Exteme anxiety of enamel loss

Enarete

Enarete

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Hi A_95,

what you just described is not unusual. You had anxiety about a dental problem, got reassurance, felt happy for a while and now the anxiety is back. It can't be back with exactly the same problem as you got the dentists reassurance and the dentist must know it better, so your mind got fixated on another area that doesn't feel like you think it should. You mentioned that you have been thinking about your teeth very often in the past so it is not suprising that your anxiety didn't stop just because a dentist reassures you.

I see the feelings of guilt and regret and it seems that the part with weak enamel concerns you a lot. The good new is that the fact you worry about something doesn't make it more likely for it to happen. Having a dentist and attending regularly in combination with a good home care, which you both do, is all you can do to keep your teeth healthy. The rest is more about taking care of your feelings and thoughts to find a way to enjoy life without feeling permanently preoccupied with any changes in your mouth.

Not everything different you notice in your mouth (in fact very few things) means something bad, our bodies are ever changing and do things all the time. It only gets difficult if we are watching it all too closely and panic whenever there is something happening. Because there is something happening all the time..

Well done on finding a psychologist, hope they will be the right fit for you and will help you to take care of this. Do keep us posted :grouphug:
 
A

A_95

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Thank you, that was so well said.

I think teeth are a 'perfect' fixation point for anxious people because once you see a change, you cannot reverse it anymore. It's not like you gain weight that you can lose again, but once you lose your teeth you cannot go back anymore. I think that is what scares me.

But I have to definitely learn how to stop comparing my teeth to other peoples' teeth and, like you said, try to allow myself to enjoy life without these obsessive thoughts.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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A_95..

So get the comparing teeth to other.. oh how I get that..I know for me at 30 I thought I was pretty hopeless but dentists have been able to help alot more than I thought over time. which is an amazing thing.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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I get the comparing to other people's teeth and it's probably a hard thing to unlearn, but the fact is this: you have no idea what other people have in their mouths. In the dental practice I worked at so many new patients would tell me how awful their teeth were and how embarrassed they were and I wouldn't see anything wrong, until we did x-rays. Oh and not to speak about the teeth of my colleague nurses. And about all the people around me that suddenly started to share about their dentures which I had no idea they had.
You only see few front teeth when people speak and even there the most part is under your lips not visible most of the time. You only compare your teeth to what other's teeth look like and the point of any restoration, be it crowns, fillings or even dentures is to look like teeth so that nobody would notice.
 
A

A_95

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Thank you for making me feel better. It's true that many people have had their teeth corrected and they can look very natural. I'm just worried about what is 'normal' in my age and how I can maintain my teeth until old age. For example with my gum recession, it just keeps going worse no matter how hard I try to follow the guidance from my dentist and dental hygienist. What if I get / have peridontitis? I still hear the small clicking on my teeth sometimes when I push them with my tongue or eat (both upper and lower teeth). Sometimes I also get a weird feeling in a tooth that recently went through a root canal treatment and I wonder if everything is alright. I wonder if I should go back to the dentist again, even though I just was in the checkup. Recently I've been having dreams about my teeth for at least a week straight, which makes this whole tooth anxiety even worse.
 
Sevena

Sevena

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Tooth anxiety can definitely affect things like "weird feelings in teeth" or "clicking sounds". The truth is that it's common to feel some sort of sensation in a tooth that has been worked on, and teeth can shift like a tiny fraction of a milimeter, which can also affect any teeny spit bubbles around our gum, upon pressure. Many of these sensations are normal and common, but when you have dental anxiety, you're hyper-focusing on every single sensation inside your mouth.

There is no "normal". Perfectly attractive "movie-star" teeth can have hidden problems, and more crooked, discoloured teeth, with higher gum lines, can be perfectly healthy. Sometimes a second opinion at another dentist is worth it - but if you do get one, and they also say that everything is okay, you have to listen to them! 😛

I had all my teeth extracted at age 25 (don't worry, my teeth were in a very bad state to get that far). I have dentures now, and it's 5 years later. It's fine! But sometimes I get the odd "ache" feeling, or a strange sensation, where my teeth used to be! My gums are healthy, the bone is healthy, I get my check-ups! But sometimes it happens anyway! I just dismiss it - if the feeling doesn't go away, then I know it's time to contact the dentist. But it usually does. We have a lot of nerves in our mouth and facial area, and they can trigger strange sensations even if nothing is wrong.
 
A

A_95

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Tooth anxiety can definitely affect things like "weird feelings in teeth" or "clicking sounds". The truth is that it's common to feel some sort of sensation in a tooth that has been worked on, and teeth can shift like a tiny fraction of a milimeter, which can also affect any teeny spit bubbles around our gum, upon pressure. Many of these sensations are normal and common, but when you have dental anxiety, you're hyper-focusing on every single sensation inside your mouth.

There is no "normal". Perfectly attractive "movie-star" teeth can have hidden problems, and more crooked, discoloured teeth, with higher gum lines, can be perfectly healthy. Sometimes a second opinion at another dentist is worth it - but if you do get one, and they also say that everything is okay, you have to listen to them! 😛

I had all my teeth extracted at age 25 (don't worry, my teeth were in a very bad state to get that far). I have dentures now, and it's 5 years later. It's fine! But sometimes I get the odd "ache" feeling, or a strange sensation, where my teeth used to be! My gums are healthy, the bone is healthy, I get my check-ups! But sometimes it happens anyway! I just dismiss it - if the feeling doesn't go away, then I know it's time to contact the dentist. But it usually does. We have a lot of nerves in our mouth and facial area, and they can trigger strange sensations even if nothing is wrong.


