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Hi CB-

I was wondering how many of us suffer from any dental issues? Personally, ever since I was a small child, I was incredibly negligent with my physical hygeine, and I have no idea why. It continued into my teenage and young adult years (which is where I am at currently). I really don't know what caused it, but my parents were fairly negligent, but I feel like it has more to do with my mental issues. They were a slew of different issues as a child compared to what they eventually developed into, but the underlying idea is the same. I feel like I can't take care of all "realms" of my life. My parents influenced school, that was the realm I held in the highest esteem. My friends were my second. Needless to say, when it came to eating, bathing, cleaning, I was useless. And for a while, that didn't cause my problems (luckily I don't smell even after a shocking period of time without showering).

But eventually, it caught up with my teeth. BADLY. But, as I have a dental phobia, and severely aversive to conflict, especially with my narcissistic father, I put it on the backburner. To the point where chunks of my teeth were falling out. Luckily, mostly the back  molars, so I still kept my mouth shut and bore the pain. And then it got one of my canines. Completely. Now, I will say that I am fortunate to come from a fairly wealthy family who can afford treatment for such procedures,  but not without intense beratement, leading to feelings of failure, inadequacy, and most importantly, a sense that I am unable to function within this world independently.

So, I finally went to get my canine inspected. It was too far gone and had to be pulled, not to mention countless cavaties elsewhere. And, so I wouldn't have a hole in the front of my mouth, my dentist and I decided an implant would be best (due to my age, bridges may be impractical, as it requires destroying the surrounding teeth). At this appointment though, they mentioned my wisdom teeth were all about to erupt. And they were, it wasn't a scam. I've been feeling it for years. One of them is growing horizonally out of the back of my gums to the point where it scrapes my inner mouth, but I was too afraid to face my narcisstic father (and the dentist, but not as much). To my dad, money is All. When he texts, he can't even say the word, its just "$$$$$$$!!!!!!" And not just that, but two of my back molars, the ones with missing chunks, had such little teeth left they could do nothing but pull them. And due to concerns of being 24 and not having those two back molars to properly eat, we decided implants would be best there, too. But I sat on this information for half a year. Until every single second of my existence had been taken over by excruciating pain which I had tried every home remedy in the book to fix. Orajel, salt water, advil, tylenol, ibuprofen, motrin, midol, garlic & pepper water mix, hydrogen peroxide. They all helped, for a while, until they didn't anymore.

I had no choice. I had to make the appointment. Not to mention it was a terrifying thought to have 7 teeth removed, my dad didn't care about how much pain I tolerated for so long, about why my teeth may be this way. In fact, he kept insisting they were lying about all of this in an attempt to "rob him" (not paranoia, just born in the '40''s). But I had to do it. I couldn't live like that anymore. So here I sit, writing, feeling incredibly inadequate, bleeding porfusely from the gaping holes in my gums, feeling terrible. Was my dad right? Is this just me overexaggerating? It really can't be, but he has this way about him where he knows exactly which buttons to push and how hard. So now, in pain, I feel like I'm completely incapable of supporting myself in this world, or even taking care of myself, or at the very least a sucker who got her father robbed (again, but that's a different story).


I see I have run away with my point here, but my question still stands: Has your mental illness ever caused severe dental issues? It makes me feel terrible when the "normal" people don't have nearly the amount of dental work or problems I do, and to be frank, it makes me feel like shit. So CB, tell me what you think.



Edited by Go Ask Alice
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I am sorry you have to deal with all of this!  I would not like it one bit either.  I hate people touching my mouth, teeth ... anything on my face.  It freaks me out. The worst problem with my teeth was receding gum lines, and I had to have 2 skin graphs at 2 separate times, so the roots of my teeth wouldn't start showing.  But I hated someone in my mouth after 2-3 hours. 

I noticed in your sig that you are noncompliant with meds ... would it be possible to have a med that you could ask your DR for to help calm you down before you go to the dentist, even if it used just for that?

I hope you are able to recover soon!




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That sounds terrible! I would also hate that. I was lucky enough to be put under for the procedure. although that comes with its own bundle of fears.

But thanks for expressing concern, it has been difficult. And actually, I never left my previous pdoc, I just didn't take the meds. (I really have no idea what compells me to just up and stop one day). And I'm trying once again to become compliant, and am currently on day 3 of taking all of my meds, but I thought it'd be a bit preemptive of me to change my signature, so thank GOD i was able to take a xanax before I went in.

Ironically enough, even though I'm in pain from having all teeth ripped out, its still INFINITELY less painful than what I've been experiencing the past few months, and for that I'm incredibly grateful.


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It must be a relief to have less pain than you have been having.

I'm glad you were able to be put under for the procedure.  I think it really helps with the fear and the pain.  Sometimes not knowing what was done is better than being awake and knowing what is being done, IMO. That is great you had something to relax you beforehand (xanax).  I hope everything heals well!

