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Is there life after losing all (or most) teeth?

H

Hanaku

Junior member
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
17
Location
Europe
I just came from the dentist. My problem had been a sudden pain in one teeth (and later in another), that forced me to take over-the-counter painkillers, that helped with the pain, but caused 'uncomfortable feeling' with anxiety and all. So, I had to choose between 'emotional pain' and 'physical pain', basically.

Needless to say, the pain, fears, and anxiety from the painkiller caused a very weird situation that prohibited sleep for a couple of nights and days, removed appetite, and so on. For a few days, I lived in a surreal nightmare that I couldn't escape.

To shorten the story, I finally went to the dentist, expecting the dentist to just fix that darn painful front tooth that seemed to cause most of the trouble, and perhaps add a filling to a tooth that I know is probably missing one.

I had tried 'non-official' methods for taking care of teeth, and since the teeth looked good and had no extra cavities (I had some from younger days with candy and all that), I thought it was working.

However, I had noticed from older photos that my gums had started to recede, and it looked pretty terrible. I had wondered why my lower teeth looked like some kind of monster mouth because the teeth were no longer nicely aligned, but had moved around to leave big gaps and basically looked really worrying. Two teeth that always had a gap, had now almost merged together.

I hoped the gums could somehow be healed, but I couldn't find any info in the net.

I figured, if only this one tooth could be somehow 'fixed', I could go on with my life.

I have some dreams, like moving to a smaller, better city - I never liked the one I live in right now, I was brought here as a kid against my will.

I have spent the last years saving money for such a move (but life has a way of prolonging this type of projects, which is why it took so long), and this year, last month, I finally reached the goal and now I have enough. But I don't want to move in the dark, gloomy winter era, so I postponed the move to the spring.

Now, the dentist suddenly tells me that I have 'bone loss' and my gums have receded, because I have some kind of gum disease (the doctor's communication and linguistic skills were a bit lacking, so my comprehension was only partial). He later showed me from an X-ray he took of that tooth, that the bone line should be a lot lower (visually speaking, as we were talking about upper front teeth) than where it is.

The tooth were barely hanging in there, which is why some of those tooth were 'moving' and could develop pain, just like this one. This, he told me, was just the first one, and the rest would follow.

The only 'cure', I was told, is to just pull the tooth out. This would cost 400 euros.

There go my moving-savings..

Then he looked at a lower tooth, 'fixed' a slightly broken tooth (I wondered why that lower tooth felt so sharp at one point), and 'cleaned' the tooth that had been cause of so much trouble for me (this 'cleaning' was so painful, as the anaesthetic probably didn't work so well - it was the most painful needle-trio I had ever felt, so I may have jerked my head backwards from the pain so he couldn't get the needle as deep as needed - that's my theory anyway), and started analyzing my gums and teeth in general.

He came to the conclusion that pretty much all my tooth will have to be pulled, and I will need to use dentures instead.

My physical age is around mid-40s, so I guess this kind of thing should be expected.

However, I am in shock, I thought I was taking at least a 'better-than-average' care of my teeth - I am not a health nut or teeth nut, so I just do the bare minimum, sometimes forgetting or not caring, etc.

Still, for a long time now, I had at least brushed my teeth in the morning and swished with salt, and did something you're not supposed to mention here.

I thought it's enough that you don't have cavities - I NEVER even considered I could get a nasty gum disease that will eat up the bone somehow and cause me to have to wear dentures.

How? How do things like this happen? I don't drink or smoke, I stopped drinking coffee a month ago, my mouth should be fine. I don't even indulge in candy or such, just chocolate sometimes, or some 'bun' type pastries maybe sometimes. I eat vegetables and the only 'meat' I eat is fish. (Plus, dairy products and eggs sometimes)

I should have a healthy mouth, but instead, I have a disease killing all hope for a normal life. Or is it?

This is so shocking, I am not even sure I am able to be properly shocked yet - I am sure it will hit me like ton of bricks later, but right now I just can't believe it. The dentist also gave me a recipe for some odd liquid I need to use to swish twice a day in 10-day periods, then a week without doing it, then another 10 days, etc.

It reads something like it's made for 'infections caused by dentures' - oh, great, dentures can CAUSE infections?

As the whole visit was like torture, it was physically painful, emotionally and psychologically shocking, and spiritually devastating (where's divine mercy when you need it..?), I am not sure what to think or feel. I feel woozy, and scared to eat.

He didn't really 'fix' the tooth, just 'cleaned' it, so it will probably remain painful. This wasn't quite what I was hoping or expecting.

