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severe gum disease

(86 Posts)
skymonkey Sat 04-Apr-09 13:49:12

hi all, i've lurked but not posted before, but i'd really like to know if there is anyone in a similar situation to me?
i've got severe gum disease which has got rapidly worse over the past few years while i've been pregnant and breastfeeding and generally neglecting myself.
i'm now being treated at a dental hospital and am sure i'll get good professional care and advice there but would really love to chat with fellow sufferers as i don't know anyone else with this condition and i suspect there aren't many since the consultant did say i was a very severe case especially for my age.
so anyone else desperately clinging on to their lovely teeth set in dreadful gums?

deaddei Mon 03-May-10 21:32:32

I am 50 and have good teeth.
But my regular dentist went on maternity leave and I got this knob of a guy who was not long out of dental school, and slated the care I took of my teeth.
Apparantly I had severe gum disease- it scared the shit out of me- I have a fear of losing teeth. He talked to me as if I was 5 years old and had been eating too many sweeties- and suggested lots of treatment.
Bollocks to that- my dentist was back one day a week within 6 months, and she totally disagreed with him.
Needless to say, he has left the practice- many had complained about him- and my teeth are fine.
My sonic toothbrush is my best friend.

cositjustisok Mon 03-May-10 21:33:55

Hi there Sarfesticated...I am still here if I can help in any way...

SarfEasticated Mon 03-May-10 22:55:34

Crikey, I wish mine was a misdiagnosis, gums have been bleeding on and off for 2 years. Am just petrified of the dentist now. No fillings for most of my life then one trip to the dentist for a clean had me shaking like a leaf - that jet of water down the back of your bottom teeth confused and so much blood, and the shame of it too. I do have to go, just can't bear it. Would I get more sympathetic treatment if I went private? We don't have that much money spare tbh....

Please talk me into going! --and come with me--

myrubicon Tue 04-May-10 15:10:46

I reckon I can trump most of you! Hopefully you won't feel so bad after you've read it (although if you really want to feel better about your receding gums take a look at the Embarrassing Bodies tooth problems...)

I have no fillings. I have clean, strong teeth. I have had a sonicare for years. I do all the flossing and interdentalling a dentist could wish for. Despite this... I also suffer from severe gum recession and associated bone loss (bone loss is only on upper jaw though)

The rate of loss has been rapid. I have 5 v. mobile upper molars on one side and three on the other side. I find tap water painfully cold.. to the extent that if a food or drink is slightly colder than the temperature of my mouth I'll yelp on contact.

I have pockets ranging from 1 to 12.

I am, by nature, a bit of a perfectionist; I get irritated if a coat hanger is hung the wrong way round in my wardrobe. So the idea of a grotty gob is a massive issue for me.

I have had three different diagnoses in as many years.

I recently found a dentist and asked for an optinion. He took a 3D x-ray thing and talked to me for an hour and a half. No one else had done that. It was not all good news, but he was very reassuring and pragmatic. He seemed to understand that dental issues can be emotionally charged.

I have a lot of horribly costly treatment ahead of me, but I am starting to feel so much better about all this, and if my loathesome mouth can be fixed, so can yours.

It sounds most of you are doing all the right things re deep cleaning etc. The only advice I can offer is to be very careful with corsodyl. Some dentists I know will not let patients use it unless they also book a cleaning session - corsodyl stains your teeth brown!

Good luck. It does get better...

SarfEasticated Tue 04-May-10 21:28:21

Blimey rubicon, he sounds v. good, is he private? What treatment does he recommend? And is he in London?
Am looking for a nice dentist...
Does he offer much hope? and if you do lose teeth what can they do to replace them?
Thanks in advance!

myrubicon Wed 05-May-10 07:36:35

Sarf - he is good (I hope..). The molars that I will probably lose will be replaced with implants, which is why the treatment isn't going to be cheap sad.

I'd love to be able to say he's in london, but I live in Switzerland now so it'd be a bit of a hike from the UK! Everything here is private. It's an insurance based system, not unlike the US. My insurance is unlikely to cover me for this, so I'll be on bread & water for a while!

As for offering hope, he certainly did that, and said he expected a 100% 'recovery' both in terms of oral health and aesthetics.

He recommended a dentist in London in case I moved back half way through treatment, but having seen the website I doubt I could afford the London guy (website here).

skymonkey Sat 08-May-10 22:52:00

just came to update this thread and wow there are even more of us.