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Alice, you are definitely not alone.

and your dad is both wrong and an emotionally abusive asshole.  blaming the child for needing medical procedures.  that's fucked up.  what do you have to do, get a blood infection and die before he'd acknowledge that your health problems needed addressing?  you needed the work done.  you know you did. and you proved that you ARE capable, and you are taking care of yourself: look at everything you just made happen, despite your father hindering you.  way to go. 

once upon a time, i had decent teeth and hygiene habits.  my folks were militant about hygiene (& household cleanliness), and whether it was nature/enforced routine/all of the above, all of us kids had cavity-free teeth until we grew up and left home.

and that's when my depression really kicked in, after i'd moved out and was drinking myself to sleep nearly every night.  booze, or hot chocolate, what have you.  i still brushed and flossed once/day. but hardly ever at night.  so after a couple years of those bad habits and no insurance or money for dental cleanings, i had gumline plaque grading to tartar grading to decay.  and then my first, crooked molars started breaking and dying when the decay got down into the tooth.  you know that pain.

now i'm 42 and i've only occasionally been insured for dental over the years. and even when i have been, the coverage is just for cleanings, fillings, and extractions, which tbh is just band-aids for my advanced state of dental horrorshow.  i still (just) have most of my teeth, but they are all bad.  painfully thin enamel, decay, infected roots, you name it.  i have had some root canals and crowns when i could get money for them.  i need implants now and the only way i'm getting those is if i ask for financial help from same toxic family.  which would be its own thread of woe.  i am also cursed with large mandibular tori. the professionals all tell me that that means i can't get plates or bridges for my lower teeth.

and there is so much shame.  i am incredibly ashamed of how my teeth look. and how i didn't take care of myself. as well as worried that the complications will be the death of me.  i keep my mouth closed when i smile so people see as little as possible. 

my parents and siblings are definitely unsympathetic -- "you should have brushed and flossed more!"  thanks for that.  very helpful. 

i think that if my teeth were still more or less ok, i'd be a different person.  my body image, my diet, my outlook on life et al would be significantly improved, at the least.  i could smile at people. i wouldn't eat each meal wondering when the next tooth will break.  i could exercise outdoors in the cold weather.

(so my own personal million-dollar question is, why could i not somehow value myself enough to take care of my health better?  everything could be different.  but i fucked that up.  and so much more.)

please keep taking care of yourself, Alice.

Edited by fantod
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I'm also dental-phobic. I haven't gone in a year (insurance says every 3 months) because I hate cleanings, it hurts, it makes me anxious. I get nitrous for the big stuff. And my dentist is amazing.

My meds dry out my mouth, and that can cause tooth decay to happen quickly. It's also bad for your gums.

I had a tooth pulled last year. It sucked. My wisdom teeth were done under general. I hope you feel better soon.

It's important to take care of your teeth. I'm sorry your dad is being a jerk about it. Sometimes you have to go to the dentist. You'll be in a lot less pain in a couple days. 

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Thank you so much for your comment. You have no idea how much that reply meant to me. I'm very sorry you've had to go through all that, I know how painful it can be and can't imagine struggling for so long. But I completely understand the feelings you are describing: incredible shame, embarrassment, and of course the pain. I also find myself severely hindered by my own perception of myself. I've been in the "not-open-mouted-smile" for about a year and a half now, and it has made me terrible self-conscious, reclusive and advoidant, even to most of my friends. I honestly think its preventing me from attempting to get a job . It really does change how you perceive the world, how you think the world perceives you, and most importantly, how you live your life. It's kind of terrifying that teeth alone can do such a thing. And it's just so embarrassing, because as you said, it is the million dollar question: why not value the self? I get so angry when people refer to the body as a "temple". Even though I do see their point, and potentially even agree, it makes me feel terrible that I'm just ruining mine, because like you noted, dental health effects many medical issues (not to mention the terrible psychological consequences). I'm really hoping I start to physically feel better as well, but not even 24 hours after the extraction, even though my teeth are swollen and I look like a chipmunk, I am simply ecstatic to not be in the excruciating pain I was in not even 24 hours ago. It's crazy the change its made already.

But I very much appreciated this sentence in particular: 


and you proved that you ARE capable, and you are taking care of yourself: look at everything you just made happen, despite your father hindering you.  way to go.

This made me feel so... I don't even know if I have a word for it. Relieved? Grateful? Maybe a little proud. Definitely appreciative. I never would've seen it that way until you brought those words to me. I thank you so much for that, because yes, as you picked up on, my father is one emotionally abusive dick (Sidenote: That blood infection comment? You're right. He would still probably shrug it off. It was appalling how he dealt with my mothers death. I'm obviously on a lot of painkillers, antibiotics, antinausea meds, and of course the MI prescriptions, and I worried about the reactions, and if I were to die [oh, anxiety], and I pretty confidently concluded that my dad would simply complain about the cleanliness of my apartment and then continue to milk the situation for sympathy). But thank you so much for allowing me to see this experience in a different light. You showed me that my moods don't dictate my capabilities or competence, my actions do. I don't know how long this new-found spirit will keep up (bipolar is a bitch like that), but I will truly never forget the lesson you've just taught me, and I can assure you this comment will circle around my head for years, and that is something amazing that you have given to me.

