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Losing my teeth

alice202

SF Supporter
#1
For years I have been struggling to afford dental care that would save my natural teeth. I've lost that battle, because I have lost so many teeth its time to get dentures. In 3 weeks I will have my remaining upper teeth extracted and get a temporary denture. About 6 weeks later I will have my lower teeth extracted and get a temporary lower denture. At this time there will be a couple of posts implanted so that when I get the permanent denture the lower one will have an anchor and not 'float' as I have heard they do.

Its taken a long time for me to accept this. It feels like a failure. Yes, I have been on meds that gave me a dry mouth and that exacerbated tooth decay. But I've always been a diet soda drinker - and that is very acidic and bad for you teeth. I think I am getting closer to accepting it because my natural teeth don't look good (although it would be hard for someone to tell I am missing teeth). I think the dentures will look nice.

Somehow it just doesn't seem that dentures are socially accepted. I've noticed how often people make jokes about it. Today at work a woman was teasing a guy about finding a woman who still 'has her teeth', like that would be better to be alone than with a woman who has lost her teeth. I am single, and I do worry that a potential partner would be horrified to find out I have dentures. I am 61.

There is a man in my building who I talk to occasionally and the other day he was complaining that a tooth had fallen out of his denture. I was happy to know he had dentures, so at least I have someone I can talk to when I have a question. He didn't seem embarrassed or ashamed at all.

I guess I am afraid that people will notice my teeth are different after I get the denture or I won't talk normally and they will know. I don't know why I feel so embarrassed, but I feel like I have to keep this a total secret. I don't even want to tell my mother.

Advice and comfort appreciated.

Alice :(
 

Ivy100

SF Supporter
#2
Hi Alice - my sympathy, it is awful to lose your teeth and worse not be able to get implants or something, rather than extractions and dentures. Blame the meds - not yourself and not the diet soda. I do have a few friends with really great looking dentures that fit well. They are pretty happy with them, and they do look good with even, unstained teeth and nice smiles.
 

Dawn

Well-Known Member
#3
Hi Alice. I totally understand what u are saying. Ppl are SO damn judgemental to ppl whose teeth aren't perfect. The jokes ppl say and the way they look down on them is so wrong!

Please don't think bad about yourself, u are not a failure at all. The truth is that anyone who is that shallow is not worth being around! I have never judged ppl like that, but what is so sad is that so so many ppl are shallow like that and it sucks. Anyone who would judge u is the one who should be ashamed not u! I know it is so easier said than done, but please try not to get down on yourself. Especially, since u are getting dentures because u are still going to have pretty teeth with those and any speech issues will probably be able to be resolved. I think as ppl age many have to get dentures. It is not your fault, it is due to a medical issue.
 

Laura79

Well-Known Member
#4
Sorry your struggling with losing your teeth. I bet after it’s all done your going to be happy and you will have a beautiful smile. I know a girl in her thirties who got dentures and she was so much happier and it boost her confidence. She adjusted real quick as far as her speech. A few days and her speech was back to normal. It will be okay and lots of people have dentures. No reason to feel like a failure. Your beautiful no matter what.
 

Deety

SF Supporter
#5
Alice, I hear you, I think I would have a really time adjusting as well. This is not your fault, you have nothing to feel ashamed about. Take comfort from knowing there are plenty of people like the man in your building, and that the people most likely to judge are those who are wrapped up in themselves so much they probably wouldn't even notice unless you told them. Also, if a potential partner was put off by something like this, that would only reveal their own poor decision making abilities and values. Your worth is certainly not defined by teeth!
I hope all the procedures go well for you and you can enjoy having a full set of teeth again. All the best to you.
 

alice202

SF Supporter
#7
Thanks Ivy100 for your support and encouragement. Thank you Dawn, for pointing out that this is fairly common as people age. But I think that there are a lot of younger people who have dentures or partial dentures too, for a variety of reasons. Its funny, when I see someone with perfect teeth I tend to assume they are natural, but probably many times they are cosmetic.

Laura79 its great to hear of someone who got a boost in confidence from the dentures. When the dentist let me pick out the teeth for the temporary denture, I thought they were beautiful. So I am partly excited about it, but its a huge change.

