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Fine until 20 then avoided until 43! I've been very silly...

  • Thread starter Ilovemydentistreally
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Ilovemydentistreally

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Hi any and all,
I just joined this forum and am just back under the good care of a brilliant dentist. Avoidance for 23 years due to anxiety and then shame that I had let my mouth go to ruin. But so glad now that I have started the journey back to dental health. I hope to chew a decent meal soon, instead of nibbling on my main meal when the rest of the family are finishing their dessert. lol.

I'm really ashamed to say how bad I got with my mouth care. 2 home wisdom tooth-extractions and filing down jagged, broken teeth until they were, some of them, under the actual gum line! I just kept burying my head in the sand. I don't actually know what I was thinking. It still exasperates me!

The fear is very much still there. I even need to use diazepam to leave the house most days and am addicted to it but also fairly tolerant to many of its original effects. And I have been using over double my regular dose to make each appointment so far. Of course this cannot continue indefinitely as I really need to get off the medication soon. I am open to any small tips that people have to offer on how to cope with the anxiety. But I am aware this has be my journey, ultimately.

Anyway, 4 appointments since October and weekly ones lined up for the rest of this year at least. I am fearful yet relieved to have begun. So very grateful for a gentle and non-judgemental dentist too. It really is the crucial factor.

One plus side to this story is that I have 3 kids who all take their dental care very seriously. Another, I guess, is that my diet has had to improve over the years to avoid total damage. It is some compensation at least...

Thank-you to anyone who is listening. I hope not to bore and don't really see how I can possibly assure or inspire anyone. But I do want to say, it does appear that it is never too late and none of us should give up. (Getting a little sore now as the novocaine wears off and I think I may manage a small snack...of something very soft!) Good night.
 
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RosiePosie

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Hi there, I am new too and have yet to pluck up the courage to see a dentist so I just wanted to say I think you are so very brave and will be an inspiration to many including me so well done and be proud of yourself 😊👍
 
BoxerMom

BoxerMom

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Yes, ultimately it is our own journey, and we have to determine how fast or slow we can go. Congrats on your way back to good health and meals! I can’t imagine how hard that must have been to remove your wisdom teeth yourself, let alone file the others down, but I know exactly how you feel. I’ve found that I had to forgive myself for what I let happen to be able to move forward, and some days I forget that. But we cannot change the past, only our future. I’m much better than I was 4 months ago, and so happy I forced myself to go to that first appointment.
 
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Ilovemydentistreally

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Hi RosiePosie, and thanks! But I'm not really all that brave. Just feeling a little braver than I was..
I do really think dentistry has changed so much though. They really seem to understand much more. I even tried tentatively emailing them first, just to get some info, but without committing to anything. Still I didn't go for another 10 months or so. Eventually it was a massive, scary abscess that pushed me into going. I used get them often and would suck a teabag until they went away. lol!! I feel like a right div now though. They can fix this kind of stuff so quickly and easily. In fact it's like they want to... I truly thought I would be unwelcome, having so much damage to fix, but it's nothing they haven't dealt with before. Nothing has moved too fast for my liking and the dentist is clearly explaining everything she is about to do. I don't feel pressured like I was sure I would. Still a bit embarrassed though, but that is not that bad a thing maybe. I'm sure going to do what I'm advised now and hope to be a "good patient".
Hopefully, you can take some reassurance from my story so far. I wish you the best of luck. :)
 
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Ilovemydentistreally

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Thanks, BoxerMom. Congratulations to you too!
Umm, yeah.. Home dentistry... I really don't recommend it!! What was I thinking?
Anyway, you are correct, that is in the past now. Onwards we go. Live and learn etc.
I'm sitting eating a nice black pudding roll. I don't know if you get this over the pond. (Or if you would even want it... lol). It is good to eat without the constant pain though. Oh, yes it is. Such a relief. :) I am a happy person today. Nom, nom, nom. Tasty...
 
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RosiePosie

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Thank you so much for your good luck wishes
I lovemydentistreally 😊 and believe me you are very brave!!! A lot of people have said that dentistry has changed so much like you said. I haven’t been for over 30 years I am ashamed to say 😱😥 after a traumatic time when I was younger so it’s really reassuring to know it has changed and also that you felt they wanted to help you and they can fix the stuff easily. You sound like you will be a fab patient to me from now on 😊👍. You made me laugh when you said you felt a div lol as we say that too, are you in the north of England like me? hope you enjoyed your black pudding roll - well deserved I say 😍 xx
 
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Spider

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yay, you started a journal!! You may not feel brave, but we all see you as incredibly brave for jumping right in and having done 4 appointments already (only since October!) and more lined up! Your dentist sounds amazing. I've always wondered if online reviews have been responsible for shifting the attitude of dentistry.

