• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is has a severe fear of the dentist or dental treatment. Please note that this is NOT a general dental problems or health anxiety forum! You can find a list of them here.

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Junior member
Jul 7, 2023
I’ve been suffering with mental health for a few years now & haven’t been to the dentist for some time, at my last hygienist appointment she said I had hun diease and stupidly I’ve put going back off and not been good with my oral hygiene
I’ve got a really sore right top gum and it bleeds in the area when brushed
I think my gums are also receding and I’m so scared to book a dentist appointment but know I need to as otherwise I’m going to lose my nhs space.
Any advice or stories of success with gum diease.
Hey @Rudy321!

Firstly, welcome to the forum! It’s such a brave decision to decide to reach out, I want you to know that’s really amazing that you decided to do that!

Secondly, oh boy, gum disease! Everyone’s favourite topic, am I right? (I hope this succeeds in making you laugh even a little. I find laughter to be helpful for anxiety.)

In any case, let’s talk about it. Gum disease is one of those topics that very scary, and it’s very hard to not spiral down into the worst case scenarios. But, I find comfort in knowing just how many people have some form of it. Even people who seemingly have perfect teeth, often have a little bit of that pesky thing! It’s kind of the way it is, what with all the sugar we consume these days LOL

Gum disease is definitely not the end of the world. It really isn’t! Dentistry has come far since the days of old, and now more than ever, dentists are able to do a lot to help our teeth and gums.

Now, I can’t speak to having severe gum disease, because as far as I know, I don’t have that. I do have it however, and I do have to get deep cleanings done, because I haven’t had my teeth professionally cleaned in ten years (my first appointment is this week, matter of fact!) I also had to have four teeth extracted last year. I was terrified! Least of which is because I absolutely hate blood in my mouth with a passion.

First piece of advice: you definitely are going to have to go back. I know, I know, obvious. But it’s the only way you’re going to be able to stop that gum disease in its tracks, and get more details. In regards to going back though, make sure that the team knows what’s up. Whether that’s speaking to them, bringing a note, or sending an email before hand, you have to speak up for yourself and make sure they know how anxious you are and what’s going on mental health wise with you and your teeth. I know it’s really scary to be that vulnerable, but if you don’t say or do anything, there can be no attempts made to make you as comfortable as you can be.

Second piece of advice: look at what you’re eating and drinking and see if you can make some changes to better help your teeth and gums. Thanks to other health issues, I can’t drink alcohol for example, or soda. Originally, I was sad about that, but knowing what it can do to teeth, I’m actually pretty happy now ;D It doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul, but any little thing might help!

Third piece of advice: floss and brush twice a day, every day! And make sure you do floss/brush in the morning before you eat! I learned that you should generally be doing it before you eat, so the food and drink you eat in the morning doesn’t interact with the bacteria in your mouth that’s been there growing in the night (okay, that’s a little gross, but ah, of course it is.) Anyway, I found this tip to be really helpful for me! Since I’ve been doing it, I’ve noticed my teeth and gums seem to be happier? Maybe it’s just in my head but…

And if you have a hard time doing it, because maybe you’re tired or feeling just like it’s too much, my go to is to put on a really happy, upbeat song, or a song that makes me feel like a bada** and dance around to it while doing my thing. I find that that helps a lot. Also doing it in combination with other things. I moved my shower times to the morning so that I got in the habit of brushing my teeth than showering for example. Scheduling definitely can help.

I’d say to use an electric toothbrush too, if you don’t already, because the clean just can’t compare to a manual. I’m pretty sure that’s part of why I was able to save as many teeth as I was when I finally went back to the dentist (I’d been using an electric since I was a child.)

Fourth piece of advice: Don’t brush too hard! This will hurt your gums. Also don’t brush your gums directly either. You want to brush your teeth as though you’re polishing a pearl, gently and making sure the toothbrush is getting the whole tooth. My denturist told me that, and it helped a lot. I visualize the idea of polishing a rough stone or pearl and that’s always handy.

Other than that, I don’t think I have much else. I know these might seem obvious, but sometimes it really is the simple that’s the way to go.

I will say though, good luck to you and please keep us updated. I promise that you can do this! The fact you already went through with an appointment? That’s huge! Don’t downplay that.

You got this! :grouphug:

(P.S. If you’re having a really bad day, just remember that even brushing once, is better than nothing!)
Thank you for all your advice it’s very appreciated, I’m calling the dentist tomorrow to make an appointment 😣 and will take it from there.
Will keep you posted
@Rudy321 hi Rudy! If you don't mind sharing, what has the dentist said? Asking because i am in a really similar situation right now.
I’ve got dentist on Wednesday
@Rudy321 you are so brave for making an appointment! I will keep my fingers crossed for you on Wednesday, good luck:)