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Am I going to lose my teeth?

(53 Posts)
AllFurCoat Sun 08-Dec-13 15:01:08

I've been having various health problems for the last month and now my teeth have started wobbling and I'm so scared I'm going to lose them! I got a bad cold/sinus type thing a month ago and my teeth started feeling loose - like when you have braces, but weren't actually loose. When the sinus pain cleared, so did the loose teeth feeling. Last week I got another cold and my bottom teeth started feeling loose and sore and one started wobbling! That cleared up, but then it seemed to work it's way round my mouth, on Friday my top right teeth started feeling loose and one is now wobbling and now the left ones have started. WTF?!

I do have receding gums and a couple of bad cavities, but it all seems to have kicked off in the last month. My gums feel really tender. Another thing is my jaw's a bit dodgy and clicky, I often can't close my teeth properly cos my jaw just won't do it and when it does it's uncomfortable.

I've always been a bit crap with my teeth, but in the last few months I've started making sure I brush at least twice a day, flossing, mouthwash etc, but it seems to have got worse since then! I've got a massive dentist phobia, but have booked in to see them this week. I'm so, so scared that I'm going to lose my teeth! I'd assumed the loose feeling was down to my sinuses being blocked, but I'm all worried now they're actually wobbling! Can anyone help?!

varigatedivy Sun 08-Dec-13 15:41:07

It's impossible to tell without seeing them!
Loose teeth are a sign of advanced gum disease because the gums recede and the teeth fall out eventually.
Dentists can save teeth where there is gum disease- give you antibiotics if there is infection and so on, but you need them to have a look and assess what's going on. It's more likely that your teeth have moved and that's why you can't have a proper 'bite'- rather than you jaw changing, those bone can recede too in older people.

Hopefully it won't be as bad as you imagine when you see the dentist.

AllFurCoat Sun 08-Dec-13 16:55:29

Thanks! I'm probably panicking a little too much, but after a nasty extraction thanks to a botched root canal, anything to do with teeth petrifies me! I'm wondering if it is my teeth shifting actually, I've had loads of teeth out because of overcrowding, so maybe they've just realised 10+ years later that they've got more space. I'm only 25 and totally didn't expect problems like this now!

khm1998 Sun 08-Dec-13 22:28:49

Do your gums bleed when flossing and brushing?

SwimmingMom Sun 08-Dec-13 23:31:46

You sound like a case of advanced gum disease. Must go to a periodontist ASAP, if possible tomorrow. Will take a few sittings to clean out the rot in the gums & stabilise the teeth...but will need hygiene cleans every 3 months. If you make haste you teeth could be saved. But a delay of few days/weeks could change the picture. Hurry!

I don't mean to scare you, I only want to get you into acting very quickly.

If you want more input PM me & I can tell you more.

Good luck!

varigatedivy Mon 09-Dec-13 08:23:25

swimming- the Op has already said she has an appt booked for this week. Gum disease takes years to become established and nothing is going to happen in a few more days.

Are you in the US perhaps? In the UK all dentists deal with gum disease and would refer to their hygienist in the practice for cleaning and treatment.

AllFurCoat Mon 09-Dec-13 08:24:06

That's what I'm worried about, that it's advanced gum disease. But I don't get how it seems to have come on so quickly? And I've not had any gum bleeding, which is hats confusing me the most cos I thought that was the first sign?

I've woken up loads better today, no aching and could actually close my jaw first thing! Obviously just speculating, but I'm wondering if cos I'm so conscious of it I'm making it worse cos I'm not relaxing my jaw properly or something? God knows!

AllFurCoat Mon 09-Dec-13 08:35:30

I guessed swimming was probably in the US! Tbh I don't actually think my gums look that bad, they're not all red and nasty looking. Also wondering if switching to corsodyl daily might have irritated them? Will switch to salt water and see what happens! I guess there's no point guessing as only a dentist actually seeing them will know what's going on!

varigatedivy Mon 09-Dec-13 08:42:10

You may be tooth grinding in your sleep- this can give you a very sore/achy jaw and sore teeth. They can sort this with a mouth guard you wear at night.

Hope you get on ok, but in future make sure you go to dentist every 6 months and keep up the cleaning and flossing <wears bossy mum hat>

SwimmingMom Mon 09-Dec-13 09:02:08

Vari - I am in UK! smile

When I was in a similar situation as OP (but bleeding gums, so no doubts), I used my private insurance (otherwise expensive!!) to directly go to a perio. Didnt want to lose any time. The perio was very quick to treat (but bloody expensive - am taking ££££ here..). I promise - from the first treatment (deep hygiene clean) I felt the teeth get firmer & stronger. From not being able to bite into an apple for fear of losing teeth, I was able to do it within days.

