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Please give me some mental support. Long untreated cavity

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phignasdamon

Junior member
Joined
Feb 1, 2017
Messages
2
Hi there, Since last night I haven't been able to sleep due to reading a tragic story of a 26 year old (with a wife and kids) who had a toothache, went to the dentist, and then ultimately died shortly after from an infection.

I know untreated cavities can lead to systemic infections that can kill you. I've always brushed it off as something exceedingly rare - since you always see people whose entire mouths have rotted, but they haven't died yet. I basically haven't been to the dentist in over 10 years due to my financial situation. Around that time, I got my first cavity. It was in a lower second molar (which just so happened to be blocking a partially impacted wisdom tooth). Over the first few years, it got bigger and bigger and the inside of the cavity became blackened. Multiple times, an abscess formed (swelling and pus drainage), but ultimately it stopped growing and stopped hurting. It hasn't caused me problems or changed at all in many years, although from what I understand this is a bad sign as it's possibly due to nerve damage and so I'm simply not feeling the pain anymore.

I know the dangers of all of this because I've read up on it extensively. Including the impact it can have on my other teeth and bones. For some reason, last night was like a wake up call to me when I read the story. I know now that no matter what I need to find a way to get dental care, whether it's through a dental school or other low-cost options.

I guess what I'm looking for is some bit of reassurance that I won't literally drop dead tomorrow. I'm in my 20's, otherwise completely healthy, and it's been 10 years since this cavity has formed..I need a bit of time (a week or so) to try and gather the funds and inquire around to see what my options are. But I've just been so scared and pacing back and forth since last night. From what I've read, everyone's genetics are different and that has a big impact on how these things play out. So is it possible that some people's cavities may only worsen slowly over time? I have one other tiny cavity (on another molar) that hasn't grown at all in 5 years. I'm not looking for excuses to delay it further, but I just really need some mental comfort right now. Would 1 more week kill me??

For what it's worth, since this is a lower second molar that is blocking a wisdom tooth, I actually would prefer to just have it extracted rather than a costly root canal (which is certainly what would be needed as it's been 10 years). Hopefully the impacted wisdom tooth can move into the molar's place and therefore prevent migration of the other teeth. Do you guys have any experience with this? :(
 
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explosionsinthesky

Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Messages
30
Don't worry. I think it's incredibly unlikely that you are going to drop dead anything soon considering it's being going for 10 years and you don't have a system infection in your body. Having said that, you definitely should wait any longer and coming here is definitely the first step on the road to sorting it out!

Don't worry, as you can see by the posts here, we've all been there but if anything this forum has thought me is that the enemy is often in our heads. What the dentist will eventually tell you won't probably be as half as bad as what we imagine will happen:)

My advice is to take one small step at the time. Realising you have a problem is one such step. Coming here is one such step. Next one would be to book an appointment. And the next one would be to attend it. and before you know it there will be no next step apart from a regular check up!
 
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phignasdamon

Junior member
Joined
Feb 1, 2017
Messages
2
Don't worry. I think it's incredibly unlikely that you are going to drop dead anything soon considering it's being going for 10 years and you don't have a system infection in your body. Having said that, you definitely should wait any longer and coming here is definitely the first step on the road to sorting it out!

Don't worry, as you can see by the posts here, we've all been there but if anything this forum has thought me is that the enemy is often in our heads. What the dentist will eventually tell you won't probably be as half as bad as what we imagine will happen:)

My advice is to take one small step at the time. Realising you have a problem is one such step. Coming here is one such step. Next one would be to book an appointment. And the next one would be to attend it. and before you know it there will be no next step apart from a regular check up!
I honestly really appreciate this. I've been reading a lot of the other posts in this forum and for the first time I don't feel so alone on this issue (I know that sounds dramatic haha). I just dealt with a lot of shame and guilt over the years with letting it get this far
 