We may have unsympathetic parents, but I give you my deepest sympathies and I hope you continue to improve. But, I do have a question, if you don't mind my asking. I still have yet to develop the hygeine routine or even active concern. Obviously, I'm extremely concerned, enough to be incredibly emotionally distressed, but then why, why, can't I force myself to brush my teeth for three unstubstantial minutes twice a day? What makes it so difficult? That question was actually more rhetorical, but if you have an idea I'd be very interested in hearing your take on it, because it completely baffles me and yet I still can't seem to do a damn thing to change it. My real question is: have you yet found a way to keep yourself on a routine of hygeine? I just can't seem to find a way and as I've said a million times already, I have no idea why. I'm assuming it has something to do with establishing a routine? I'm really not sure.

Anyways, I've rambled again, but sincerely, again, thank you so much for this. It means the world.



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I'm not quite 40 and dentures are pretty much my only option at this point.  

Unless you can keep up with regular dental hygiene, including bi-annual cleanings, you're going to loose your teeth eventually anyway.  Several psych meds can make the problem worse as well as nervous habits like grinding your teeth.  Acid reflux from anxiety and Bulimia will also murder your teeth.  

I'm totally dental phobic.  What I plan on doing is getting all my teeth pulled while under general anesthesia (there are dentists who specialize in that) and getting fitted for dentures ASAP after that.  

What it boils down to is that your teeth are always going to give you problems until you just get rid of the fuckers.


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I'm 24 now. And I've gone to the dentist very few times after about the age of 10 when I started refusing. However, I have surprisingly resilient teeth considering how much I neglect my dental hygiene. I force myself to brush my teeth every few days and when I've flossed and used mouthwash I feel so damn accomplished. I've had fillings on a few teeth when I was 17 on cavities I got when I was around 10 (they never got worse) and went back a few years later to finally get my wisdom teeth taken out because it was making my jaw worse (turns out now it's even worse). I haven't gone back since. 

My MI started probably around age 10 and at that time is when I started refusing to shower, wear deodorant and brush my teeth. Now I'm good about the deodorant and just don't leave my apartment if I don't shower. Brushing my teeth though is a struggle and I feel so self-conscious sometimes when I'm talking to people. 

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When i was a kid and teenager I brushed my teeth almost every day, once a day.  

During my early 20's is when I started neglecting my teeth due to some kind of reluctance to adhere to a routine.  It felt too much like  a chore!  I know this sounds pathetic.  

I get my teeth cleaned every 6 months at the dentist and I get all my X-rays regularly.

I am 35 now.  I only brush my teeth about once every three weeks.  

Miraculously I've only had one minor cavity MY ENTIRE LIFE.  The doc says my mouth is in good health every single time.  

I think this just goes to show that genetics plays a huge role in dental health.  In other words, I'm just lucky.  


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I am the queen of dental problems!

It all started when I still had my baby teeth.I hated brushing so much so, I would put a dab of toothpaste in a cup of water, mix it up, and swirl it in my mouth.

My parents never made sure I was brushing and they didn't think kids needed to see dentists.Somehow my baby teeth all turned brown.Brown!And still, never saw a dentist. (I guess my parents figured it didn't matter since they fall out anyway)

Fast forward to my 20's, I didn't have insurance and put up with the pain until I couldn't anymore.One time my face swelled up like a baseball.

Now that I'm in my 30's, I'm trying to fix what was neglected all my life, and it's a never ending mission.I have 9 root canals, fillings on every single tooth, 2 extractions, I need 3 crowns, alteady have 3 crowns, and am planning on 2 implants soon.Oh...and my 3 front teeth are bonded cause they broke when I fainted once.

I regret getting any root canals cause I've read that you're just trapping bacteria in your body and it can cause cancer, heart attacks, and more teeth decay  (literally,  when the root canaled tooth of someone who had cancer or a heart attack is put into a rabbit's skin, the rabbit gets cancer or a heart attack 3 weeks later!)

I also had a bone graft procedure and am supposed to have a gum graft procedure done.I can't financially keep up with what needs to be done so I do as much as I can, a little at a time.

Anyway, I'm rambling but I just wanted to say that I can relate to having way more teeth problems than the average person & it sucks! 

I just recently started reading about thyroid problems and learned that the thyroid can cause teeth problems too.That might be why I personally,  have so much going on.Who knows.

I do think VE is right though that the only way for it to stop is to pull them all out.I wish I could afford to rip every one of those bastards out and get implants. 

Edited by BlurredBoundaries
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