• 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!

How much dental work is "normal" for my age and how can I stop further decay?

rocklover

rocklover

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2010
Messages
89
Location
Devon, UK
How much dental work is "normal" for my age and how can I stop further decay?

I went to the dentist today after having toothache in a tooth with an old filling and it looks like I will probably need a root canal done, I also need a small filling in a top tooth on the same side. I haven't even had the other side of my mouth checked yet as this was an emergency appt.

Ok, so I am not looking forward to the work being done (although the dentist wants to hold off on the root canal and pack the tooth with a dressing instead at this point), but the reason I am upset is that after this new filling is done I will have had 7 teeth filled and I am only 36!

Is this amount of work normal? The main reason that I have these cavities is that mjy teeth are very tightloy packed together and I find it difficult to floss well, my dentist agreed this was a problem for me as my mouth is overcrowed apparently. She also said I need to watch my diet, which I know was awful last year when I was pregnant, too much sugar and fizzy drinks, so I really need to cut as much sugar out as possible.

However, I have no idea what foods are "safe" to eat and what I can substitue my current sugary snacks with. Also, what can I do to ensure I floss well when my teeth have such small spaces between them? Any advice would be gratefully received as i thought I was taking good care of my teeth but the evidence suggests otherwise and I am rather upset to be honest. In fact, I'm kind of nervous to eat anything at the moment as my mouth seems to be a ticking bomb. :(

Oh and one more question, I have thin black lines between some of my molars. Does this always mean cavities or can they just be stains? So very, very worried, not sure how I am going to wait til next Thursday for treatment and the rest of my check-up.
 
Last edited:
S

SapphireGirl

Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
40
Re: How much dental work is "normal" for my age and how can I stop further decay?

Well I am 25 and have had 5 fillings and 2 root canals and I don't consider my teeth appalling. They aren't perfect obviously but you wouldn't know just by looking that I had had all that work done.
Like you, my root canals were caused by old fillings breaking. Don't worry about the root canals. I got through mine just fine, they aren't painful-uncomfortable yes but not painful.
As for the black marks it could just be tartar build up (I have the same and this is what the dentist said).
Try not to panic so much. The work needs to be done and you will feel better for it.
I guarantee you that there are many 36 year olds who have had far more then you have had done.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,170
Re: How much dental work is "normal" for my age and how can I stop further decay?

According to the 2009 Adult Dental Health survey (UK), this is about the average for your age group (maybe slightly lower than the average because you have no missing teeth) :). So yeah, this is "normal" for your age.

The black lines are most likely to be stains, but ask your dentist if you're worried about them!

You can find some tips for preventing tooth decay on this page:

http://www.dentalfearcentral.org/faq/tooth-decay/
 
rocklover

rocklover

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2010
Messages
89
Location
Devon, UK
Re: How much dental work is "normal" for my age and how can I stop further decay?

Thank you so much for your replies, it has reassured me somewhat about things. I am just hoping that when she finishes my check-up she won't find anything that needs doing on the right side of my mouth.

I have already taken action and have bought a very slim floss which I managed to use on all my teeth last night and I have bought a good, non alcohol mouth wash. I have also upped my teeth cleaning to three times a day and I am avoiding sugar as much as possible, in fact I intend to not eat any before my appt next Thursday just so things don't get worse.

My dentist is really lovely and around my age, possibly slightly younger and she knows I'm nervous about dental work. She has told me she is going to hold off on the root canal and just drill away the decay and then pack the tooth with dressing, I don't really understand why she is doing this instead of the root canal straight away. Will I be able to eat on it when it has settled and how long is a fix like this supposed to last?
 
brit

brit

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
6,963
Location
In My Dental Happy Place
Re: How much dental work is "normal" for my age and how can I stop further decay?

Remember it's not really how much sugar you eat but how often your teeth are bathed in it that matters. You do not need to cut it out completely.
Brushing 3 times a day is also abrasive to your gums potentially, twice a day is sufficient. Flossing once a day is ideal and well worth the effort.
 
rocklover

rocklover

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2010
Messages
89
Location
Devon, UK
Re: How much dental work is "normal" for my age and how can I stop further decay?

I know it could be abrasive to brush that often, but I only ever use soft bristles and my gums very rarely bleed. Some dentists recommend brushing three times a day and also after snacks, why does dental advice vary so greatly? It can get quite confusing as to what is right and what is unecessary.