The regular route would be dentist > hygienist > perio, but I panicked & jumped to the end. Now am fine with regular dentist & hygienist visits.

Hope this helps but as you say, a day here or there won't matter (depending on how bad OP's situation is).

On the other hand if its not gum disease (I would be surprised), then the dentist would know best.

If this helps at all - my m had the same condition with no bleeding. Lost a lot of gum & all teeth shifted. It's hereditary in many cases like mine.

OP - you could ask your mum/dad if they've ever had it. Might help with knowing where the problem lies.

SwimmingMom Mon 09-Dec-13 09:03:15

Oops - I meant 'mum'

AllFurCoat Mon 09-Dec-13 09:17:53

I know my parents teeth aren't the best, dad's probably cos he's also petrified of the dentist and mum's I don't know, will have to ask!

I do have insurance actually, one of those things that I've paid for years and not actually used! Will have a check on what it'll pay out.

Ugh the thought of teeth grinding goes right through me, the DC do it though and I think my mum does, so chances are I do too!

And yes, I'll keep up with the brushing and flossing and make sure I see the dentist regularly - all this has properly shit me up!

SwimmingMom Mon 09-Dec-13 09:30:25

Allfurcoat - can I ask if your gums are looking pink & firm or are they looking purplish-patches & tender?

varigatedivy Mon 09-Dec-13 10:06:05

Swimming- do you mean private dental insurance? Because private health cover won't cover you for teeth. I've never heard of periodental- I've had lots of cleans for bleeding gums and the treatment was hygienist every 3 months, flossing and mouth washes and mutterings of anti biotics if it didn't improve.

varigatedivy Mon 09-Dec-13 10:08:15

swimming- I do wonder if you have been ripped off tbh. All hygienists do a 'deep clean' surely? They use the ultrasonic water spray thing and then pick away with the tools- getting right under the gum line and so on. what else did you have done?

SwimmingMom Mon 09-Dec-13 10:34:15

Vari - periodontal disease is an advanced stage of gum disease. It's done under 2 shots of local anaesthesia for each quarter of the gum line as the cleaning is very deep to the base of the gums. (Divide the teeth into quarters, each quarter gets 2 shots & about 45 mins of cleaning each). It's standard practise in dentistry, not a rip off am sure. To be sure I've gone to a reputed perio at Harley street in London.

Now I go to a hygienist who does a 'thorough' clean for about 45 mins for all my teeth, no local obviously. There is a big difference in both treatments. Perio was a one time thing to 'rescue' me & measure the pockets caused by the gum disease. Went for follow ups but after 6 months was told by the perio that I need not see them anymore - hygienist will suffice.

Yes you are right about insurance, it was private dental insurance, but I had to pay first & get it back from Insurance later.

Any help?

AllFurCoat Mon 09-Dec-13 11:54:46

My gums are pink, although I've noticed a couple of purple patches in the last couple of days. I just really don't get how it could all have gone downhill so suddenly! I feel constantly fuzzy headed too, which I don't know if it's related or not, but I'm sick of feeling crap!

varigatedivy Mon 09-Dec-13 13:20:31

The thing with insurance like Denplan though is that the annual premium is based on your age and state of your teeth as in a report by your dentist- so not sure how it works by claiming retrospectively???

I don't have Denplan because the annual quote was somewhere around £250 for the basic plan and I don't spend that amount on my regular treatments, even with a re-filling which I've had maybe once a year for the last 2 years along with 2 cleans/polish.

SwimmingMom Mon 09-Dec-13 16:53:23

Allfurcoat - just take one step at a time, go to the dentist & hygienist. They will know what to do.

In the meanwhile avoid biting into anything other than soft food. Avoid hard/medium food until you are seen. If you can - use the Colgate Total (gum protection) mouthwash.

Am sure it will all be alright in a few days.

SwimmingMom Mon 09-Dec-13 16:57:57

Vari - dental insurance have standard cover amount for specific procedures depending on what you've signed up for. Usually covers dentist, hygiene appointments for a few hundreds a year + non standard procedures like perio, root canal, crowns for a higher amount. Typically they don't challenge the claim - they just fulfill it to the allowance limit of your claim. The underlying assumption is that you wouldn't have any of this done for fun.

Cosmetic procedures are not included - braces, whitening etc.

Payment timelines are 2 weeks after you send the claim in. Pretty smooth TBH.

Not sure if this will help you OP, but I was told I was going to lose some teeth in the summer due to severely receding gums following a nasty illness earlier in the year. put off going to the sentiat over the years - babies and wriggly toddlers etc.

