As You Age and the Side Affects of 'conditions'

i recall when i was a young child that my teeth literally rotted out of my head.  i had all my permanent teeth by the time my bestfriend lost her first baby tooth!  (she was a bit of a late bloomer, still yet we're talking by the time i was 8!)

my mother took brother and i to the dentist a couple times a year as i guess is recommended.  when i was about 9 years old this dentist, a children's dentist, recommended a 'new' treatment beyond the weekly flouride at school.  it was called "sealants" - this was a clear coating over each tooth with some mystery chemical.  it's purpose was to create a barrier keeping your teeth safe from sugar, bacteria, etc.  she bought into it only to learn it was a 'scam' a few years later and supposedly made no difference.  later in this story we shall see... you be the judge.

after hearing stories repeatedly about my grandmother losing all her teeth at age 27 i began a serious regimen of oral hygiene, far beyond the norm ... most likely closing in on OCD.  i brushed my teeth for 15 minutes 2-3 times each day and flossed once a day.  i used 4 different types of toothpaste.  back then they didn't have multi care toothpastes.  each function was sold individually.  each time i brushed i used a flouride toothpaste, a tartar control paste, a polishing paste and then a whitening paste.  i'd finish the routine with a mouth wash.  each time i flossed i'd finish with mouthwash as well.

by the time i was 10 i noticed my friends getting their front teeth.  they didn't look like mine.  mine were short and there was this space in between them.  as the next few years would pass by this would bother me more and more.  by this time all my friends were getting braces.  my teeth on the top were straight and only slightly crowded on the bottom so my parents refused braces.  i was crushed!  i hated that gaping 'space' in my smile.  i decided to do something about it which i do NOT recommend to every one or any one for that matter as it's not worked for any one but me that i'm aware of.  approximately a year after my friends began getting their braces they were now getting the smallest rubberbands you ever saw.  these clear, tiny rubberbands somehow hooked onto brackets that were on the braces.  their purpose i have no clue.  one of my friends didn't want to wear his so i asked for those rubber bands.  he gave them to me gladly.  i slipped one around my four front teeth and another around my six front teeth.  for the next year my friends would joyfully give me their rubberbands and i wore them in this manner all night long and nearly all day long.  i took them out to eat and often found the weaker ones i'd worn for a couple days would break during the night snapping my tongue.  talk about a sore tongue!  not to mention the pain i had in the front of my mouth.  i'm sure it wasn't anything like a full mouth of braces.  after about a year the gaping 'space' in my smile was GONE!

after a couple more years my friends were getting their braces off and as more of them were being relieved of the metal that had accesorized their faces all the years of early puberty i began to notice ... i noticed just HOW incredibly short my teeth were ... and how incredibly much gum i had in my mouth.  ladies and gentlemen, i had a very BAD tooth to gum ratio ... somewhat like that of a chimpanzee smiling wildly.  but i didn't need to smile for the gums to protrude, i simply spoke and there they were in all their pink glory.  ugh! 

by this time i was about 16 and we'd moved to another town.  i no longer went to the children's dentist either.  the new dentist offered me a procedure after i inquired whether the gums would receed any as i got older.  he didn't even charge for the procedure - we bartered.  he got to use photos of my mouth to solicit his services to prospective clients.  my smile is still seen locally on tv and in paper ads 15 years later.  the procedure itself was somewhat like a gum graft without grafting the gum to another location.  he simply cut the gums and shaped them beautifully to reveal the teeth that had been hiding underneath them.  BEAUTIFUL!  NOW the full transformation was complete.  no more smiling with my mouth closed and talking with pursed lips to hide the pink glow of gums.

certainly all that brushing paid off because no matter where i went for years to come (after the transformation was completed) it never failed, i always received comments about my "white" and "perfect" teeth.  perhaps the brushing paid off for years to come.  from the time i was 18 to the time i was 24 i refused to go to the dentist.  there was simply no need in my mind.  my teeth were white, straight (for the most part), pretty, and they didn't hurt, weren't breaking, etc.  i finally went to the dentist 6 yrs later and found i still had NO cavities.  the dentist wanted to know what kind of toothpaste and brush i used considering my family dental history.  i promised the dentist i'd come regularly, at least once a year.  silly me!  it was the following visit, 12 mos later, when i was told i had my first cavity.  i was 25.  it's been 6 years since my first cavity/filling and i've had 5 more for a total of 6 fillings.  all of them were "pin hole" cavities according to the dentist.  now considering my grandmother losing her teeth at 27 and my mom having these horrible teeth (my father's side not much better) ... how do you think the sealants did?  or was it all that brushing i did as a kid?

what i've noticed in the past few years though ... is that my teeth have begun to lose that pearly white glow.  they have slowly faded into an offwhite color with a yellow hue.  not only that but with the RSD i've begun getting these 'buildups' or deposits of something (i don't know what exactly ... tartar perhaps?) on my teeth.  the deposits are whiter than the tooth itself and they do NOT brush off nor can you use an oral pique to remove it.  it does NOT budge.  the hygenist said it's most commonly found on the teeth of people who don't regularly brush.  while i don't brush like i once did, i still manage to brush these teeth for 8 minutes a day - 2 four minute intervals with a multicare paste.  but now due to RSD i walk around and my smile looks like it's not been brushed in a couple years!  i don't like this.  it's shameful especially after having such a pretty smile all those years and taking it for granted.  as a matter of fact i'm worried for the years to come.  there are all sorts of 'treatments,' sure.  but it seems time takes it's toll on your body, even your teeth.  had i known this i would have taken better care of my teeth in those years i was ignoring them - the last 13 years basically - and continued with my 15 minute routine.  even if i had continued with the regimen would it have combatted the affects of the RSD?  i dunno...