As for coping with anxiety, I found that my anxiety lessens when I am very open and honest with my dentist. They always start with some small talk like "how are you?" and I always make sure to tell them how I really feel instead of pretending that I'm okay. I'll tell them that I've been incredibly worried about this appointment or that I've contemplated cancelling it several times, etc. I think as people with anxiety, we think that we look anxious, but we actually do a good job of covering it up. If they know that I'm on the verge of a panic attack, it clears the air (so I don't have to put on a brave face), and it also them to be more attentive to my needs.
 
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Ilovemydentistreally

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Hi RosiePosie,
Yes, I really can't believe how different dentists' attitudes are now. To be fair though, when I went last time, at age 20, that dentist was also great. My fears/phobia stem from childhood. At that age you really don't get a say. Just do what you're told, right? I had a small mouth, or something, so the dentist back then decided to remove 1 tooth from each back corner. This was to make space for when my wisdom teeth came in at later date. Makes perfect sense now, of course. But I got gassed right under, reacted badly and bled for days. It just kind of scarred me. Recently though, I've had 2 remaining wisdoms out (the 2 that I hadn't removed myself...) plus 6 root remnants that I had filed down after they broke. Sounds like a lot, yes? But, no, it was so easy and quick. It was done at a pace that I didn't mind and I didn't need to be gassed, just a jab or two. Really simple and really quick. Also, last week (4 root extractions in 1 appointment!) I didn't need even a paracetamol once the novocaine wore off. It was a bit hard trying to chew, but that's fine for a few days. The gums generally heal quickly and I'm now able to chew nicely. It's all good, honestly. Please believe me, they (dentists) find this as easy as anything. I will be getting some dentures soon to really help, but I'm not bothered about that. Truthfully, I thought it would be a full set of top and bottom falsers, so having just a few is sort of a bonus that I dared not hope for.
Indeed I really do feel silly for waiting so long now. A right div, as I said. lol. No, I'm a bit more North than you. Sunny Scotland. :) I've picked up many a turn of phrase from folks all over. I would say my accent is Scottish but language is fairly neutral. Hanging about on t'internet helps do that! :D
 
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Ilovemydentistreally

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Spider, hi. Yeah, I thought I'd get fully onboard and started my own little story. You helped me decide. :)
I know what you mean about the faceless anxiety. I think I look permanently bewildered and worse. Yet most people say that I'm really laid back and chilled out to look at. Years of practice, maybe? It is best to be honest, I definitely agree. It does smooth the path somewhat.
My dentist is very funny, as well as competent. When she was talking to me this week, about doing 4 root extractions last week, she said she was only going to do 2, but felt brave so just went for the 4. lol!! (She said I was brave too though!) The humour does help. I'm very grateful for that kind of treatment.
So, yes, still lots to do and I will still tend towards anxiety before each appointment but with professionals like these, there is so much less to worry about.
Anyway, getting near my bedtime and I am allowed to brush my teeth now so I'm going to brush them gently and carefully until they squeak. :)
 
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RosiePosie

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I lovemy dentist really thank you for your reply Sorry I’m only just replying. I hope it’s not too cold in Scotland. It’s freezing here in Cheshire 🥶🥶🥶. You make it all sound so easy and you really do sound so brave. when are you getting your dentures? I hope you don’t have to wait too long. your childhood experiences sound like mine.. and it really does scar you 😔. It doesn’t sound like you‘re scared at all now.. I am so pleased for you. Keep posting - reading your posts and those from the other brave people really help a scaredy cat like me 😊👍
 
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Ilovemydentistreally

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Haha RosiePosie! Scaredy cat? Yes, me too, definitely. Okay, little update...
At the weekend, I went out with the family, a bit of hillwalking. (Drag the kids off the Playstations once in a while, you know?) It was a cold day indeed and an early start. Once we were a bit higher up, the wind was chilly too. On the way up, all was fine, and I'm still as fit as the younglings! Stopped for a couple of soft, egg rolls at the top then ate an apple on the way down. I'm not sure if the apple was too much too soon or if it was the cold but, by the time we got down, all 6 sites where I've had recent extractions were pretty painful. They hadn't really troubled me until then so I wasn't carrying any paracetamol. It was not nice at all. :( I tried to ignore it and remain cheerful but it was sooo sore. I ended up walking with my mouth tightly clamped shut and got very tense. Anyway, it was a few miles to get back to the carpark and our hunger grew. There is a tiny but superb café there and I ordered some tasty beef goulash. I did enjoy it but struggled to eat it as I felt like my gums were aching all over. Even my whole face felt sore. I didn't bother with a cake but that has been my habit for ages now, so no big deal. It just frightened me because I thought I had escaped any real pain.
That was Saturday and I have only eaten soft stuff since. (And no apples!!) My gums have quietened down again but I'm still wary, for now.
On Wednesday I am due to get my first dentures and I'm a little unnerved about this. I don't expect pain but I know it's going to feel strange trying to get used to them and learn to accept the new "furniture" in my mouth. I am trying not to think to much about it and looking on the bright side as much as possible. At least I won't be having to chew with gums that haven't properly healed yet! I may still have to chew carefully as I get accustomed to the dentures though.
But the next photo of me smiling at the summit of a hill won't be all "gappy". :D This is another thing that I look forward to.
So I guess my tips are, to anyone with toothache or gum ache, avoid apples and extreme cold!
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Ilovemydentistreally,

Not sure how I managed to miss this post until now.. but love it!! I've seen some of your other posting and you have a great and positive attitude that is really encouraging despite being through alot!!