For some reason I am now terrified to eat just in case I have cavities on the right side, I cannot chew on the left at the moment so my right hand teeth are taking the brunt of all the food I eat. I know I'm being completely irrational, but I am totally floored by needing a root canal because I thought I was taking such good care of my teeth. I will be mortified if I need more than this root canal and small filling the dentist has recommended already.
 
rocklover

rocklover

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2010
Messages
89
Location
Devon, UK
Re: How much dental work is "normal" for my age and how can I stop further decay?

I am getting extremely stressed when I am eating as I have to eat on the right side of my mouth. As I don't yet know what needs to be done on this side yet I am literally terrified when I eat anything in case I make things really bad before my appt next Thursday.

There is no reason to think the worst as I have no tooth pain, however the little black lines I have seen between my teeth on this side have freaked me out. I have not eaten any sugar since Thursday, I am only drinking water or milk (occaisionally as too much dairy can upset my ibs), I have only eaten savoury foods, but not a very high quantity so I am hungry.

I made a beautiful chocolate cake with chocolate fudge icing to celebrate the royal wedding and I couldn't eat it because it just looks like poison to me. I'm also worried about my daughter's teeth too (even though they were fine at her last check up), she has a check up next week and I'm worried for her as she does eat sugar, like all kids. In fact today she is having tummy trouble in that she can't go and I'm even nervous about her having fruit because of the sugar and acid it contains.

Please help me, I'm going insane!!!!
 
brit

brit

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
6,963
Location
In My Dental Happy Place
rocklover

rocklover

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2010
Messages
89
Location
Devon, UK
Re: How much dental work is "normal" for my age and how can I stop further decay?

Thanks, I've read those articles which I found very helpful. I suppose I'm overly worrying because I can feel the discomfort in my tooth and I'm scared about what I need to have done and as it will be temporary, how long it will last. I've only ever had fillings before.
 
Ebony

Ebony

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
Messages
105
Re: How much dental work is "normal" for my age and how can I stop further decay?

Ok, so I am not looking forward to the work being done (although the dentist wants to hold off on the root canal and pack the tooth with a dressing instead at this point), but the reason I am upset is that after this new filling is done I will have had 7 teeth filled and I am only 36!
Is this amount of work normal?.
7 fillings at the age of 37 is not that bad. I’m 22 and have an average of three fillings each time I go. A very few times I have had just two fillings, and sometimes four or five even though I used to go every year. One time they told me I had 13 holes! But they did not give all of them fillings.

Let’s say that it started when I was 6-7 years of age and I stopped going when I was 17.
10 years X 3 fillings= about 30 fillings.
Plus four big ones when I started to go at the age of 22, and next month I need another round to fill some other holes as the result of my 5 years with not a single visit to the dentist.

The reason for all the cavity is caused by my teeth position (I can’t clean them properly, some places I can’t even floss), but I don’t dare getting braces. My diet too is the cause as I eat a lot of candy and unhealthy food, it’s a bad habit I have since I have always been super skinny and have had problems with putting on some weight.
So I don’t think you need to worry about 7 fillings :)

Giving it a second thought, man! Over 30 fillings? I can't have had 30 fillings... it sound so much. I need to try to do something about that. :redface::p
 
N

norwegianchick

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 13, 2011
Messages
194
Location
Norway
Re: How much dental work is "normal" for my age and how can I stop further decay?

she is going to hold off on the root canal and just drill away the decay and then pack the tooth with dressing, I don't really understand why she is doing this instead of the root canal straight away. Will I be able to eat on it when it has settled and how long is a fix like this supposed to last?
Hi! This is called a pulp cap, and if it holds up, it will save you the cost and inconvenience of a RCT, possible post and core and crown. Yes, you can chew on a pulp capped tooth, that's the entire point of it. My pulp cap didn't hold up, the nerve became inflamed, I got a really bad toothache, but a RCT solved the problem. Your dentist should inform you about this risk so that you can make the decision.

;)

How long your dental work will last depends on the same factors as how long your natural teeth will last, hygiene and diet, but my dad, who gladly eats cake and sweets at least weekly, has a couple of 40 year old crowns.

I'm not a dentist, just a girl at the same age as you who had a pulp cap that failed.

:)
 
Last edited:
Top