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Extremely anxious about the future of my teeth

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ElaineW93

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Joined
Sep 25, 2019
Messages
41
Location
UK
My situation is as it follow:
  • Up until three years ago (23) I never really brushed my teeth or took care of my mouth. I know I was an idiot.
  • Three years ago i ended up going to the dentist and had a whole bunch of filling.
  • Currently I am standing at about 9 fillings total (including the one I'll have next week), two of which were super deep and were almost going to be root canals (the decay was so near the pulp that it couldn't be excavated completely, so the doctor applied some sort of gel on the remaining decay and filled over it, it seems to have worked in these three years. Question 1 though: I assume if those fillings fall off a root canal will be absolutely necessary, right? No chance of filling again?)
  • Also, about 7 teeth show early tooth decay and are "under control", i've seen some of them and they seem a certain amount of deep, but they haven't progressed in these three years (question 2, will those eventually progress even if kept clean)
So what I'm really stressing about is the future of my teeth. I know I was a dumbass in my youth, but at 26 knowing that your teeth will be fucked forever because of that is honestly terrifying. I am afraid of all the money i'll have to spend to re-fill, crown and eventually what bridge? Implant? I don't even know that shit is super expensive, the filled teeth i have at the moment. Plus, with all the early decay on the other teeth I can't help but bing terrifyied that i'll end up needing dentures at a super early age even after spending a bunch of money on crown and stuff (like 30 or 40).
Question number 3: Are those fear plausible or am I over worrying

I am a transgender woman who is still far away from transition (because the Uk process for hormones is dumb) and the idea that my body is irreparably decaying before I even got it to a place where I did not loathe it, is harrowing and scary and sad.
For what is worth for the last three years I've been following most oral health guidelines. I had started eating sugary things again this last year (always at least swishing my mouth with water or mouthwash aftwerwards) but I guess that given that a year of that fucked up my mouth so much that I needed three more fillings, I guess i'll stop?

Sorry for the long post, I am extremely worried.
 
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ElaineW93

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Sep 25, 2019
Messages
41
Location
UK
The only thing my dentist was able to say to me when i presented my worries was to keep cleaning my teeth and to not snack, while acting like i shouldn't be asking questions, which was sort of hurtful.

I am genuinelly unable to sleep well if at all, since i've been told i had to get three more fillings bringing the total to 9, and have basically panicking since today when i've been reminded that 7 of my not yet filled tooth show signs of decay (i knew that number already but guess i forgot? I was convinced it was just a couple). I am literally writing this because i can't sleep, because as soon as I lay down i think about how the only thing in my future is dentist's bills and constant degradation of my teeth.

I honestly feel that at this point the standard reccomendations of brushing and watching my sugar intake can't really help anymore, aside from avoid the disaster to strike too early. I feel defeated.
 
BoxerMom

BoxerMom

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Jun 23, 2019
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Us
Sorry to hear about all the troubles you’re having. I can’t really answer any of your questions, but I’m well acquainted with that feeling of defeat. I’ve resigned myself to my fate, and I’m in a better place now.
 
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AshNaz

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Joined
Aug 23, 2019
Messages
43
Location
California
HI there -
My best advice for you, truly based on my past 5 months of continuous issues and pain with a tooth issue that I have had that is still not resolved, is.....please take one day at a time.
I have had a lifetime of dental and ortho issues and am experiencing a current issue which has had me worked up, stressed and depressed.
The way that, like BoxerMom, I have come to deal with this is to stop, breath and just take it one day at a time while following a path towards where you want to be.
The stress will cause you to sleep poorly and can start you to clench your jaw and/or grind your teeth, which can make things worse. I am learning to relax my jaw and lean into the fact that, while disappointing - I can deal with this, methodically and slowly.
I really wish you the best - you are in great company with this forum.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Dear Elaine :welcome:,

sorry to read how much you are worrying right now and particularly that you cannot sleep! It seems there is really a lot of going on in your imagination about how your teeth will end up.