Instead of having a nice fix so I can get on with my life, my whole life was just destroyed completely, now I have nothing to shoot for anymore.

I mean, why move to a better city, if my mouth is going to be in eternal torture and devastated, what's the point. Also, how can I move, when all this is going to be more expensive than I can even afford with all those savings..?

I have until January to think about if I want to let the dentist pull out that tooth, and to make an appointment to 'full mouth check' to decide when and how and what teeth to pull and all that.

What's the point of even trying to heal the gum disease, if I am not going to have any teeth?

This is just so surreal and scary, I can't even believe it's real, so part of me just wants to treat it as a bad horror movie, as if it's not really me, but some outsider that all this is happening to. Then the tooth starts to ache a bit to remind me of reality.

How can I go on with this? I mean, if that dentist visit was already torturous because of the physical pain and all that other pain, can I really endure another visit that will probably be more painful, and also completely life-changing?

How do you eat without teeth, especially if you have to wait for swelling to go down, so you can't even use dentures to chew? Do you have to just eat foods that do not require chewing, like mashed potatoes or soups?

How painful will it be to have a mouth full of wounds instead of teeth? Would it be actually better to let the tooth fall off on their own?

No wonder I have had many nightmares about all my teeth falling off - now that's becoming a reality. I would rather have my toes cut off or maybe some kind of leg problem that forces me to use a cain for the rest of my life. But losing all my teeth..?

From what I have read from this forum, they pull all (or most) of them in one go, in one side (upper or lower), and the next appointment do the rest?

The dentist says there might be 'salvageable' teeth that do not need to be pulled..

So is the denture made so it fits snugly around those tooth? What if you have to use a temporary denture, how does that work?

I have so many questions, such shockingly bad news is pretty hard to take, when all you want is a single tooth pain to go away.

In any case, I guess nothing will be done before january, unless I get another 'acute pain' tooth before that, and then that one might have to be pulled.

My future does not look bright, when I have to be fearful of my tooth all the time now.

How can ever enjoy anything else, just focus completely on something, with this on my mind? How do people cope with this psychologically? I sure can't understand why this is happening, or how to cope, or even what to do. Would it really be more painful to just do nothing about it and let the teeth fall on their own?

I don't know, I am desperate, I am trying to consider all options and possibilities. In all possbile ways, this feels like the end of the road, end of my life, end of anything good I could do, achieve or experience in life anymore. How can I enjoy anything or feel joy or have fun with this pain in my future?

And is there a life afterwards? Also, how the heck can I endure the pain and waiting and swelling and not eating and feeling like a freak because I have no teeth left?

No wonder older people are always proud, if they can say 'I still have all my own teeth'. Now I understand that completely. To not even reach 50 yet and lose all teeth.. I know it has happened to younger people as well, but it's just so stopping.

It's like all and any flow I might have had in life just stopped completely, and there's nothing left in life but just a huge shock and crisis. This year has been so awful for me already anyway in numerous other ways, and now this. A lifestopper.

I remember older men, the grandfather type, in my childhood, showing kids their dentures, and it was a shocking and scary, but also a bit funny thing back then. I had no idea what psychological implications 'dentures' have. Now I am not a kid anymore, I will be that balding weird old man, scaring people with their dentures just to clown around.

Food supposedly tastes different.. is it better or worse?

Do you have to 'clean' those holes left by the teeth somehow? How do the dentures stay in place? Why are lower dentures harder to use, you'd think gravity would help?

I wonder how much this would end up costing me moneywise, and most importantly, pain-wise. The psychological impact is also enormous. How do you kiss with dentures? Let alone the french version..?

I hope I am not offending anyone that went through this and has dentures now as their normal life. This is just so depressing, like an end of an era, or end of my whole life.

How do you still enjoy life or other things? Can you still read a book, watch a movie, or have a conversation and not think about the situation? Oh goodness, I just realized.. do I have to 'learn to talk' all over again?

Is it possible to do 'beatboxing' with dentures? This may sound stupid, but I like to create things, so I am used to making 'weird sounds' with my mouth sometimes, and mimicing instruments for my music sometimes (just for the fun of it), would all this even be possible anymore?

How did you people cope, that had all or most teeth pulled out, was it expensive, how long did it take to get used to dentures instead of teeth, how many visits to the dentist, how many complications, how do you eat food without dentures or teeth, how many teeth do they pull at one visitation?