However, I started rubbing my gums with cayemne pepper to stimulate the circulation. Four months down the line, went back to the dentist who was a bit surprised (and gutted probably, he collects vintage cars!) No mention of tooth loss and teeth and gums have visibly improved.

Also, give oil pulling a whirl. Sounds bonkers but it did the trick for me.

varigatedivy Mon 09-Dec-13 17:04:48

My DM has a dental plan and I looked into it- something like £25 a month totally £250 -ish a year allowances. I worked out that I would spend more on the insurance than if I paid for my average annual treatments costs- eg 2 x £38 hygienist trips, 1 check up and possibly one small re-filling of old fillings ( had 2 in the last 2 years but none for decades.)

SwimmingMom Mon 09-Dec-13 18:01:18

Amidoingthisright - fantastic tip about cayenne pepper! Thanks for sharing, will try it...

Colinbakergotfat Mon 09-Dec-13 18:27:05

To be honest I think you should be ok at 25. I am 10 years older than you and have periodontal disease - gingivitis. I have bone loss and a couple of pockets are 7mm shock. Over 3 is bad. They are amazed at how bad I am for my age.

I have the treatment that swimming describes on the nhs. So... I think it is unlike that all your teeth are going to fall out imminently. When I have an active infection the gums are tender, bright red, puffy and my teeth feel loose. I can also express pus (sorry tmi).

They are getting much better and the pockets are reducing so i am sure you will be fine.

AllFurCoat Mon 09-Dec-13 18:54:13

Thanks everyone! I've only been eating soft food for the last few days, tbh my appetite's gone down hill anyway so I've not been eating much anyway!

AmI I'll give the cayenne pepper a whirl after I've seen the dentist, thanks! I don't want to try it til I know what's going on as I don't want to make anything worse! What's oil pulling? blush

Colin that's really reassuring thanks! I'd got myself worked up that it was irreversible and they'd suddenly all fall out! Hopefully it'll be easily sorted-ish though!

Mrsmorton Mon 09-Dec-13 20:47:48

Cayenne pepper confused you need to see a dental professional for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Oil pulling is an odd thing whereby people use oil to clean in between their teeth (takes 20min) rather than flossing. It gets rave reviews on here but I've not seen any evidence based research to date.

Mouthwash is just an expensive way to spit something out. Most is classed as "cosmetic" as it's got no medicinal benefit. It's rare (unless you are a smoker who never brushes) to have severe perio at 25 but there are conditions which give you localised disease around some of your teeth. Rare though.

FarFromTheMaddingCrowd Mon 09-Dec-13 21:29:28

I'm going to chip in here as I have recently been diagnosed with periodontal disease and others reading (along with the OP) may find the information useful. I should also add that I am currently temporarily living in the US.

OP - I cannot stress how important it is that you get yourself to the dentist. They will examine you, take pocket measurements and use x-rays to determine how much (if any) bone loss you have - this is assuming, of course, that you have gum disease. Please don't panic as there are degrees of gum/periodontal disease and this will determine which treatment is required.

The fact that you have areas of dark purple patches, wobbly teeth and sinus infections points to some type of problem. Sinus infections can be an indication of infection affecting the upper jaw (upper jaw bone is less dense than lower jaw).

Standard treatment involves scaling and root planing. The scaling will remove the build up of tartar around the gum line and the root planing will smooth the roots to enable the gums to reattach and minimise gum pockets. The area will be numbed, so it should not be too uncomfortable. As mentioned above, work is carried out one quadrant at a time, so several visits to the dentist would be required. You may be given antibiotics to clear any active infection. I am currently taking a medication called Periostat, which I think is only available privately in the UK, but you may want to mention it to your dentist.

I was only very recently diagnosed with periodontal disease, whilst here in the US and have been able to have a treatment that is not found anywhere else in the world. As I have only recently had the treatment I cannot say whether or not it has been a success - I won't have any indication for about 6 months. The reason I mention it is for two reasons - the first is that the website is extremely informative with regards to gum disease and the second is to inform people of what is possible now regarding treatment. The "healthy gums" section of the website is very informative. This is the website:

WARNING - there are some before and after pictures of teeth/gums - please don't look if you squeamish!

In terms of the treatment that I've had, I am happy to answer any questions about the procedure.

Good luck with your visit to the dentist.

varigatedivy Mon 09-Dec-13 21:54:11

Just wanted to add too that things like tooth absesses can cause sinus problems- my DH had terrible sinus problems resulting in an operation and months of treatment with an ENT surgeon and it came down they thought to an old absess which had travelled upwards. This was despite it being treated at his dentists initially.

