• Dental Phobia Support

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Neglected teeth for a decade. Now scared of losing four front teeth.



Junior member
Mar 25, 2014
I've been going through dental nightmares since childhood. First I had four baby molars that didn't loosen & fall out, so my dentist yanked them out none too gently. Then I had to wear a metal expander at the roof of my mouth for a couple of years to spread out my mouth & make room for all my permanent teeth. Then came braces for my top teeth. My dentist was a hack with a terrible bedside manner. When my Mom & I went to his office the day I was supposed to get the braces off, he'd closed the office without notifying us. After making another appointment & getting the braces off, my Mom took me to a different dentist, who told me at age 18 the first dentist hadn't corrected other bite problems, and I'd need braces again. I was so sick of everything at that point, I refused to go through with it.

Now I have strong teeth. I haven't had a cavity for 20 years despite my neglect. Now periodontal disease is an issue. In my early 30s, another dentist told me I was prone to gum disease & warned me to be extra diligent. I kept up with treatments for awhile, but during my last planing and scaling, the hygienist hurt me while bitching at me the entire time about how hard it was to work in my "tiny mouth." I lost my dental insurance immediately after, which gave me an excuse not to go again for a decade.

Two years ago, I noticed some of my bottom front teeth had shifted a bit and were showing small gaps, as well as flaring out a little. I panicked & saw a dentist. He was very nice to me, taking time to talk to me about my fears, showing me X-rays & examining my mouth thoroughly. I seem to remember he even took measurements with a dental probe, although I don't know if that's usually done before a scaling & planing? He told me I had gum disease but with proper care & maintenance, I should be able to keep my teeth for years to come.

I should have started treatment with him right away. But he wasn't covered by my husband's dental insurance. Hubby had been one of the people pushing for dental coverage at his small workplace, so I felt guilty not using it, and guilty about paying for the Comfort Dental plan at the second dentist's (Dr. O's) practice since we already had a plan. At the same time, I felt comfortable with him and reluctant to try anywhere else. Because he'd reassured me I wouldn't lose any teeth immediately, it became easy to procrastinate again. :cry:

Yesterday, I finally saw a dentist covered by my husband's plan. He talked to me very briefly and sort of shrugged it off when I tried to tell him about my fears. He didn't show my any X-rays and only spent a couple of minutes examining my mouth. He told me I have severe localized periodontis on four bottom front teeth & generalized moderate periodontis everywhere else. He asked in some surprise if any of my front teeth had felt loose after my last planing & scaling. I told him I did not remember them feeling loose. He nonchalantly said they might feel loose after treatment, and I had a chance of losing those four teeth. :o I asked if my gums would possibly tighten up after treatment & he said "Maybe." He mentioned the tartar buildup might be the only thing holding those teeth in at this point.

I wanted to ask more questions but had a feeling he was hustling me out of the office. I made two appointments for planing & scaling, but I really felt weird about him, so this morning I arranged to see Dr. O again in two days for a second opinion. I am so scared! Will my front teeth come out when the scaling & planing is done? If my gums don't tighten enough, are there any other options to save my teeth?

I woke up this morning literally shaking & feeling horrible about myself. I feel like I should tell my husband to leave me because he's going to be married to a gap-toothed hag. I'm only 43. I really need some support & hand-holding!
Hi Rita! You poor thing! I hope since you wrote that post that you have got some reassurance. I have also had problems with my gums and have not been to the dentist for six years because I'm so tired of being shamed by them when I look after my teeth better than most people I know.

I'm sure your husband won't leave you. Would you leave him in a similar situation?

Let us know how you're getting on. :)
I know the feeling, I've always had bad teeth no matter what I do ! The key is fiding a adentist who is kind and if they shame you, walk out of there.