Thank you Deety. Its not fair that people judge, but its common. If I were unemployed now and had missing teeth I think it would be harder to find a good job. I have a decent job and this is still a financial stretch for me. I think people assume you are either poor or don't take care of yourself if you have missing teeth. But dental care is EXTREMELY expensive. If you have a root canal and a crown put on a single tooth you can end up spending thousands of dollars to save one tooth. I lost a lot of teeth because the only dental procedure I could afford to pay for was extraction.

Thanks Petal. Yes, you can PM me.

I love the dentist making the dentures - she is very nice. And I love the oral surgeon who is extracting my teeth - he has pulled many of my teeth over the last 6 years so I am not afraid of the actual procedures. But it will be a big adjustment.

I am so glad I can post about it here.

Alice
 

Woowoo

SF Artist
Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#8
Hi Alice, I wish you all the very best with your dental work. I'm sure you will be happy with the results. I also have a friend who got dentures in her 30 and she loves them. You wouldn't know at all that they aren't real. Some people can be harsh, but if anyone makes nasty comments remember that it says far more about them than you. Those who matter won't mind and those who mind don't matter.
 

Aprilflowers7

Well-Known Member
#10
I have lost a few teeth myself. One fell out and one was pulled out because it kept hurting. I am afraid I am going to lose all my teeth eventually. I read somewhere many people start having bad problems around their thirties, so maybe losing teeth in your thirties is actually quite normal. I am on Medicaid. I can only afford certain things on Medicaid like caps and crowns are not an option but cleanings are an option and maybe if my mother had helped me earlier than she had then maybe I would not have lost two teeth. At least you get dentures. I can't get my dentures yet because I haven't lost that many teeth. But I still don't like how it feels in my mouth or my smile and my three year old nephew saw my gaping hole and he was all like, "You're supposed to brush your teeth!" which isn't really the problem, of course. Sometimes it just happens. Good luck with the procedures! I am sure it will go great!
 

alice202

SF Supporter
#11
Thanks aprilflowers. I know that I am fortunate to be able to afford dentures. Its really sad that Medicare and Medicaid don't cover this when there are so many people who need them. Even dental insurance doesn't help much. The dental profession expects us to pay for everything out of pocket, but you can spend thousands of dollars just trying to save one tooth. And there are not that many people who can afford to pay for everything, really. Do the best you can to delay it but know that you can deal with losing your teeth if it happens.
 
#12
I am in my mid thirties and many of my teeth are now completely wrecked, I was a sugar addict for so many years and I have been grinding my teeth in my sleep for over ten years. I had a mouth guard but I still managed to break teeth with that in. There are at least 7 that are so broken they will have to be extracted some time in the next few years and I already had to get six veneers so under those are just stumps. Most of my other teeth have fillings and are discoloured too, looks like fluorosis to me. They also extracted two of my wisdom teeth years ago because at the time there wasn't room in my mouth for them, I wish I could have had the filled ones removed and kept those new wisdom ones to be honest. It sucks that we can't grow more sets of teeth like some animals can :( You're not alone in this and I think others are right in saying that people who avoid you just because you'll have dentures, those people really don't deserve your company.
 
#14
I should add that I always brushed and flossed and yet they still ended up this way. I used a fluoride toothpaste every day until about 2 years ago. I also sometimes used those mouthwashes they sell like Listerine. Now I use one made with coconut oil, sodium bicarbonate and peppermint oil. I don't know if it has made any difference or if it was just too late already.
 

alice202

SF Supporter
#17
Some of it is within our control, but some of it is not. I really think there is a genetic component to this. But when you are young its also hard to imagine that drinking diet soda or being on meds for depression can wreck your teeth. If your teeth are crooked they are harder to brush and floss, and more prone to decay. I never had braces, so I got veneers for my front teeth later, but the decay happened under the veneers. And dental work doesn't last. So you can just keep spending money and never keep up with it. At least with dentures I wont have to brush them or worry that they are going to decay.
 
#20
What I don't understand is how my teeth just keep crumbling away so easily, they are just not strong at all, many mornings I wake and can feel the little broken fragments in my mouth from nights of grinding. There's just not even any point in the mouth guard as I still managed to break teeth with it in :( I'm sat here tonight with my mouth feeling weird due to yet another bit I recently crunched away, it's about a quarter the size of the tooth itself :( It's so disheartening.
 

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