Question1: No. Deep fillings is a thing dentists deal every day with, it doesn't mean you messed up more than other people who have fillings. The dentist has to remove all decay before placing the filling until all that remains is healthy structure. If at the end of the process he gets too close to the nerve, he uses this gel as a kind of shield betweeen the filling and the pulp. If this happens, they are obliqued to tell you "the filling was deep, there is a medication now, maybe the tooth will be fine, if not, it needs a root canal." This sentence is not to scare you or blame you but more a legal obligation in sense of how the procedure went. If the teeth have been fine since then, they will be fine now too. By the way, the pulp chamber gets smaller with age so at the age of 23 it can get reached by decay much quicker than at the age of 40. Right now the dentine layer between those fillings and your pulp is much thicker then it was then so if anything happens to the filling (white fillings can last for 10-15 years, silver even longer), you can get a new filling there again.

Question2: Take a look here. Tooth decay is a dynamic process and it's development is about the lack of balance between phases of mineralization and demineralization in your mouth. In that article you can find details and great advice. Spots under control mean there is no decay yet, but a demineralized spot is visible. If you go to the dentist regularly, there is no need to do anything about it, but looking at it every time and see whether it changed. It can stay like this for years and years.

Please, do not panic. The most people had a phase of not taking care of their teeth for some reasons and the most people have fillings. It doesn't mean your will lose your teeth. On the contrary - the fact you have a dentsits and attend regularly and take care of what you eat and how you care is a great thing and will help your teeth to stay healthy. By the way, eating sweets now and then doesn't mean you will need dentures in few years weither (that would be really bad news for the most of us, even dentists eat sweets!).

Last but not least, you should always feel supported and being taken seriously by your dentist. If you feel this is not the case, I can only encourage you to take a look around and find someone nice.

Hope this helped a bit to give you some peace and hope you will be able to get some sleep soon.

All the best wishes and keep us posted
 
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ElaineW93

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Sep 25, 2019
Messages
41
Location
UK
Thank you, that's helpful. And I know that most people have fillings. But, like, most people I know have like, a couple of fillings. Having 9 fillings and 7 teeth with starting decay at just 26 is scary as a number. Especially knowing that any solution you can apply to a teeth has a limited duration before a more expensive solution needs to be applied :\
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Thank you, that's helpful. And I know that most people have fillings. But, like, most people I know have like, a couple of fillings. Having 9 fillings and 7 teeth with starting decay at just 26 is scary as a number. Especially knowing that any solution you can apply to a teeth has a limited duration before a more expensive solution needs to be applied :\
Your post reminded me of a thread we had here in the past, take a look here.
 
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ElaineW93

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Sep 25, 2019
Messages
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UK
Your post reminded me of a thread we had here in the past, take a look here.
Thanks. What worries me is that anything i can find online says that composite fillings (all my fillings are composite), have a 7-10 years duration at best though? Some places estimating even lower.

Like, when I hear of long-lasting filling I imagine those are the amalgam ones.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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Hi Elaine :welcome:, have a look at this thread which is about composite fillings:

https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/forum/threads/afraid-of-rct-on-front-tooth.26394/

Most studies don't actually follow people until their fillings fail, but instead give failure rates after a set number of years, e.g. one study by Opdam (2010) showed a 15% failure rate for composite fillings at 12 years. A more recently published (2018) 29-year study showed a 71.4% survival rate of composite fillings at 29 years (https://doi.org/10.1177/0022034518788798 ). Some of those may well continue to last a lifetime. A lot depends on how well the fillings were done in the first place, and your own habits.

Google isn't always your friend when it comes to medical information (the quality of search results seems to really have gone downhill in recent times) :)!
 
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ElaineW93

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Sep 25, 2019
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UK
Another thing is that in the last three years, since the first batch of fillings, i have been pretty careful and started properly brushing two times a day and using mouthwash. So being told right now that I have three more teeth that need filling feels super defeating. Like it's inevitable, regardless of what I do, that my teeth will get worse.
 
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ElaineW93

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Sep 25, 2019
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UK
Also doesn't the fact that "under control" teeth currently have holes in them, like not holes deep enough that they need filling, but still holes, means that food will get stuck in them super easilyu and bring problems in the future?