I just want to scream and stop existing right now, I don't know what to do, I am thinking desperate thoughts, maybe I could escape this situation somehow, maybe I can just let the teeth rot and see what that's like.. although if this one tooth's painful reactions are preview of what's to come, that would be unbearable anquish and pain.

I have never been in a scarier situation before, I don't know what to do or what not to do... I am planning on not doing much today, and starting to do the whole 'use this liquid two times a day' stuff tomorrow. I think the purpose is to heal the gum disease so in January, my teeth can be pulled out. If I last that long with this one tooth without having it pulled out (possibly the only way to get rid of the pain, but I am still unsure of what they will do to the 'empty hole' - he talked about prothesis of some kind, so maybe a more 'permanent prothesis' instead of denture).

Paying a small fortune to someone for pulling off your tooth is like paying a gangster to stab you, it doesn't seem to make sense.

I might sound a bit weird in this post, but I am kind of panicking, I am confused, I am shocked, horrified, and don't really know what to do or what direction to try to take anything anymore. It really feels like my life just ended, and the only thing left is a lot of torture, pain and money loss.

Any kind of perspective, sympathy/empathy, help, suggestions, wisdom, experience-sharing, advice, 'what-to-expect', information, guiding, etc. would be greatly appreciated - life has treated me pretty bad before, but never THIS shockingly horribly.

I really want to know if there's life after losing all (or most) teeth.

(I am also worried, I might not be able to do the required procedures every day - the dentist told me to floss (never done that in my life! wouldn't even know how), to brush two times a day, and then to use that liquid thing - how am I supposed to do all that -every- day? I am not a systematic individual, some days I just can't do this kind of things, and I don't have that kind of energy to devote to a project that has the end result of 'losing all my teeth'.)
 
Judythecat

Judythecat

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2018
Messages
643
Hi! Welcome to the forum. It sounds like you have had a horrible shock, when you thought you were doing all the right things, so it is a lot to process.

I'm sure denture wearers will be along to help you soon, but I am absolutely certain that you will be able to live a happy and normal life! If your teeth are extracted then sure, you will have a period of adjustment, but I bet that you know people who wear dentures, but you don't realise it! I don't have personal experience, but I think it would be better to come up with a plan with your dentist - leaving the teeth to fall out doesn't sound like a good idea, and could potentially end up being painful.

It might be worth making an appointment to see someone else and get a second opinion to see if there is any treatment you can have to help with the gum issues and stabilise them? A gum specialist called a periodontist might be able to help, but there may be costs involved. Perhaps your dentist could suggest someone?

In terms of going forward, I think you just need to make tooth care part of your daily routine, and within a few weeks you won't even think twice about it. I floss then brush in the morning after having a shower, floss and rinse with mouthwash after eating, then brush again before I go to bed. It's just part of my normal day, like drying my hair, feeding the cat, or taking out my contact lenses before going to sleep.

I hope that someone comes along to offer you some reassurance soon - all good wishes to you going forward.
 
H

Hanaku

Junior member
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
17
Location
Europe
Thank you, you are most kind and supportive, I appreciate it very much!

I apologize my first post being so incoherent, rambling and perhaps selfish and crude, but I was in a big shock, and I am still half-expecting to wake up from this nightmare.

You are right, of course, about the teeth just falling out being a bad idea, but as I mentioned, I was just grasping for all alternatives that come to mind, including the bad ones. It just seems almost like worst-case-scenario to just routinely and suddenly take away from me the teeth I was born with and have been friends with for 45ish years.

To add, my summer and my whole life has been so nightmarish especially this year, that I really didn't need another shock. This makes me even more anxious, thinking that there might be even more bad news in the near future.

As I reading your encouraging words about 'life after losing teeth and using dentures' being able to be happy, I am trying to imagine it, and it's difficult, but perhaps it's possible. After all, if there's no pain, and I can still basically do most of the same things as before, and having to 'brush' my teeth in a different way now, shouldn't be a complete life-changer in the end.

I don't know people that wear dentures, because I don't know people. But I take your point, it's a good one. You are saying that they look so realistic, you can't tell, and that those people aren't changed into lifless piles of misery just because they have dentures, but are able to live normally, and it isn't a problem for them, right?

About the routine thing, I hear what you're saying - I incorporated a certain routine to my life and after getting used to it, it became almost a second nature, although difficult at first. I plan to try that with all the information and the liquid medicine I have now. Today will be the first day for decades that I plan to attempt to brush my teeth -before- going to sleep!

