• 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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Want to smile again 😢



Junior member
May 5, 2022
So I'm embarrassed/ashamed and feel my own actions probably mean I'm not worthy of a dentist being able to help.

Bit of back story, was never really taught good oral hygiene as child, lived on the streets during most of my late teens, became a parent aged 20 and turned my life around, started visiting dentists and taking care of myself again but every visit seemed to be a different dentist each time and began to feel overwhelming having to explain my situation all over again.
Over the next couple of years I had my second child and my first born was diagnosed as type 1 diabetic so as a single parent at the time my priority was being a parent and carer to my children and regular dentist visits wasn't important to myself. (I have always kept up with the children's appointments)
Many years later I met my now husband and I had my 3rd child I plucked up visiting dentist again and going forward with any treatments that wad needed.

Due to life events I became depressed and started suffering with anxiety/agoraphobia (undiagnosed at the time), in my irrational thinking at time the anxiety symptoms replicated how my daughter felt when her blood sugars was low, she treats low blood sugar with sugary drinks so I associated this would make me feel better...and it did if I felt nervous/anxious going to hospital appointment with my daughter or sports days at school if I had a bottle of fizzy drink I could cope.
Looking back and even writing it I know how totally irrational it sounds but at the time it helped me..the more I drank the worse my teeth became, where it became painful to even brush my teeth.

After counselling and support my mental health is in a far better place and my diet and lifestyle has completely changed but I'm now left with long lasting effect to my teeth and gums.
I know most people think they have the worse teeth ever but I genuinely believe I have the worse teeth in the UK right now 😢
This again is having a major impact on my life, husband now takes children to all appointments, I only go out when I need to and even when I do I feel embarrassed as my teeth are so bad.

This isn't a sob story as I know I shouldn't have let things get so bad but I just now can't see a way of ever sorting them 😢

I have eventually plucked up the courage to show my husband my teeth and he's spent weeks trying to find an nhs dentists unfortunately they all have huge waiting lists and the first I can be seen in Aug 2023, my teeth would've probably all fallen out by then (I sometimes think that might be the best thing).
Hes eventually found a private dentist local who charges nhs prices which we could afford on husbands wages but even if I pluck up enough courage to go will they turn me away because there's too much work to be done 🤷‍♀️

I'm afraid of a dentist being disgusted, I'm afraid of being judged, I'm afraid I've gone past anyone being able help.

Sorry there's no real point to this post I just needed somewhere to offload.
Things can get better for you, it's not as bad as you think I bet. Best place to go is the dentist as they will be able to help you get your teeth back to how you want them. I wish you luck and I believe in you
Thank you so much for replying.
I have a dentist appointment next month and I'm feeling its better to face it and get all the work done then living constantly ashamed and worrying.
@Mum83 yes you are definitely doing the right thing, and you will feel so much better once you've been to your appointment.
You have to remind yourself how far you've come already. Things will go well, little by little you will get a smile back and remember its a process all around. Everything will work out, just be patient.
It will get easier,obviously the first time showing your mouth won't be easy but if their a good dentist they will not judge.
I don't believe they will turn you away at all, any decent dentist will want to help you, not just give up on you.

Im not sure if you have the worst teeth in the uk either.. we all seem to think that(!). Even if they are it doesn't matter - what does matter is you're trying to get yourself better. You won't always want to stay at home out of embarrassment - things will get better.

For what it's worth I've had agoraphobia and depression, and for one reason and another I didn't brush my teeth for months during pregnancy.. it's easy to look back and think I should've done it differently, but at the time I was grieving & utterly miserable and I couldn't face anything.

Imo it's worth an email to the dentists, outline your fears and that you worry you'll be judged - be honest about it. Ask if there's a particular dentist who is kind, gentle or non judgmental - whatever you need. I did that previously and I did end up with a very gentle dentist.. it helped my anxiety.

Good luck 🤞
@Mum83 I'm so excited to see you have had the courage to make an appointment. That takes a great deal of courage. Hopefully this dentist will be able to help you come up with a plan to navigate through the challenges.

I was never taught dental hygiene growing up either which led to some extremely painful appointments in my younger days resulting in an intense phobia. But with the help of a therapist and a great dental team, I have made a ton of progress. It can get better. Wishing you the very best.
Thank you everyone for the lovely replies..even though I'm absolutely petrified of starting this journey I'm now feeling more positive, even the first step of arranging a dentist appointment feels a huge relief.
I completely understand how you feel, and have many similar feelings myself! Making that call is so scary. I have my first appt next month as well after almost 20 yrs. I wanted to throw up the entire day I made the call. You are not alone in how you feel!

The lead up to that appointment is going to be nerve wracking, but I am trying focus on the relief I know I will feel once that initial appt is over. Whenever is feel like I'm getting overwhelmed, I just tell myself: You're not the only one. This is fixable. You're doing the right thing.

Finding this forum has been such an amazing help for me already! Any of us who make that initial contact and reach out have already conquered a big step!

Try not to let the fear get the best of you leading up to your appt! You have already come this far!

Keep us all posted!