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I’ve got a dentist appointment in the morning and I am absolutely dreading it. ***pictures included***

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Elfrule

Junior member
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
3
Location
UK
I won’t lie. I’m an idiot.

I’m 23 and have suffered from anxiety for years. Not specifically towards the dentist but just in general.

I had regular dentist visits all the way up until I was 19/20, and never seemed to have any issues.

However when I moved to university in September 2016, I started getting into a really bad routine oral health wise. I’d try and brush my teeth when I remembered, often it would be once a day, sometimes twice, and sometimes not at all. But I think I’ve always had bad brushing technique.

At some point in my first year of uni, I had an emergency dentist appointment because one of my wisdom teeth has come out sideways, and it was infected.

They didn’t give me any pain relief and dove straight into it to get rid of the infection which was crazy painful. I didn’t really think of it afterwards for ages and put off getting a dentist in Cheltenham (my uni town) for ages.

Eventually I developed bleeding gums most of the time when brushing, but I think I just buried my head in the sand and hoped it would go away. I think this led to me maybe not brushing as well (as in technique).

The bleeding eventually stopped and I’d have periods of being better at looking after my teeth. I was never taught to floss really, but I started even though my gums were bleeding whenever I did.

Over this time, I’ve never really properly looked at my mouth. Would occasionally see a bit of yellow/whitish border around my lower teeth at the bottom which I assumed because of what I’d been told was plaque/tartar. I didn’t really know anything about receding gums (maybe a little from a good search but all the pictures were so drastic).

Just before lockdown I finally managed to get a dentist and an appointment but it was cancelled due to the lockdown coming in. Around the same time I noticed a small dark line at the gum line on my top left canine tooth. I called the dentist and he suggested using corsodyl mouthwash and flossing/brushing properly, which I’ve been doing. But over lockdown it’s just gotten worse. I can use a floss pick to poke actually inside the tooth a little just under the gum line and the pocket next to the tooth itself seems pretty deep. I’ve also noticed the beginnings of similar black lines on other upper teeth and the floss pathway/colour of the tissue underneath doesn’t fill me with confidence.

Last week I started getting some really serious pain in my top right second molar. Or at least around that area. Poking around I’ve figured that my impacted wisdom tooth has hit it at the corner and chipped/cracked it, which has now gotten infected. I have never experienced pain like and I am currently on cocodamol and neproxen for it so I can sleep.

From googling everything. It seems like I have some pretty serious periodontitis, an impacted wisdom tooth, a seriously infected second molar, bad tartar buildup behind my teeth because of the chlorhexidine mouthwash and my own laziness, subgingival caries/plaque that needs root planing (I assume from what I’ve read), some severely receded gums on my lower incisors, and to top it off there’s a few areas where I’m half convinced there’s a few gum abcesses as well.

I went from no pain and a little bleeding to a complete clusterfuck so quickly. Lockdown doesn’t help because I haven’t been able to get seen. I’m worried that the dentist will shame me, im worried that I have irreversibly damaged my teeth at 23. I’m worried that I’ll lose my canine tooth and be a laughing stock.

Also panicked that due to lockdown they’ll take a look at all of this and know it’s not quite life threatening, and so just tell me to come back in a few months. By which time it’ll be EVEN worse.

Someone please talk to me about this 😢
 
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Elfrule

Junior member
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
3
Location
UK
Here are some pictures. The first is the canine. The second is the bottom teeth. The last is me attempting to show you the upper teeth with dark lines but it’s hard to see I know.
 

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kitkat

kitkat

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
1,575
Location
United States
Hi there!
I recently Googled some symptoms I was experiencing and had convinced myself I had Multiple Sclerosis (I was completely fine!). The point is Google tends to give you the worst case scenario and not much context so try not to get too caught up in what you read. I am not a dentist but from looking at your pics I wouldn’t say you have “serious“ periodontitis as you mentioned. Facing the unknown is often the scariest part of this process and I think you will feel much better once you know what you are actually dealing with. I pray that the dental staff will be extra kind and gentle with you. Do they know that you are anxious or do you plan to tell them when you get there? Telling them may help to ensure that you have a positive experience as they will know to be extra careful with you.
 