Sorry for the multiple posts, my anxious brains is just racing thinking about this stuff,
 
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ElaineW93

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Sep 25, 2019
Messages
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UK
Question2: Take a look here. Tooth decay is a dynamic process and it's development is about the lack of balance between phases of mineralization and demineralization in your mouth. In that article you can find details and great advice. Spots under control mean there is no decay yet, but a demineralized spot is visible. If you go to the dentist regularly, there is no need to do anything about it, but looking at it every time and see whether it changed. It can stay like this for years and years.
The dentist showed me one of the teeth under control on the xray and it looked like a cavity, just smaller, not just deminerilaztion. In fact she thought it would have needed a filling, before noticing that that cavity hasn't progressed in the last couple of years.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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Another thing is that in the last three years, since the first batch of fillings, i have been pretty careful and started properly brushing two times a day and using mouthwash. So being told right now that I have three more teeth that need filling feels super defeating.
You could try adding flossing to your daily routine - this would remove the biofilm in between teeth (it's a common site for cavities to form) and below the gumline. For more info, see here: How to clean in between teeth.

Though the biggest factor is diet (or more precisely the frequency of fermentable carbohydrate consumption - the page that Enarete mentioned above explains it all :) ).

Do you think a second opinion might help give you more clarity and put your mind at rest?
 
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ElaineW93

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Sep 25, 2019
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Location
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You could try adding flossing to your daily routine - this would remove the biofilm in between teeth and below the gumline (for more info, see here: How to clean in between teeth).

Though the biggest factor is diet (or more precisely the frequency of fermentable carbohydrate consumption - the page that Enarete mentioned above explains it all :) ).
Fermentable carbohyidrate? Like pasta and stuff?

Is eating them just during meals fine?

I don't think I snack on those a lot, but also i eat pasta or bread and stuff almost every meal... It would be really difficult for me to stop eating them during meals honestly

Do you think a second opinion might help give you more clarity and put your mind at rest?
Not sure, honestly most of my worries comes from myself not from my doctor.
 
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ElaineW93

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Sep 25, 2019
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UK
You could try adding flossing to your daily routine - this would remove the biofilm in between teeth (it's a common site for cavities to form) and below the gumline. For more info, see here: How to clean in between teeth.

Though the biggest factor is diet (or more precisely the frequency of fermentable carbohydrate consumption - the page that Enarete mentioned above explains it all :) ).

Do you think a second opinion might help give you more clarity and put your mind at rest?
Also I already flossed. Once a day generally. Should i do it after every meal? How does the stuff in between teeth goes away after the meals i don't floss if i should do it once a day?
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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Of course you can eat carbohydrates during mealtimes :) - the issue arises when they are consumed too many times each day (without enough of a gap in between), which prevents the process of remineralisation to take place.

Flossing once a day is fine (you hadn't mentioned it so I thought I'd throw it in as an idea).

Do you take any medications or do you have any medical condition which could be causing dry mouth?
 
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ElaineW93

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Sep 25, 2019
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Of course you can eat carbohydrates during mealtimes :) - the issue arises when they are consumed too many times each day (without enough of a gap in between), which prevents the process of remineralisation to take place.

Flossing once a day is fine (you hadn't mentioned it so I thought I'd throw it in as an idea).

Do you take any medications or do you have any medical condition which could be causing dry mouth?
Only medication i take is Vitamin D supplements, but they do not cause dry mouth or anything...

Also should I brush morning (before breakfast) and night (after dinner, just before sleep), or just after every meal?

I hear a lot of contrasting information about that. I do the former and just use mouthwash after every meal, but how do the teeth remineralize after breakfast and lunch if i don't brush afterwards?
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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As far as I understand, they are remineralised by your saliva. It does sound as if you're doing all the right things... if you had a good run while you weren't eating sugary things, then that might be your best bet.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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Also make sure that you just spit out and don't rinse after brushing (and that you use a toothpaste containing fluoride).

You could also ask your dentist about prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste.
 
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ElaineW93

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Sep 25, 2019
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UK
Also make sure that you just spit out and don't rinse after brushing (and that you use a toothpaste containing fluoride).

You could also ask your dentist about prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste.
Yes I already do that.

I used prescription strenght toothpaste for the three months after the first bunch of fillings and now i'll be using it for the next three months.

Should I just ask for it to be prescribed to me as my regular toothpastes? Are there any side effects to just use a 5000ppm toothpaste regularly forever?
 
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