Thank you for your message. I feel like my teeth have become an obsession at this point but it's really expensive to get therapy in where I live (I tried but couldn't afford it). But this chat has helped me a lot. I feel like even though I obsess over my teeth I always have something wrong in my mouth when I go to the dentist and nothing works. It's unfair. But I hope that some day I'll accept my teeth.
 
Sevena

Sevena

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Thank you for your message. I feel like my teeth have become an obsession at this point but it's really expensive to get therapy in where I live (I tried but couldn't afford it). But this chat has helped me a lot. I feel like even though I obsess over my teeth I always have something wrong in my mouth when I go to the dentist and nothing works. It's unfair. But I hope that some day I'll accept my teeth.

I'm sorry. Therapy is expensive here too. I was recently researching online therapy options for where I live (Covid making IRL difficult), and it was over $200 a session. I really don't have that much money to spend. There are some at-home things you can try to help ease the burden. Try googling "at home cognitive therapy exercises", "at home therapy for phobias", and "home therapies for anxiety", things like that. It's not like we can cure ourselves of anything, but the internet does have some good tools for reducing anxiety. So you could try find mindfulness or other techniques for soothing when you're feeling especially worried about your teeth. Also, if local therapists have switched to online in the wake of the virus, they may charge much less, so do try your hardest to look around! Some therapists will offer reduced rates based on your income.

Please take care, and be kind to yourself.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Speaking of therapy , really great tips sevena! I used to too go to therapy once a week for 4 years and for 2 of those years dental was talked about alot and it really tied into my trauma and abuse I experienced. well now I can't afford it either, quite in January. But There is an online called Betterhelp.com I think its pretty much worldwide access with financial aid possibility it costs me about 1/4 of what my therapist charges . and you can go week by week when you can afford it if you want thats what I do. I got this lovely gal that is very intuned to body/mind/emotional and lets me talk dental as much as I want (my other therapist didn't seem to get it as much) but she really gets it and is quite helpful. Now they have hundreds if not thousands of therapists so not all are created equal but if you don't like one you can switch. It might be a good affordable option for some ? I know it is for me :). Reading has always helped me too, the self help type books :)
 
A

A_95

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Hi again,

I am still trying to find affordable therapy but realised that my tooth may just actually be a real problem. I have been visiting another dentist because of my root canal treatment and I asked him about my tooth erosion. He did say that my concerns are real and that I do have some tooth erosion. I asked him about why this could be, because I really feel like it has gone worse now that I've been extra careful about what I eat and literally even stopped eating tomatoes because my teeth are becoming more and more seen-through. I do not drink sodas, sparkling waters, juices and I don't eat citrus fruits. I clean my teeth very strictly with floss, pro-enamel toothpaste, electric toothbrush and fluoride mouthwash. I have no more than 5 acid attacks per day, after which I always eat xylitol gum for five minutes. I never stray from this routine - I take my dental products everywhere with me. He said to just continue like this because if the erosion gets really bad, he can put white plastic fillings to the sides of my teeth to cover the erosion (I hope this is understandable, my English is not the best). He said that I should be worried if food (such as raspberry seeds) starts to get stuck to little ''holes'' on my teeth.

Both of the dentists I've visited have said the usual stuff (stop drinking soda etc) but none of them were concerned if I may have some health condition like acid reflux or anything. I am really frustrated and terrified that, because it is my responsibility to check how fast the erosion proceeds, that I don't know if it has gone worse just now or is this the old erosion. I am really really scared that I will loose my teeth and am terrified because I don't think people my age have teeth that look like this. Because my thoughts about my teeth occupy my mind 24/7, I showed my teeth to two of my friends because I couldn't stop crying when we were trying to have a nice relaxing weekend. They said my teeth look normal and that they can't see anything terrible in my teeth. But when I think about it, they most likely said it so that they would not be rude. The tips of my teeth are seen-through and some of them have chipped. Will my dentist tell me early enough if I may have some health-condition that is causing this? I am terrified to eat and live normally. I've always hated my teeth but I am really not sure if they have always been like this or have I somehow made them this bad, because I haven't really taken pictures of my teeth before. I cannot post a picture here because I am scared that my problem would actually be visible.

My friend advised me to call my dentist just for the millionth time and just ask if there is still something I could do, but I am worried because I really don't know if this is just anxiety or a real problem, and I am so incredibly ashamed.
 
M

MountainMama

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My teeth are translucent at the tips, and I thought that was normal? My husband has pretty bad enamel erosion and has since he was a kid. Something about the water quality when he was a kid...he had a lot of fillings before he was 18. He has always been told to use a high fluoride toothpaste that is for sensitive teeth, as his are very sensitive as well.

If you want an honest opinion but are afraid to post pictures, maybe try messaging one of the dentists on here directly with some pictures. They could probably give you an idea of what you are dealing with.
 
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