AllFurCoat Tue 10-Dec-13 07:50:19

Oil pulling sounds rather, erm, weird!

FarFrom I'll have a look at that link later when I'm a little more awake!

I was doing some googling last night and my gums actually look very similar to pictures of anaemic gums I've seen. Which is interesting because I was at the GP yesterday and am having bloods done today to check my iron and b12 levels! I need taking to the knackers yard!

SwimmingMom Tue 10-Dec-13 08:40:23

FarFrom - what is the purpose of periostat & how long do you have to take it?

If it offers you any solace, I was treated the identical way as you mention 18+ months ago in London, and so far the recovery has been steady. I have been told that if I keep up my daily hygiene practices I should be perfectly ok with no relapses. So your treatment has ever reason to be equally successful.

Infact my teeth moved quite a bit & even that has now been re-aligned (with braces hmm).

Lesson learned - NEVER ignore any unusual symptoms even for a short while.

Madlizzy Tue 10-Dec-13 08:57:48

are you a smoker? if so, that can cause receding gums and loose teeth.

OryxCrake Tue 10-Dec-13 09:22:44

How scary for you. Hope that your dental appointment goes well and that all is sorted very quickly.

I just wanted to chip in about oil pulling. I have terrible teeth and gums (hereditary) and have to work very hard to keep my mouth healthy: a twice-daily routine of brushing, flossing, interdental brushes and mouthwash. Plus, I'm careful about avoiding sugary foods and drinks.

I have found oil pulling very helpful but do it in addition to these things. I've not come across anyone who uses it as a substitute for flossing.

It doesn't take a great chunk out of my day as I do it while I'm showering each morning. I think it's improved my gums over several months. Harmless, cheap, and worth a try...

Cayenne pepper can sting a little the first time - just to warn you! Oil pulling is when you take a tablespoon of oil (I use sesame) and slosh it around your mouth for 20 minutes on an empty stomach. Don't swallow! After you spit out and rinse with water, then clean your teeth. It works for me! Have a look on Google to see all about it.

Good luck!

varigatedivy Tue 10-Dec-13 12:17:09

shockHow on earth are you supposed to keep oil in your mouth for 20 minutes?
TBH I suspect that swishing anything around your mouth for 20 minutes would help loosen the plaque and food deposits.
It's those and the bacteria that adhere to them that causes gum inflammation.

AllFurCoat Tue 10-Dec-13 16:38:52

I think I'd be sick if I tried to keep anything in my mouth for 20 mins hmm

Yes I'm a smoker, been trying to quit for far too long! My gums and teeth are feeling a whole load better now, although one of my top molars is now playing up and the gum seems a bit swollen and is making my nose kind of tingle! So I wouldn't be surprised if I've got an abscess! Strangely looking forward to seeing the dentist tomorrow as I can't wait to get it all sorted! Only problem is it looks like I'm going to miss the end of the kids' nativity, but needs must!

varigatedivy Tue 10-Dec-13 17:11:00

It's the ciggies, love- they ruin everything including teeth.

AllFurCoat Tue 10-Dec-13 17:33:43

I know sad I've tried all sorts to quit, but I find it so hard! Only thing that worked was getting pregnant - not sure I want to do that again quite yet though wink

KittiKat Tue 10-Dec-13 17:42:10

AllFurCoat, I too was a smoker until very recently. To be honest the thought of having no teeth has finally given me the willpower to stop.

I have spent an AWFUL lot of money on my teeth and because I was still smoking, my gums were still receding and I had to get to the stage where my dentist told me that unless I stopped smoking, all the work on my teeth would have been a total waste of money.

It has taken me two years to finally give up smoking. I hope I have not left it too late.

varigatedivy Tue 10-Dec-13 18:36:10

Have you asked your GP for support- aren't there NHS stop smoking clinics or something?
Or hypnotherapy perhaps?

FarFromTheMaddingCrowd Tue 10-Dec-13 18:42:49

SwimmingMom - Periostat is low dose doxycycline (20mg) which is an antibiotic. At this low level it stops the enzymes that destroy the gum fibres from being released so aids with the healing process. Another way of putting it would be that it re-sets the inflammatory response. I had to take it 2 weeks before the procedure (it limits bleeding) and will take it for 6 months afterwards. It is standard practice here to take it after SRP treatment. I believe it is available privately from dentists in the UK.

I wasn't aware that the exact same procedure (RPE) was carried out in the UK - Judy has never been to the UK to train anyone in exactly what she offers. The closest that I've read about is BOST, but none of the information I could find explained exactly what the procedure with BOST was and I could not see any reference to the use of an endoscope either. If I'm wrong about this, please let me know! Also, my cost was considerably less than the £5000 that I've seen quoted (although this may be incorrect).