C

Courtenay

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2016
Messages
78
Hey there I pretty much had the same thing but in a few more teeth and hadn't gone in about 10 years minus once about 4 years ago for immediate pain relief. I was told then to address the other issues but I didn't. Well by some grace I found the strength and booked an appt with a new dentist before Christmas after spending months worrying about the same things as you, and reading the same stories. I've since done a few appointments, had a root canal and a couple extractions of teeth I couldn't save and I am happy to say I didn't die and I am one filling away from being able to say I have 0 issues I my mouth. My next step is obviously cosmetic and I do need one implant and a crown on my root canal tooth, but I did it, I didn't die, and I am no longer stressed and worried about my teeth killing me. I think you will be just fine as well, but it is worthwhile to go ASAP. It will never get easier to get over the initial fear/embarrassment but every day it gets a little worse and harder. A good dentist will not make you feel bad. My issues as well started due to finance and spiraled from there. I've had great insurance and money for a while now but it still took me forever to make that first appointment. Good luck!!
 
S

Smc84

Junior member
Joined
Feb 2, 2017
Messages
1
Hi there, Since last night I haven't been able to sleep due to reading a tragic story of a 26 year old (with a wife and kids) who had a toothache, went to the dentist, and then ultimately died shortly after from an infection.

I know untreated cavities can lead to systemic infections that can kill you. I've always brushed it off as something exceedingly rare - since you always see people whose entire mouths have rotted, but they haven't died yet. I basically haven't been to the dentist in over 10 years due to my financial situation. Around that time, I got my first cavity. It was in a lower second molar (which just so happened to be blocking a partially impacted wisdom tooth). Over the first few years, it got bigger and bigger and the inside of the cavity became blackened. Multiple times, an abscess formed (swelling and pus drainage), but ultimately it stopped growing and stopped hurting. It hasn't caused me problems or changed at all in many years, although from what I understand this is a bad sign as it's possibly due to nerve damage and so I'm simply not feeling the pain anymore.

I know the dangers of all of this because I've read up on it extensively. Including the impact it can have on my other teeth and bones. For some reason, last night was like a wake up call to me when I read the story. I know now that no matter what I need to find a way to get dental care, whether it's through a dental school or other low-cost options.

I guess what I'm looking for is some bit of reassurance that I won't literally drop dead tomorrow. I'm in my 20's, otherwise completely healthy, and it's been 10 years since this cavity has formed..I need a bit of time (a week or so) to try and gather the funds and inquire around to see what my options are. But I've just been so scared and pacing back and forth since last night. From what I've read, everyone's genetics are different and that has a big impact on how these things play out. So is it possible that some people's cavities may only worsen slowly over time? I have one other tiny cavity (on another molar) that hasn't grown at all in 5 years. I'm not looking for excuses to delay it further, but I just really need some mental comfort right now. Would 1 more week kill me??

For what it's worth, since this is a lower second molar that is blocking a wisdom tooth, I actually would prefer to just have it extracted rather than a costly root canal (which is certainly what would be needed as it's been 10 years). Hopefully the impacted wisdom tooth can move into the molar's place and therefore prevent migration of the other teeth. Do you guys have any experience with this? :(
Hello,
When I'm reading through your post if I didn't know better it is like I wrote it myself. I read the exact same story last night and have been hyperventilating thinking I am going to die from an infection any time now. I too have put off the dentist for about 10 yrs maybe longer and I have a cavity that caused my tooth to break off and not much is left. It's not in much pain anymore and I have just been scared to go to the dentist and know how much it will cost to get it fixed but it hasn't been a pressing issue to me since the pain has subsided but now that news article really woke me up. I am terrified that the damage it has done is about to take its toll and give me an infection that will kill me. Any reassuring kind words will help. I'm currently in the process of finding a dentist that gets good reviews and will hopefully be kind.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Sevena

Sevena

Super Moderator
Joined
Jun 24, 2012
Messages
834
Location
UK
Deadly infections are truly rare. And the vast majority of people who *do* get serious infections get emergency medical treatment in time because the symptoms are usually severe. Of course it's best to get any dental issues treated, because even though it's incredibly unlikely to threaten your life, it's not exactly ideal health-wise to let problems linger. But it's not something you should be panicking over.

While the dentist is not a fun experience, getting the problem seen to will give you more peace of mind. :)
 
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