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Need advice about dentures

(6 Posts)
xJodiex Sat 06-Jul-19 10:39:30

Hi all,

I am in my mid thirties and for many years I have had bruxism and TMJ disorder. I grind my teeth in my sleep. I have broken several teeth and they are not fixable as they broke right up to the gumline. I cannot afford implants but even if I could, it is likely I could break them grinding or break other teeth with them grinding. I had a mouth guard and still broke teeth wearing it.

So I think I will need at least 10 teeth extracted soon and this means I'll need partial dentures. I've never had these before and am very worried I won't be able to wear them. The reason being, I have a severe phobia of choking. I choked on a sweet and could have died when I was a child. I was lucky as a relative saved me. I forgot about it but remembered when I was 20 as I had a throat condition and it reminded me of the choking episode. For many years now I've lived on a liquid diet (i blend all my food). Psychology have tried to help me overcome the fear but had zero success, it is a severe phobia.

So, how am I going to cope with a partial denture in my mouth? Is it going to be better if i just tell the dentist to remove all my teeth so that i have full dentures (which are less easy? to choke on?). Even the thought of all this has me having thoughts of suicide. I am very depressed because of it all.

interminablehellishwhatever Sat 06-Jul-19 11:00:29

I can only tell you that I've had a partial denture for over 30 years and despite very occasional 'slips' from the gum position there is absolutely no way I was ever at risk of choking on it. If yours will replicate at least even 3 or 4 teeth it will be designed around a 'plate' that fits the contours of your mouth and which (even in a worst case scenario) would be very difficult to move towards the throat. I realise that with your crippling phobia it might be hard to trust my experience, but I urge you to try to understand that the risk is so incredibly low as to be pretty negligible. I sleep with mine in most nights, something I'm guessing you would never risk, and I grind too (but not as severely as you) and not once has my denture ever become dislodged in my sleep. If you can tolerate a mouth guard you'll have no problems with wearing a denture, seriously.

I'm so sorry to hear of your frightening predicament and I wish I could override that deep anxiety you have and help you to see how unfounded your fears are in 'reality', but I know all too well how powerful they can be, so I take your dilemma very seriously. I hope someone somehow can gently support you through this to a place of reassurance and acceptance that will improve your life.

Depending on where the dentures need to be positioned, one or both of them might be designed on a metal (rather than acrylic) plate that 'clips onto' existing teeth. That increases the secureness. However, even if you have an upper and lower partial denture built on acrylic plates, fixative will be very reliable and will help you to feel much more secure about wearing them. And given your situation I get the impression you would rarely if ever fall asleep with them in, but even on the odd occasion you do you'll have fixative that will prove resistant to grinding anyway. That's my experience.

xJodiex Wed 10-Jul-19 18:09:59

Thank you so much for trying to put my mind at ease about it. I woke today with an infected tooth (well, it was already broken) and needed to get antibiotics. It looks like even though it's not what I want, it is going to be better with dentures than to continue going through this absolute living hell. I have broken so many bits off teeth since february, i lost count. I am going to need at least 8 teeth out, maybe more. Even after that, i'll likely grind the other remaining ones. It makes me so sad.

At this point I only hope i can manage to wear the dentures they make me and to eat and talk. If I can't, then I don't know what will happen sad I'm really scared.

Owltowel Fri 12-Jul-19 02:57:14


I'm not sure where you are but there are dentists that are able to treat these sort of problems. You might have been told lots of contrasting things and it is a shame that grinding is one of the most mistreated and misdiagnosed problems in dentistry.

Have a look for Dr Ian Buckle. He is based in Wirral but it will be worth a trip even if to get a good idea of what is possible. Super nice guy and he will sort you out properly.

interminablehellishwhatever Fri 12-Jul-19 19:57:29

OP it'll take a little time but you will adapt to your dentures and be able to eat and talk, please don't worry about that. If possible arrange the process so you only have to deal with and communicate with your nearest and dearest in the first week or two after the dentures are fitted, to give you time to get used to wearing them while eating and talking. You can do this, seriously, millions of people have and still do. I know it's hard but try to keep focusing on how, in time, it'll improve your quality of life. Is there anyone at home you can share your fears with and get some support through your extractions and adjustment period?

If it helps with your fear of choking, think of all the billions of people throughout history who've lost teeth as kids while sleeping and not choked, or the millions of grinders who never choked on teeth they broke in their sleep. We're amazingly resourceful, the unconscious keeps us safe the vast majority of the time. I feel for you, being in such a vulnerable place in yourself, but you'll win through to happier days and safer, more secure feelings flowers

xJodiex Thu 18-Jul-19 08:12:39

Thanks to both of you, it means a lot to me smile

I have an infection in one of the already broken teeth and am on metronidazole now for it as amoxicillin had zero effect. :/

I'm not anywhere close to wirral unfortunately so it's not possible to get there. I also have low iron levels at the moment and I'm struggling to eat due to the infected and also the other broken teeth, I keep breaking off temporary fillings.

I need to be sedated for the extractions due to anxiety and I have a few more weeks left to wait.

I just worry because I've read online people saying they cannot wear their dentures and that they're in pain. I unfortunately have no choice now though. sad

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