The problem with me, is that I have so many other problems in life - one being something like 'Chronic Fatique'. Now, I am not saying it's CFS, because I don't think my version is a syndrome, I am just always tired. So some days, it's hard to do anything but sit and stare at the wall, anything 'extra' is just impossible. Adding even one small thing to 'daily routine' is sometimes just not doable.

Also, I don't wear contact lenses, I don't have a cat, I don't use a dryer..hehe.

But I take your point, I don't normally or usually have much of a routine going on anyway, so that's an extra hurdle for me. Usually I just immediately go to sleep when I am sleepy, eat when I am hungry, and so on.

I have quit drinking coffee a month and a few days ago, so I am finally a bit more energetic again than I was just after quitting (I used to drink it, then quit for 2,5 months, then drank it again to alleviate another problem in my weird life, but it didn't work, so I only used coffee for 3 weeks and now I quit again).

So this might be a possible cause for some of my tiredness.

Anyways, thank you for the kind and informative post, I really appreciate it, it has been a weird shock that I am still trying to process (I am sure the full shock will hit me sooner or later), and it's kinda hard to have a 'painful tooth' that the dentist's only solution to is just 'pulling it out'.. but if I can learn to live with it and lessen the pain somehow, and then heal the gum disease and strengthen the teeth, perhaps.. just perhaps I could keep my teeth.

It's a good suggestion about the second opinion and all, this was a public dentist, as I don't really have money for those really expensive private ones, except for very simple operations (like putting in a filling). It kinda feels pointless to brush teeth that are going to soon be pulled away anyway, and such, but I'll try to keep the motivation up somehow with this goal of 'trying to do everything to keep the teeth'.

They don't have appointments available until january, so that's when I plan to go for the 'full inspection of every teeth' type appointment and discuss what options I have and how much it all costs. It seems it's all really expensive, hundreds of euros.

So anyway, that's the timeline - around a couple of months - and that's the plan - to try to hygienize and strengthen my mouth so status quo could stay indefinitely - so wish me luck, perhaps the teeth can remain if I am diligent and do everything recommended every day!

But if not, it's encouraging to try to think that maybe after all the difficulty and pain of teeth extraction, I can live a 'normal life' (doesn't really describe my life, though, hehe) with dentures just as well.

So, thank you, you actually helped alleviate my anxiety a little bit. (When this kind of thoughts just circle in your head over and over again without any hope, it's easy to sink deep into despair)

I think the dentist put some kind of 'medication' on or near the tooth that slowly dissolves, or something, which might add to my anxiety (it seems I am not good with medications, I don't usually use any, so they affect me powerfully).

But it's good to experience that communication can help. So, thank you again!
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,739
Hi Hanaku and welcome to the forum!

So sorry to hear about the awful shock you had today, on top of everything else that's going on in your life ?. I hope other people with first-hand experiences of dentures will also chime in. We do have a page on dentures here which might answer some of your questions:


Getting a second opinion sounds like a very wise idea!! Ideally, you might be able to seek out a dentist who specialises in gum disease for your second opinion. In English, they are called "periodontists". You may be able to find reviews for periodontists in your city using Google. Not knowing how much things cost in your country, I don't know if this is an option for you.

We've also got a fairly detailed page on how to stop gum disease from getting worse here:


Admittedly, that would be a lot of routines to add all at once, and your plan to start off with something achievable (like brushing before going to bed) sounds good ?.

I hope you'll find lots of support here - wishing you all the best


:grouphug:
 
H

Hanaku

Junior member
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
17
Location
Europe
Hello, Letsconnect!

Thank you for your informative and sympathetic reply, I appreciate it.

Now that it's the next day, after 7 hours of solid sleep (yay!), I wanted to give a small update on how things are doing right now.

I am thinking of these things also as 'spiritual', so I always try to see a 'personal growth' opportunity in a crisis. It's amazing how much I now appreciate things I took for granted previously. Good sleep is like heaven now, being able to be tired or sleepy is great, not having to feel like the world around me is suffocating me and I have to escape it is bliss, being able to eat is amazing, and if I have a tiny pain in the tooth, it's wonderful! (Instead of a big pain, you know)

It seems as I thought; the medication has worn off, and I feel so much better now, am able to enjoy things a little bit, like video games, for example. There's actual enjoyment, if you can believe it! :)

I have started and hoping to keep some kind of routine, that consists of brushing teeth in the morning after meditation, then waiting awhile to take the liquid the dentist recommended twice a day (it says in its instructions it shouldn't be taken near the time when brushing teeth, probably toothpaste is not good to mix with it - so I need to time this a bit differently), then swishing with salt water after every meal (I also chew some Xylitol gum, it's like my 'dessert after dessert' - and my dessert is now just some bananas - and I can also pick up some food crumbs from the teeth with the gum, plus I heard it's good for making teeth stronger to chew something like gum), and then brushing teeth just before going to sleep.

