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Thread: Teeth Dread

  1. #1

    Default Teeth Dread

    The last few visits to the dentist have been a bit worrying.

    I've been paying for private dental checks for years, without any problems. I have never had a filling in my life, my teeth are still long and strong. Year in year out, my dentist gives me a clean bill of health, the hygienist gives me a polish, and I skip out feeling good about my fangs.

    However, over the last few years I have had gum recession -- nothing close to major bone or tooth loss yet, but certainly far too rapid for comfort, especially considering my age. With this in mind I have also been paying attention to the fact that my teeth have been moving a bit since, hmm, maybe 2001/2 on. My front left tooth has shifted backwards leaving my front teeth set at a slightly crooked angle. I have noticed this over the years, but it seems to be more pronounced now than ever. Whether this is paranoia or fact is hard to tell just by photographs.

    I know this happens with age, and I had a lot of orthondontal work in my teens which probably accounts for the later rearrangement. But it's annoying and alarming because 1) I have regularly gone to the dentist once and sometimes twice a year, 2) I have always vigorously brushed twice every day all of my life, however drunk or hungover and 3) after all that pain and shame in my teens, I was left with gorgeous, straight, symmetrical ivories at the age of 17 and now they are all a bit jumbled again. My once-proud grin has basically gone. I'm fairly vain (Luke would say, extremely) so I'm pained by this development. Also, I do not want it to get any worse. You are, to a certain extent, at the mercy of genetics. But I have never (until now) flossed, I had terrible brushing technique for years (thrashing away with hard brushes) and have smoked a fair amount, so obviously none of these things helped.

    I'm slightly pissed off with my dentist for not really noticing the recession until recently, as I assume it has been in motion for many years. Being ignorant of gingivitis until the last few visits and until the sudden surge of adverts on TV flogging toothpaste designed to combat gum disease (Cordosyl, for example, which alarmingly features a beautiful female model with a missing front tooth), I actually thought that the blood I was spitting out was a sign of my thorough cleaning routine.

    Anyway, I am obsessed with teeth at the moment. I keep looking at other peoples gnashers and comparing them with my own, now corrupted, set. I have gone from pride to shame in a matter of months. I appear to have grown British Teeth under the gaze of my expensive dentist, who displays photographs of his extravegant safari trips in his surgery room.
    Last edited by craner; 31-05-2015 at 08:53 PM.

  2. #2
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    in a weird symmetry i have experienced the same thing. first i began to wake up with bleeding gums, then i noticed a receeding, then a foul plaque buildup, etc. the result is that my once confident smile is gone, replaced by a sort of melancholy grimace.

    i trace all this to my last visit to the dentist who did some complicated wash, immediately after which i went from reasonably healthy teeth to the above. i dread going back as i might get it fixed and contract something else. but the truth is that i may be going through the inevitable decline of old age.

    i am now resigned to the fact that this is as close to health and youth as i will ever be, teeth-wise. everything that works today no longer will in the future. if it's not the teeth it will be something else. as a fellow sufferer you have my sympathy.

  3. #3

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    Dentists are shit, though, aren't they? My dentist has been so obsessed with my still immobile wisdom teeth he never mentioned my gums.

    "Your teeth still look great, but your main problem may well be your widsom teeth at some point. Any pain yet?" "No."

    Meanwhile, my gums have been receding, and the hygienist had to point this out to me and I had to point this out to the dentist. Then he said, "yes, we'll have to keep an eye on the supporting structures, but teeth can take an awful lot of recession if they are healthy, like yours."

    Yeah, ok, thanks, pal. What happened to my smile?

    Awful thing is I'm too nervous to change dentist after 20 years; something to do with continuity, and not trusting dentists in general.

    It's age and bad habits (and genes), though, isn't it, bruno? Only so much dentists can do at the end of the day.
    Last edited by craner; 31-05-2015 at 09:46 PM.

  4. #4

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    I think we are more paranoid about out teeth, these days, however. Watch TV from the '70s (in the UK anyway, and certainly, almost exquisitely, France) no one really gave a shit about their teeth until they were in agonising pain or they were dropping out.

  5. #5
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    true, i think they are not supposed to last this long, much less with the abuse we subject them to. you know if you leave teeth in coca cola overnight they will decompose (i made that up but i believe it is actually corrosive). it's a miracle we have teeth at all.