I also had the bacteria test carried out and had only 2 high levels of pathogens so am taking a different antibiotic for this. My genetic test was also positive.

Good to hear that it's all going well with you and hope it continues. smile

lizzypuffs Tue 10-Dec-13 18:56:48

Hi Fur

This sounds like teeth grinding and clenching. The clicky jaw, sore face and teeth not closing properly are classic symptoms. Tight facial muscles can cause the sinus and cold symptoms. Definitely go to the dentist. It's easily solvable and with a mouth guard and the right treatment you will soon be much better.

The proper name for this is TMJ disfunction. I hope your appointment goes well.

Mrsmorton Tue 10-Dec-13 19:18:35

Neither RPE or BOST have a huge evidence base if any at all so I think practitioners will be fairly scarce.

OP if you could stop smoking for pregnancy, surely you can do it for your DCs if nothing else. You might know that people who smoke have an 8 x higher risk of developing oral cancer than those who don't. Those who drink also have an 8x higher risk. Those who smoke AND drink have a 35x higher risk... Just saying. I'm sure you know all his already.

In any case, having gum treatment while you smoke is like pissing in the wind so if you're serious about your gums, don't waste your time getting treatment if you don't stop smoking. Six cigarettes a day is the level where it starts to impact on every body system according to our smoking cessation advisor.

Was just about to post but see mrs Morton has got there first. What she said.

Once you've seen people so deformed by oral cancer they've had half their jaw cut away you wouldn't want to smoke again.

AllFurCoat Tue 10-Dec-13 20:19:55

I know, I know sad I've tried to quit so many times and every time somethings come up and I've started again. I do know I need to give it a proper go though again - I've had a big wake up call from mrsmorton and noarmani and a big boot up the arse! Going to get the ecig back out.

Last time I spoke to the GP, I just got handed a leaflet. If I struggle with the ecig I'll go back and see if I can see someone a little more helpful! Thanks everyone!

Have you considered champix? A few of my patients have used them with good results

Madlizzy Tue 10-Dec-13 21:05:57

A bit yes to Champix. It's nearly 4 years since I quit using Champix, and I had smoked for 26 years, 20 a day. These tablets made it absolutely piss easy and I don't ever have the urge now. I loathe and detest the smell. Do this for yourself before your mouth looks like someone's off Jeremy Kyle [win]

AllFurCoat Tue 10-Dec-13 22:11:05

I'm wary of champix cos I've got a history of depression, but I'm at the stage where I'd probably give anything a go! This thread's actually been so, so useful to me thanks everyone! I've just been sitting giving myself a pep talk in front of the mirror about how I'm a strong woman and can do this and about how my babies need me to be healthy! Fingers crossed for tomorrow!

Madlizzy Tue 10-Dec-13 22:50:48

I have too, and I was closely monitored but was fine with it.

Madlizzy Tue 10-Dec-13 22:51:27

and that should have been a wink up there, not a win!

AllFurCoat Wed 11-Dec-13 10:06:48

I suppose if you're closely monitored not too much can go wrong, or if it does it'll be sorted quickly! Just about to set off, strangely not feeling as anxious as I usually do, at least there's been no throwing up yet!

AllFurCoat Wed 11-Dec-13 11:09:32

Well don't I feel a massive dick blush there's absolutely nothing wrong with my teeth! He said the loose feeling won't have actually been them being loose, but that my sinuses have changed my perceptions. He took X-rays to check my back teeth cos they're on funny angles and showed me my sinuses on the x ray! But there's no decay, no mention of gum disease or anything and he said everything looked really good! I'm actually in shock!

I asked about the jaw pain and he said it's most likely because I've had a lot of teeth out (bad overcrowding and impacted wisdom teeth) and if it gets really bad they can make me a gum shield, but to see how I go for now!

I'm properly shocked! I'd built everything up really badly in my head cos I'm so phobic, but there was no need really! Thank you so much everyone for advice and everything! And yes, I'm going to see the doctor about quitting smoking!

SwimmingMom Wed 11-Dec-13 12:00:15

Great news! Such a relief. Now you just got to maintain what you have & hope you never go down the paths we have. Good luck!

lizzypuffs Wed 11-Dec-13 13:10:33

Phew! Im pleased that you are ok.

If you keep getting the sore jaw then definitely get a mouth guard, just in case.

Definitely try to quit smoking - hard I know but you will feel so much better for it! The local smoking cessation service will be able to support you. Good luck.

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