I managed to do this yesterday, and I am well on my way today, I just finished eating 'breakfast' (I don't often get hungry until many hours after waking up).

The remarkable thing is, the painful tooth isn't so painful anymore, I sometimes forget I even have a 'painful tooth', as it's only painful if I do somethign drastic or bump it somehow. Eating was almost completely painless, which surprised me - and encouraged me to even chew more normally and less 'carefully' - I ate almost as any other day in the past, just shoving food in the mouth and watching an old comedy TV show.

There's an interesting psychological effect, when you start becoming a bit paranoid about food because of teeth (I threw away the 'rare delicacies' I had bought, like mayonnaise, soy sauce, sallad dressing, etc).

You kind of become a bit rebellious, wanting to experience at least a small piece of the 'old, carefree life', and you open a jar of peanut butter and go, 'come what will' and spread some on your soft bun! It's like you want to show life you are still the master of your destiny, and if you want some peanut butter, nothing can stop you! It's almost like a challenge - can I eat this painlessly?

There was a man called Joseph Merrick in the past. This may not ring a bell, but if I say he was called 'The Elephant Man', people will probably realize who I am talking about. He had such deformities, he could only sleep in a weird crouching position with his knees near his head, etc. He had to always sleep this way. He always envied normal people that could just sleep normally or any which way they wanted and get a good rest. But Joseph couldn't do this, as it could break his neck.

One night, I am guessing, he felt like me and that peanut butter, he wanted to rebel and do the 'normal' thing that everyone else can do so easily. That was the end of the Elephant Man, as his body couldn't take it, and I think his neck, indeed, broke.

It's a sad story, but it expresses the rebellious spirit - we don't have to let awfully shocking circumstances completely crush us, we can still do something 'lifelike' before we lose all hope (and teeth).

I am still fighting the thought, though.. I don't think these things are necessarily always carved in stone, life has miracles sometimes, and surprises can happen. Perhaps I can clear the gum disease, make my gums healthy again, and even though I probably can't make bone or gum 'grow back', if I can just make the structure of my face and mouth somehow strong and healthy enough, and improve my teeth enough, maybe it will be enough, and I can keep my original teeth without problems.

So I am still hopeful, after all, I have two months to see what's going on. If the situation worsens and bad things happen and it becomes obvious there's no other way out, then I can always just succumb and bid my beloved teeth farewell - but as long as there's a morsel of hope, I am going to do everything I can to keep them.

I bookmarked the links you so generously gave me, and plan to check them thoroughly. Thanks so much for all this.

In any case, the situation today is hopeful, as it seems the 'suffocating anxiety' indeed was caused by the medications (I might be somehow allergic to those synthetic concoctions, as I don't normally use them), because today's feeling is back to my normal, better feeling with more relaxed disposition, ability to think and focus better, more harmonious and sleepy feeling, and no urgency to 'escape'.

Also, as the tooth is now so much better than it was yesterday, this is a completely 'survivable' level of pain (if it can even be called that most of the time), when even eating didn't really hurt.

I just wanted to give this more hopeful update to the more panicky yesterday, maybe my life can still have enjoyment, fun and joy in it, even if the 'worst' happens.

I appreciate all the support, you people have been really kind and compassionate, I wish I could do something for you all as well.

You people make me feel like, even if I love all my teeth, perhaps there's still life for me that I can yet have fun adventures in. And this matters to me the most about this whole thing - to be able to still LIVE instead of just existing in painful misery, gives me so much hope.

I wish you a wonderful, blessed day, Judythecat and Letsconnect!
 
H

Hanaku

Junior member
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
17
Location
Europe
Hello all, again!

Sorry for not writing for so long, I just wanted to try to enjoy life with 'all my original teeth' as much as I can before going through all the procedures.

My saga continues, and some progress has been made.

I thought to come back to write about what's going on with my life in case people are interested, and thank the people that helped me here. Thank you so much, Judythecat and Letsconnect.

So, as my story goes..

Back in the day - feels ages, although it's just been basically two months - I was very sad and felt helpless and like my life had ended.

It was a sense of impending doom, a Damocles' sword hanging above my head. A horrible destiny, lots of pain in the future, no hope of 'normalcy' or 'enjoying life' at all.

