value him even more. because it would be more of a loss. he never rejected me and only treated me kindly..

I really hope that as you step out sharing that you will be met the same as I was . very kindly..

One of my favorite sayings is "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. This is one of those times it really did...

Wow, what a dream dentist! And thank you for the lovely quote, it really gave me perspective. I've been trying to get help for my (possible) anxiety as well but find it very challenging where I live, it's not easy to get help here. But these messages are really making me think, what if I go ahead and tell my dentist as well. Because if my dentist does not appreciate me sharing how I feel about my teeth, at least then I know that this is not the right dentist for me. Thank you again for sharing your reassuring experience, it made me less worried about Thursday.
 
A

A_95

Junior member
Joined
Apr 30, 2020
Messages
14
Location
Finland
Hello everyone,

I just wanted to post an update of what happened at the dentist today, and I hope this could help anyone facing a similar situation. It was NOT my enamel wearing out, it was just plaque and calculus (as you guys already suggested)! Even though my teeth looked almost exactly like those teeth from google images when you search 'enamel loss', and matched every description of teeth that had enamel damage, it was not it. This has never happened to me, as I have a history of brushing my teeth too hard even. Two of my lower teeth where the gum had recessed however need to be covered with filling after my teeth have been cleaned, but I am fine with that, as it will be the color of my tooth.

I am still unaware of what caused this amount of plaque on my teeth suddenly. I will try to find out, but if anyone has any suggestions or past experiences, please do share if you want. Right now I am just relieved and happy that my enamel is still there and my teeth are okay.

And really thank you to everyone here who have selflessly helped me with my problem. This is really such an amazing place for people who have these fears. ❤
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,879
Location
Minneapolis, MN
A_95,

This is great to hear it was a relieving experience that now you know its not your enamel.. How did it go with sharing your concerns with your dentist? were they kind and receptive? honestly Google is totally NOT a dental phobics friend .. i used to look up things too and scare myself and come up with my own ideas based off what I saw.. when I told my Angel dentist he said "Kelly... you're cheating on me with Google? I can see your teeth, Google can't , it doesn't kknow all the details...".. after that it really made alot of sense and I've cut way down.. can't say I'm 100% perfect on that one.. but I'm not tempted nearly as much. :).. The dentist I described before and now.. I call him my angel dentist.. literally he just may be.. don't know where he is now.. somewhere in this world but I know the guy is from Heaven as far as dentists are concerned.. :)
 
A

A_95

Junior member
Joined
Apr 30, 2020
Messages
14
Location
Finland
Your dentist is really an angel !! Basically what happened when I entered the room was that I explained the situation about my enamel and that I was super worried about my teeth. I started crying almost immediately and she just told me that she understood, gave me a mirror, and said 'let's first look at your teeth together'. So we looked at them, and oh my god were they bad in the terrible dentist light. She started to do a very throughout examination of all my teeth and really took my concerns seriously (which really helped me that she really looked at all my teeth). Then she told me that it is not my enamel. She cleaned my teeth and really told me that I shouldn't worry and that there is nothing dangerous in my mouth. I think in my case it really helped me that she took a rational route and said 'well let's look' because it didn't make me feel too embarrassed that I totally overreacted.

This only just really confirms what you said, DON'T GOOGLE, because the enamel loss was the only match for my exact symptoms when I googled them. And it was not right at all!
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,720
So glad you got some good news, A_95! I guess sometimes two things that look exactly the same can be entirely different and only an expert can tell. I also love the way your dentist invited you to take a look. Looking together sounds so much more including and then simply the dentist taking a look. I would feel much more in charge with an invitation like that. What a lovely success story.:)
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,879
Location
Minneapolis, MN
A-95,

I totally agree with @Enarete , that is really a great way to put it Lets look together.. She sounds like she is worth giving a good shot.

"and really took my concerns seriously (which really helped me that she really looked at all my teeth). Then she told me that it is not my enamel. She cleaned my teeth and really told me that I shouldn't worry and that there is nothing dangerous in my mouth. "

I love that she really took your concerns seriously and seems really thorough also nice about it!

Super happy for you. I know its a journey of trust and is built little by little not overnight.. I love when our dentists prove Google wrong in a good way :grouphug:
 
A

A_95

Junior member
Joined
Apr 30, 2020
Messages
14
Location
Finland
Thank you for your answers !

This dentist certainly helped me feel better about my situation and help calm down my worst panic about my teeth. However, now I can see that after the relief for it not being my enamel, I have already developed new fears and worries about my teeth. The worst thing is not being sure if the concerns are real or not.

For example, I can sometimes feel the gums of my lower teeth sort of 'click' especially when I push my tongue against them. Now I am sure this is something serious, but when I mentioned my dentist about this, she just checked that my teeth are not moving and said that there's nothing to worry about. But I am still now sure that I have some illness, because how can that be normal... I still have a weak enamel (and I've had it since I was very young) and have yellowish teeth.

I have contacted a psychologist about my anxiety now and I will start seeing one next week (on Skype first). I feel really sad that some people have to deal with dental problems when in so many cases it isn't their fault anymore and we have all taken action to take care of our teeth. It's the worst kind of fear, and I wish this was more often talked about. Sorry about another rant, but I feel like this is so unfair and I am losing all my money to my teeth and I am worried that my teeth wont last until I'm older. I'm only 25 and I am terrified how my teeth will last. I really feel alone as everyone in my close family has perfect teeth and no one my age usually has to worry this much about their teeth. I have friends who don't even floss, they use a manual toothbrush and have perfect teeth. It's so unfair and I wish I could be so care-free.
 
Top