I can almost feel the pain as you describe coming down that hill.. ouch..

You are definately a very brave person and inspiring!! Thank you for sharing your story... Hope everything goes well with getting your dentures.. :).

I think you are really right too it makes all the difference to have a really kind nonjudgemental dentist!!
 
R

RosiePosie

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Hello Ilovemydentistreally,

So sorry to hear about your pain at the weekend on your hike. Sounds to me like a combination of eating an apple and the cold set it off.. 🥶 hope you haven’t been troubled since. My husband loves hiking too and does a lot in Wales and the Lake District. He has a thing called a buff that he puts around his mouth when it’s cold (not because of his teeth - he’s got lovely gnashers unlike me 😂) but to keep the cold out..

Just wanted to wish you well tomorrow for your denture appointment. I hope they will soon be comfortable and you will soon be dazzling on your summit photos like Donny Osmond (showing My age now haha!!). I really think I need dentures too and am hoping like you for partials but I’m trying not to think about it too much at the moment. My friend at work has just had some on the bottom and she was in work the next day and they look so so good I keep looking at them.. she had a few teethong problems (sorry) and had to get them trimmed but they look bloody amazing and she is eating well.

look forward to your update - good luck!!!
 
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Ilovemydentistreally

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Thanks RosiePosie. I will hopefully update tomorrow.

Oh, and it must have been the cold because I managed an apple today. (Yummy, I've missed apples so much!) I had looked for a scarf or something to wrap round my neck and face but I've put that stuff away in March and can't recall where. Haha! Next time I'll be more organized.

Yes, I really haven't asked many questions about the dentures and because I have used diazepam more, recently, I can't remember what the plan is.. I'm sure there will be an initial fitting and they may well not be right first time. I also seem to maybe recall that the dentist said it takes the lab folk 2 weeks to make them from the mould she took last Wednesday. Maybe tomorrow is just a temporary arrangement and there is no real expectation they will fit perfectly? I don't know. Should really write this stuff down when I'm told, before the amnesia happens. I'm hoping not to take meds tomorrow so I'll probably be a bit more nervous (I am right now anyway!) and hence I'll be asking loads of questions. She might stick me with the needle just to shut me up. :)
 
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RosiePosie

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Whatever happens tomorrow I am sure you will take it in your stride and be calm and brave and inspire all your pals on here 😊👍

From what I have read I think you get temporary ones and then permanents at a later date.. I could go on mastermind with all the reading I am doing but like you forget things I am told 😂 or have selective amnesia 🙄

Wishing you well tomorrow and you will soon be munching as many apples as your heart desires 😍
 
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Ilovemydentistreally

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Just a quick update..
I was indeed nervous today and, accordingly, full of questions about dentures and how to learn to cope with them. All my questions were answered or will be explained in depth as the time comes. All good and reassuring. :)
Today was just another taking of a mould, as my gums are changing shape as they heal. Also it was time to choose the exact colour that the dentures will be. Truthfully I don't have the best eye for fine detail so really just agreed with the dentist's choice. I am sure the colour looked a fine match to me though. Again, all good.
So, no dentures as yet, but the gums are slowly, surely healing and today was really a brief appointment with no numbing so I could tuck into my evening meal without fear of dribbling!! All in all, a pleasant experience and it kind of helps that the momentum is continued. It reinforces the newly instilled "non-fear". I am grateful, as always. :)
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Ilovemydentistreally.

What a great update . sounds like they answer everything as you ask. So glad you are ask I g the questions too. I find that its hard to ask questions sometimes. Great job! I 100% agree positive momentum built up is so important ! I hope they picked a lovely color for you! When do you go next?
 
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Ilovemydentistreally

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I have another "easy" appointment in one week, then unless there are cancellations, nothing more until January 8th. So a bit of a break maybe, in the proceedings, but it will be a good time for my gums to get healing. I will be careful eating over the festive period though. Not that I'm not going to eat well, but I will enjoy differently now. Certainly won't be eating much in the way of chocolate (though I do love an occasional bit of the dark stuff...) But I am going to make the effort to avoid too many cakes and desserts. Though some delicious Christmas-time treats are an absolute must! :D
 
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NETWizz

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Nothing that happens at the dentist will even come close to as scary or painful as DIY dentistry.
 
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Ilovemydentistreally

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NETWizz, rest assured. Lesson learned, albeit the hard way. Not something I'd ever recommend. :(
From now on, I'll be leaving it to the professionals. It was just very extreme avoidance. I am different now.. :)
 
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