How could I enjoy things, when I am either in physical pain, or when I have this horrible thought of 'all the tooth have to be removed', together with visions of pain and misery, blood and messing up everything.

"How could my life turn out like this?", and "Why did this kind of serious dental problem happen to me?", I thought.

I life in the northern Europe, and just at that time, it started getting really dark as well (the light became dimmer every day, plus 'days got shorter', meaning there wasn't that many hours of daylight). There was no snow for the longest time, so the darkness really got to me, and I am not sure if it was because of the pain medication, the darkness, the fears, the hopeless situation, or whatnot, but I started having 'anxiety' attacks.

Those are kind of nasty in that they take away all ability for joy and enjoyment, they replace it with 'inability to breath properly' (I was able to breath physically just fine, but it felt like I couldn't do it properly).

Every memory and thought about future made it worse, or triggered it. The only cure was to try to do something to occupy my mind so the anxious feeling could subside in the background. I have a 'fluctuating' sleeping rhythm, with or without coffee, and I can never keep it completley stable. It can remain stable for days, then suddenly jump and then it's hard to get it back to more 'normal'.

So I was in this desperate situation, not knowing what to do or how to cope, and I was panicking internally quite a lot.

Somehow I was able to live through most of december, and there wasn't that much pain - a small jolt or spark every now and then, and some low, slow, manageable 'almost-pain' here and there.

Since I had managed most of the december so well without having anything done - and incorporated the routine of brushing my teeth every 'morning and evening' (just after waking up and having a cup of coffee, and then just before going to sleep), and often salt swishing after a meal, I started getting my will to live back, and was relaxing and even enjoying food, morning walks, nice architecture, nature, and so on. It felt like I was still able to live and smile and laugh, so it wasn't so bad. I felt more hopeful.

Things started looking up, I was thinking of all kinds of alternatives and plans, how and when to get an appointment for a check-up, and what they call 'dental hygienist'. Maybe I can keep my teeth a bit longer, if I just always brush them diligently and all that.

The situation seemed stable, manageable and extendable to at least to the time when there's as much light outside as there was the day when I got the bad news. (It's hard to explain, but here in the north, the brightest point of summer is around 1000 Watts per square meter, and the dimmest point in the winter is about 62 Watts, so it's a huge contrast - so when my tooth started hurting, the light amount had just reached about 200 Watts and then it went darker from there. Now it's already over 100 Watts).

I wanted it to basically be about 200 Watts so my anxiety at least could be more manageable, in case I have to take more painkillers that kind of either cause it or worsen it. I think the darkness makes it worse, so if it's at least 'bright outside', it might be easier to get through.

The odd thing is, I never had that kind of anxiety before, or at least as far as I can remember, it was a 'new feeling', and a very unpleasant at that. The worst day I just had to get out of the house and I had to go for a long walk just to 'escape' the feeling of being trapped and not being able to breathe. I also had a therapist chat session that helped a bit, but that memory left a deep imprint and I don't want to experience that again.

I have had some smaller attacks since, but thankfully nothing as major, and sometimes playing a video game or realtime-talking with people online helps.

Now, I was 'almost content' in this weird, half-scared-but-hopeful way of life, where I wasn't sure what to do or when to do it, trying to formulate a good plan about the teeth, trying to just 'endure' the situation until maybe february or so.

However! Life doesn't let things like this happen so easily, so of course during the Christmas Eve, 24th of December, while happily chewing a big wad of Xylitol gum, I heard a crunch and then something hard felt painful against my tooth.

I thought I had lost a filling at first (a scary nuisance), but then I was relieved to notice it was just the tooth that was chipped. It was one of the teeth I always wanted to get a filling for, but since it didn't hurt, I kept putting it off.

However, chipping of a tooth really scared me. Maybe it will be more vulnerable now, I want it fixed as soon as possible. However, being the Christmas eve, nothing is open, except 'acute' cases, if even them. I tried calling all sorts of places, and the judgment was; I had to wait until the next week.

So next week I immediately reserved an appointment, and got one relatively soon - less than a week from that day. Because it wasn't painful, I had to wait. However, then just as I had fallen asleep the previous night, wanting to be fresh in the morning for the appointment, I got a call and the appointment was moved further up another week.

I tried to cope as well as I could, and it wasn't painful, but I was worried about it. The dentist I went to was nice, but continued the terrible news I already got before; my gums are in bad condition, my teeth are loose, and two back teeth have to be removed as soon as possible, to remove some of the bacteria and infection in the chipped tooth (and it had really big hole in it, too).