J

JaySee19

Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2020
Messages
62
Location
Germany
It’s rarely as bad as you think it is. I wrote a list of things I thought would happen before I started going to the dentist (again). After 13 years (how embarrassing is that?). It included extractions, heaps of fillings, replacing crowns and all sorts of other nasties. It didn’t happen. The extraction was a root canal, the heaps of fillings were 4 small ones (didn’t even need local anaesthetic) and one larger one. We’re not out of the woods yet - I may still lose that tooth - and there’s other work to be done. But I won’t be having all my teeth whipped out in the next 6 months as I sometimes imagined.
Dr Google is sometimes very frightening.
The only way to really find out is to get that appointment. Tell them you’re anxious and let them take good care of you!
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,618
Hi Elfrule :welcome:,

I second everything said above. And I strongly disagree with you being an idiot :naughty:but honestly, most people scared of the dentist shame themselves at one point or another claiming they were stupid or responsible for the damage. I see it as a part of the grief and those feelings need space too, but I can't see you doing anything wrong. University is a stressful time (even for people who do not suffer from anxiety) and if you never had problems, it's tempting to stop being too mindful about dental care. I have never flossed until I started my dental journey to beat my fear and I didn't even brush my teeth in the evening, which sounds like a crime, but I went well with it for most of my life. Your painful experience with that emergency visit during your studies sounds awful so it only makes further sense that you avoided dentist from that point on. So don't judge yourself please, you are tackling this right now and that's great!

Regarding your current situation - as @kitkat and @JaySee19 mentioned, the most people think their teeth are in much worse condition than they are. Also, this is not about how many diagnoses you have but about how to start moving things forward. Periodontal desease sounds scary, but in practical terms it only means you get a deep cleaning, get some explanations about how to take care of your teeth and will have to attend regularly. Lots of tartar on your teeth would mean you get a cleaning and then it's gone. Teeth can be treated and that's why it's great that you are getting help now. Well done on starting to floss and increasing your efforts in home care.

It might be a good idea to let your dental team know how you feel about your visit and what your fears are. This will allow them to make sure not to do mistakes that could rise your anxiety even more and to treat you extra gently. Just tell them your story like you told us. Tell them how bad your last experience was and how it made you avoid dentist. It is important that you get kind caring support now as you are tackling this and start having good experiences.

All the best wishes, fingers tightly crossed for the visit today, take care and keep us posted!:clover:
 
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Thephilsblogbar

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
661
Location
United Kingdom
I have anxiety myself about my health, so dr. google is a no no for me.
 
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Elfrule

Junior member
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
3
Location
UK
Hey guys,

Really good news! I really struggled this morning when my friend took me in. I was practically hyperventilating in his car, making groaning sounds and all out panicking about what the dentists were about to see.

Turns out that the second molar I thought had cracked is absolutely fine, and all the subgingival carie stuff I was worried about was practically nothing, just a bit of tartar buildup at the gumline that looked like pockets because it was stained black. He didn't seem worried about my supposedly receding gums at the bottom (although he didn't say much about this area so it's still slightly worrying me) and just said I need to go to a hygienist when things re-open to get all the tartar from behind my teeth/around my teeth removed as he couldn't do much today with it being an emergency appointment only.

He scraped the black tartar off of two of my teeth in a couple of seconds including the one I was most worried about (the one in the first picture) and now my teeth just look nice and normal (those ones anyway). He X-Rayed the top tooth and showed me the results. No sign of periodontitis/aggressive bone loss or anything of the sort up there. I'm still slightly anxious I've got it in my bottom teeth/elsewhere but I feel so much better about my chances I guess.

Regarding the serious pain that I thought was due to my second molar, it turns out he thinks it's just my wisdom tooth that is coming in horizontally on the bottom of that side of the mouth. He thinks it's just where it's pushing further through the gum (it's been slowly coming out of the gum for years now). I'm probably going to need it extracted but hopefully not for a while.

So I might need some more painkillers for that, but otherwise he said my gums are healthy and everything seems mostly fine so not to worry.

Thank ALL of you for your kind words of support. You're all incredible and I thank you immensely, it did help. I'll likely post again with later procedures to tell my success story :)
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,859
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Elfsrule,

:cheer2: :you-rock: :welldone: I know I just got to see you post and what everyone wrote, but really glad to see how well the visit went and that it wasn't nearly as bad as you imagined. !! I'm sure this was a huge relief, once all those worries could just go.. Sounds like a really good report!:perfect:
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,618
:jump::jump::jump: Yay, so glad all went well and none of your nightmares came true!! Give yourself a pat on the back for going. And of course feel free to come back whenever you like :)
 
L

leadtheway

Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2020
Messages
26
Location
Long Beach, CA
I'm so glad it went well for you. A word of advice from someone who has been there, googled that.... google is not your friend. Youtube is worse. Keep that in mind for the future. 😉
 
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