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    Teeth are disgusting in and of themselves though aren't they. They're big rocks that grow out of your mouth. Your mouth is like a big mineral accretion-hole for crushing things in. Disgusting.
    I broke my front tooth in an ill-advised skateboarding accident (don't go on a half-pipe the first time you ride a skateboard) and I drink tea and coffee and frequently forget to brush so my teeth are terrible so maybe that accounts for my disgust.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bruno View Post
    true, i think they are not supposed to last this long, much less with the abuse we subject them to. you know if you leave teeth in coca cola overnight they will decompose (i made that up but i believe it is actually corrosive). it's a miracle we have teeth at all.
    As Jimmy Carr pointed out, if you leave your teeth in Coca-Cola overnight, you'll drown before you notice any significant tooth corrosion.
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  8. #8

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    So, apart from the gum thing, which is invisible to the general public, I have also noticed that since my last visit to the dentist (mid-May) my teeth look worse than ever, despite a thorough clean and polish. This is because they have got massively stained in that small period of time, which serves to highlight the wonkiness of teeth, and there are two culprits. Smoking, obviously, but that explains the major stains which can be easily removed. The second explains the general and rapid discolouration of all my teeth: that is, Cordosyl mouthwash, which I have been rinsing daily, not on the advice of my dentist, but to be extra vigorous. So my gums are surely healthier, and not bleeding at the moment, but my teeth have gone a horrible bruised yellow-ish hue (with hints of brown on the horizon) which is only adding to the British Teeth look I have been so horrified by.

    I still can't decide if this is a rapid degeneration or if it is all in my head, but bruno's description of moving from a "confident smile to a melancholy grimace" is spot on.

  9. #9

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    It's made me reconsider the whole "would you rather lose your sight or your hearing?" non-question (hearing, if it came down to it, I'd rather be able to read and look at life and remember as much music as possible). The new non-question is: would you rather lose your teeth or your hair?

    It's hard, but I'd probably keep my hair and spend lots of money on new teeth.

    I am trying to think of teeth-centric writing and stories and can only come up with Martin Amis' Experience and Michael Palin's '70s diaries. Any other suggestions?

    When you get into serious booze and fags abuse as a youngster you never get sold the tooth angle, you get cancer and heart attacks which, at 19, don't mean all that much to you. But being told your teeth will fall out is scary at any age under, say, 70, isn't it? They should go with that.

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    I didn't go near a dentist between 1991 and May last year, since when I've had a couple of wisdom teeth out, a crown on a molar, some glass ionomer work around the receding bits. I'm fairly happy with all of that except that my dentist filed the shiny surface off the highly expensive crown after fitting it, so it feels worse than the temporary one it replaced. I think it's now safe to leave it another 23 years before I bother a dentist again. Anyway, my best features are my splendid height, devilish good looks, fathomless blue eyes and coruscating wit, so my teeth can go fuck themselves.

    PS had all that work done under sedative. Midazolam I think it was, which was great until it wore off during root canal scraping. Didn't hurt, but it was a bit bone-grating.
    Last edited by HMGovt; 03-06-2015 at 10:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by griftert View Post
    Teeth are disgusting in and of themselves though aren't they. They're big rocks that grow out of your mouth. Your mouth is like a big mineral accretion-hole for crushing things in. Disgusting.
    I broke my front tooth in an ill-advised skateboarding accident (don't go on a half-pipe the first time you ride a skateboard) and I drink tea and coffee and frequently forget to brush so my teeth are terrible so maybe that accounts for my disgust.
    i'm sure you have lovely teeth.

    i agree that they are like rocks, but they are wonderful in the smile, and outside the mouth the stems are very graceful (which is why dentists take great pleasure extracting our teeth). the problem is that they rot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    As Jimmy Carr pointed out, if you leave your teeth in Coca-Cola overnight, you'll drown before you notice any significant tooth corrosion.
    probably, luckily i will never find out as i don't drink cc, instead i keep a stock of san pellegrino grapefruit, the queen of sparkling drinks. if my teeth rot because of the sp, so be it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HMGovt View Post
    so my teeth can go fuck themselves.
    yes, our cleaning lady lost her teeth and she is actually better off now as there are no worries of tooth decay, gum disease etc. plus her dentures unstick sometimes, which is unintentionally hilarious.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by craner View Post
    It's made me reconsider the whole "would you rather lose your sight or your hearing?" non-question (hearing, if it came down to it, I'd rather be able to read and look at life and remember as much music as possible).
    impaired hearing is actually good in that you don't have to hear the noise and pointless chatter of everyday life, and makes for curious dialogue when answering something completely different to what was asked, plus it allows you to avoid difficult questions, this according to my uncle who is losing his hearing.

    I am trying to think of teeth-centric writing and stories and can only come up with Martin Amis' Experience and Michael Palin's '70s diaries. Any other suggestions?
    kobo abe? there was something about teeth i think, in any case there is a lot of losing-the-face-type things that are sort of what this is about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bruno View Post
    probably, luckily i will never find out as i don't drink cc, instead i keep a stock of san pellegrino grapefruit, the queen of sparkling drinks. if my teeth rot because of the sp, so be it.
    Ooh nice, I usually buy the lemon one as Waitrose doesn't reliably stock the grapefruit one.

    Ting is the boss of all soft drinks. Do we need a soft drinks thread?
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