I was a bit shocked to have this thing pushed back to my face so quickly, just after I was almost starting to 'adjust' to my lifestyle. Drat, I couldn't drag it any longer, or .. could I?

As it wasn't painful (and the dentist wondered why, because the hole was so big and touching nerves and whatnot), and as I had already lulled myself to a 'false sense of security and relative comfort' - this was a big shock to suddenly have to start removing teeth.

I had lived in this dream that I might not have to start that kind of stuff for a long time, maybe later this year, but certainly not in January.

The dentist said he recommends the removal of those teeth more than warmly, so my teeth can start healing because then major infections and most of the bacteria will be removed. He also mentioned I need a dental check and the 'hygienist' that will remove the plaque, etc.

So there I was, walking slowly with his card in my hand that mentions that teeth will need to be removed. He said it'll be easy to cope with it, and the only thing is that for a few days I might need painkillers, but that's about it. And many people live like this.

He almost made it feel like it's not a big deal to lose some teeth after so many decades of being able to keep all my own teeth. But I realized he was right, there's nothing else that can be done, it's a serious situation.

It was a very shocking day, so I had to go for a really long walk, that oddly helped psychologically a bit, as I saw some nice sceneries and suburbs during that walk (a small snowstorm, though).

Every day I wondered what to do and how long I could cope without removing the teeth - there was no going back to my more 'relaxed lifestyle' after the first shock, and now there was this big, nagging fear in the back of my mind, no matter what I did. I couldn't enjoy things fully now, knowing this scary eventuality might happen any day now.

As the teeth still weren't painful, I was able to process, think, and fear the future. What am I going to do? Can I ever be happy again or even enjoy anything again? Multiple weeks of pain and anxiety and not being able to even eat properly? Can I even speak after such an operation?

All these fears ran through me every day. I have to say it was not a pleasant time, and it started seeming as if the tooth extraction itself can't be as bad as living in this kind of fear.

Then, yesterday, without warning.. the chipped tooth (the dentist put a temporary, soft filling to it and told me to buy more of that stuff and put it in there myself, as it wears out quickly) started hurting.

Slight throbbing at first. I tried all the usual home remedies from coconut oil swishing to green tea to garlic - I only got temporary relief, then the pain became worse.. and worse!

It started feeling as if someone had just punched me there very painfully, and there was a bruise that then someone kept punching and punching. The pain got so bad I had to take painkillers again. Of course they didn't take the pain away, but maybe gave some relief so I was able to cope with the pain just barely. It of course had to be about 5 in the morning, and I was just going to go to sleep after a stretch of staying awake.

The lucky thing about that was that the 'health center' opens at 08 am, so all I had to do is just wait a bit and then go to reserve an appointment for acute case. As I was in constant, fluctuating pain, they did give me a time for around noon.

I was really nervous and wrecked with all kinds of fears and thoughts, everything was happening so suddenly, it had barely been a week and immediately I have to make this decision and let them tear out my good, old teeth.. I will miss you, my friends.

Waiting in the hallway was the scariest part, as the time was closing in, but yet there was still so long to wait (I was there too early), so I just had my own fears to keep me company. Then they finally called my name, and I met the dentist and the assistant.

The dentist asked me all kinds of questions and then gave me anesthetic. He drilled the front teeth for quite a long time, and by doing so, removed a lot of the tartar and such. I think he also removed the 'fix' the previous dentist had done to my one chipped front tooth, but I don't mind. The tooth started feeling very different after the removal of tartar. (They also look much better and cleaner now).

He said he removed about 80% of the tartar, and I need to see the 'hygienist' (I think there's a proper name in english, "periodontist" maybe?) to get rid of the rest.

Interestingly enough, he told me two tooth from the same side have to be removed, the last back teeth. I didn't realize the other tooth also was going to go, so I was panicking a bit, but there you go. The tooth removal itself was both unnerving and less scary than I thought. There were really loud sounds with the first tooth, but it was quick. The second tooth wasn't as loud, and didn't take that long, either.

The dentist suddenly went into this tirade of instructions of what to eat, not to eat for hours, etc. and I was like, was that it? It didn't even hurt. I had to bite on a cottonlike thing for 30 minutes, but I did it until I got all the way home (not gonna start changing 'cottons' (I know it's not really cotton, but I don't know the word) in a train or something), which was only a bit longer than 30 minutes.