not only has the RSD begun depositting gnarly lil white spots on my teeth, one of the side affects of RSD is bone decay.  YES!  my bones will begin to deteriorate much like ostheoporosis ... and i'm only 31!  so i have LOTS of years left that i'm going to need not only my chompers but the rest of the bones in my body as well and they're at serious risk!  *sighs*  i guess it will be dentures for me ... which is fine.  at least that way i can have my pretty smile back!  hehe

AbbyNormal AbbyNormal
31-35, F
5 Responses Jul 27, 2007

When I was 15, I was running out of our house, caught my foot on the door threshold, and went 'mouth first' down a flight of solid slate steps. I knocked out four front teeth and broke four others off at the gum line.<br />
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We were pretty poor, so 'caps' or any type of cosmetic dental work was out of the question. The roots of the broken teeth were pulled, and in a few months i got a denture. Believe it or not, I never had a problem wearing them, could eat anything, and never felt the regret that you hear so many people talk about.<br />
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These days, (Im 60 now) I live in a rural area, and alot of men my age (and alot of younger ones) have no teeth, so I kind of got into the habit of going without, and I like that too. so, from MY point of view, if you have to get dentures, dont dread the prospect, its not bad at all. Just make sure you have a good dentist who knows how to fit them.

Karalas - I feel for you. Sounds like you've got some bad family genetics when it comes to teeth and tooth fairy knows you personally. <br />
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At least with dentures we can take them out and put them in a bubbly water to get them clean and won't have to worry with brushing ... or will we? I've brushed enough for a lifetime but to no avail... EEK! Is there anything positive to having dentures? I don't know ... YET.

I have a similar problem here. My mother was toothless by the age of 19 due to her body not processing calicum right her mother at 25 and her mother at 20. If that isn't bad enough my dad has been on Dialatin (an epilepsey medication that rots teeth) his entire life.<br />
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I always brushed my teeth. Much like you as a kid I would go crazy if I couldn't brush my teeth. I was the first in my age group to have a full set of permenent teeth. I was also the first one to have a tooth pulled.<br />
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About the age of 12 I started expierencing problems with cavitites. Mind you I am not really a sweet eater (though now I dirnk a fair amount of soda but that is after the fact) I was getting cavities at an alarming rate. Luckily for me my dad knew how I was at brushing my teeth.<br />
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By the time of the age of 18 all my four front teeth were false (two knocked out from fighting though) with several molars capped. By the time I was 20 I had a root canal on every tooth in my mouth. <br />
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At the age of 17 I joined the Marine Corps. Standard military procedure is to remove wisdom teeth in boot camp so that they do not emerge while in the field. Some doctor out ther got to name a condition because of me. My wisdom teeth though while seprate at the crown were sharing a root with my rear molars. So instead of four teeth being pulled eight were pulled.<br />
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I am now 25. I have watched people who never brush, floss and eat nothing but junk food walk out of dental with clean bills of health where me who prided himself on taking care of his teeth am expierencing a slow decay of my teeth. Within the next three years I will need dentures. So I feel your pain and your feeling of loss of worth.

i know you want it all done right NOW but perhaps for the sake of finances, you might wait until your insurance replenishes. when it does plan your visits out across the calendar year so you get what you can done with insurance, can make payments on the rest (if need be) and in the mean time; for the sake of whitening - there are LOTS of good over the counter remedies. they will work to a degree. use it for a couple weeks, wait a couple weeks and do it again until you have your desired coloring. but make sure to ask the doc if you can do this with your new crowns... as for 'uneven' teeth ... that's character if you ask me! i don't want a mouth full of 'perfection' but i want my mouth to be as pretty as i can get it without major investment. as far as the people around me, i expect that they at least brush their teeth regularly. (i'm attracted to smiles.) but i don't want a man with a 'perfect' smile ... it would only serve to intimidate me about my own oral inadequacies. i.e. i dated a man once who rarely smiled with his mouth open. i'd never seen his teeth in 6 mos. not once! he continually commented on what a beautiful smile i had. out of nowhere he had a full set of veneers done. it was beautiful but then i started to become embarrassed of what was in my mouth because his were so perfect - the same way he viewed me before his 'procedure.' the moral of the story ... keep YOU in tact, keep your individuality to a degree and realize that by bettering yourself there will be some who are motivated and some who are hopelessly intimidated left feeling inferior...

I too am obsessed. I am turning 30 and just recently started seeing a dentist. In one month, I have had one impacted wisdom tooth removed, one normal one extracted, and two root canals. this weekend, I am getting two crowns and seven!! cavities worked on. oh yeah, i need an implant for a missing molar. i can't believe my teeth are so bad. i am obsessed because everytime I look in the mirror I see horrendous teeth. now i am going to need whitening to match my new crowns. also, i can't get over the fact that i have uneven teeth. i need to get that fixed too. I used up my dental insurance by the way.