It was nerve-wrecking to take off the 'cotton', it was bloodied and disgusting, and my mouth was dripping with blood. I figured it hadn't done its job, so I put a new one I got from the dentist, and bit on that for another 30 (or so) minutes.

This time, it seems like the mouth wasn't flooding with blood anymore, everything seemed and looked fine. Phew.

I had been up all night and day and the medication I took was 600 millgrams of Ibuprofen, so I was pretty tired, and fell asleep in the afternoon.

I felt pretty comfortable and relieved, it hadn't been as scary or as painful as I had imagined, and so far, there was no pain.

I woke up in the evening, after around 5 and a half hours of sleep (it's not enough, but it's enough for this kind of situation to show me that I can at least sleep in this situation). Slight anxiety attack, but nothing major.

The remarkable thing is, as every guide I have read about 'post-removal' life, has warned about pain for 2-3 days, then slight pain for maybe longer (week or two?), and then things should be about 'normal'.

Now, I have the "periodontist's" appointment in less than a week, and I am kind of looking forward to it, to let my tooth finally heal properly. They might also recommend removal of more teeth, and it's kind of scary of course, because the more I miss teeth, the more the 'bite' might change and eating might become difficult, and maybe I need to buy some kind of partial denture, and so on.

The financial concerns are sort of rising at this point, but at the same time, a sensation of relief and "it wasn't so bad" are also washing over me. I think it's worse to live in fear than to do something about it, even if it's scary. It's better to at least walk towards the solution than live in a perpetual problem.

So even if all my tooth will be gone, I am sure that somehow I can still live my 'normal' life and enjoy things in life. There are people living with dentures that are able to draw, animate, compose music, play the piano, walk in suburbs and admire the nature, right? There are people that can still enjoy waiting for spring and traveling in the summer and autumn.. right?

I can still practice foreign languages and have fun with talking with people online.

Right now things feel hopeful - the only thing is, I am scared that I mess up how to treat this thing. There are some contradictory guides, and the 'main guide' I got from the dentist, is very vague and doesn't go into detail.

The guides Letsconnect gave me seem very good and efficient, but also require so much work and change, even if I tried my best, I just know I would start slacking off at some point, because my life is very tiresome and I can't always have as much energy as other people. And my brain always tries to find the lazy way out..

So as basically still 'first day' of recovery after losing two teeth (and it doesn't feel that different, I am still me, and I am kind of surprised of how 'normal' I feel), lots of worries and fears, but I feel this was definitely the right thing to do, as at least now I am working towards a solution instead of letting fear keep me in a constantly worsening problem.

Who knows, maybe with the periodontists' visit, I might not have to lose more teeth, or at least that many more. There's still one more teeth the previous dentist wanted to have removed, but that one hasn't been painful. I know, I shouldn't only remove painful teeth..

But one thing at a time, one day at a time, so far there's still no pain, although the painkillers surely should've stopped affecting by now.

I am almost looking forward to the pain, to know what this kind of pain feels like, as it must be different to normal toothaches.

At the same time, I am afraid of it, and I am afraid of disturbing the 'two holes' (they were stiched? sutured?) by eating or drinking, so I am trying to keep that to a minimum. I didn't eat anything all day just to make sure I am not disturbing the place.

I bought a lot of soups and such things, and I am planning to let them cool before eating them, but so far I haven't been too hungry.

I didn't brush my teeth yet, but I plan to buy some kind of 'mouthwash' as soon as the drug store opens (in 10 hours..), and then brush my teeth very carefully and afterwards, use that mouthwash somehow, although swishing is out of the question, I think.

It's a bit unclear how to brush teeth without spitting afterwards, but maybe I can do it very carefully. Or how to use a mouthwash without swishing.

I plan to brush in the 'evening' before going to sleep, but only after I have bought the mouthwash first, so I can try to keep the 'holes' also clean.

It's a bit scary with this 'how to brush teeth without spitting' and 'how to use mouthwash withous swishing' stuff, but if I can just survive a few days, maybe things will be okay.

Thanks for all the support, and I wanted to tell that there might be hope and light at the end of the tunnel, even if you have to lose a couple of teeth to get there.

After this first 24 hours is over, then I can maybe breath, relax and start speaking again. I can keep my situation posted, just so others with similar fears or situation can hopefully feel better to see someone else's perspective to something like this.

Right now it feels like.. "It's not easy, but it seems doable".

So to everyone struggling with tooth problems, see your dentist and do your best to survive, you will be able to enjoy life again after the worst is over! (I think.. )

Thanks again, and I wish everyone a splendid day.
 

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