SarfEasticated- the main dentist at my practice is a bit patronising and seemed to be pretty much blaming me for my gums, don;t think he believed me when I said I did look after my teeth and didn't smoke etc. however everyone since then, those at the hospital and others I've seen at my practice have been lovely. they realise I am committed to treatment and do care about my teeth.
it is such a vulnerable place lying with your mouth wide open with all the shame of bad gums etc, but it does get easier i think, once you're there every month! good luck

myrubicon- sounds like you've got some complex treatment underway, fingers crossed for that.
i'm still nhs here so definitely will be conservative treatment from them, will have to think about private possibilities i guess, especially once the cosmetic issues get worse- one front tooth in particular seens to be wandering out at a funny angle!
out of interest, do you know why your upper jaw is affected more than your lower jaw?

so now to update on me. i still have all my teeth for the moment

the Periostat treatment went well, the consultant was impressed with that, wish I'd had it a bit sooner!

i had to have some gum surgery on one area which was much less scary than it sounds and healed up fine.

i now have enormous great gaps in my gums between the teeth where they have shrunk right back which look awful, and the front teeth still seem to be slowly shifting out of place. but the dentists all seem pleased that the gums are healthy now (what's left of them).

just on a 3 month clean schedule with the dentist again now, and will see the consultant again in June/July.....

getting more than a bit bored of cleaning my teeth but I guess it's still better than sticking them in a glass by the bed at night, for now!

SarfEasticated Mon 05-Jul-10 21:16:47

Hi everyone, just reporting back just in case you are still here. I have been back to my dentist who has been replaced with a lovely lady dentist who is very friendly and kind. I have had them cleaned by the practice hygeniest but no improvement, so have been referred to either Eastman or Kings dental hospital in London for Perio treatment. In the meantime she also suggested I went to see a specialist privately, to see if was ok for me to leave my mouth untreated for the 3 months it would take to be seen on the NHS.
Blimey, private dentistry is fantastic! clean, spacious, state of the art technology, loads of time for appointments! Anyway, the very professional Perio specialist took lots of pocket readings (ranging from a few 2's to lots of 8's) and recommended immediate treatment. She trained in NY so not really au fait with NHS, but said that she imagined the quality of her treatment would be better as she has spent the last 2 years qualifying as a specialist in the area, rather than a general dentist at the hospital.
Left me in a bit of a quandary really, wait for 3 months and get them done on the NHS or get it done now and pay quite a lot for it. (don't know the exact figure)
I liked her and trusted her, so my instinct is to go with her, but maybe I would get fantastic treatment on the NHS for free.
Any advice? What would you do.

Also apparently my gums will shrink back and I will look like a horse with very long crooked teeth sad
Is there anything that can be done about that? <pathetically hopeful emoticon>

Oh and one other thing - anyone tried any alternative remedies? Am chugging down Vit C, D and Q10 like there's no tomorrow - does it help?

skymonkey Fri 09-Jul-10 19:49:40

Hi SarfEasticated,

Honestly if you can afford the private treatment I'd say go with that. I've had and am having NHS treatment which I think is good in terms of quality, but it really does take ages between appointments and they are forever getting put back. Waiting for those initial treatments was awful, I was so stressed and paranoid for months.

And yes, I now have the long crooked horse teeth (great description), they do look pretty dreadful at the gum line so I try not to smile too widely nowadays. I don't think there is really anything that can be done unfortunately

No idea whether the supplements help, I did take them to start with, whilst waiting for the deep cleans etc, but am not at the moment. There is certainly evidence to suggest Q10 is good, but it is expensive for high dose.

Let us know how you get on with treatment. I'm currently waiting for the next lot of hygienist stuff.....

SarfEasticated Fri 09-Jul-10 20:48:33

Hi Skymonkey - it's going to cost £1130 to get it done privately, so we are taking money out of savings and going with her. Am actually having it done in one go on Monday - gulp. I could have waited for the NHS, but like you say, am feeling paranoid about the whole thing and just want it fixed.
Apparently it is possible to straighten them once all of the treatment has been done so maybe I might see if i can get that on the NHS?
It is all a complete nightmare isn't it. I'll find out from my lady if there is anything that can be done to make our teeth look better.... Keep thinking of all of the dentistry makeovers on that Nikky Hambleton Jones programme <dreams>

Anyway! at least we all have each other!
<gappy grin>

choclab Fri 09-Jul-10 21:06:18

i feel for you all , as i to am a gum sufferer ...have been to hygenist today ...trying to keep under control a child was terrified of the dentist as one occasion long long long ago the dentist hit me on the head so i had a fear for many years some years on i have a mouth full of fillings and crowns which need constant attention ...
i have found a fantastic dentist and hygenist who i see regularly and am alot better now ...

i hope you all get some comfort that at least not alone , there are others with this problem ..

christinechristine Tue 17-May-11 23:53:16

hi skymoney and everyone else on this forum
I have had the same problem as many of u av,concerns about my gums,neva had gum disease or bleedin apart from in pregnancy in 2004, however think it was aggressive brushin that caused it initially,however last 2 years the gums on bottom 6 teeth are still receeding!av been so worried and dentists are so annoying dont care a bit!
since last 8 months av receeded badly dont know wether cos sonic toothbrush stopped working and av got a rotating braun brush dis tym,but gums seem to av recedded wid dat,
i have since last year taken high strength vit c 1000mg,co enzyme,even bought alkaline water filter lately as read that drinking alkaline water causes the blood to become alkaline so bacteria in mouth dont like alkaline conditions,

Am really worried been dont know where to see a dentist and which ones to trust,current dentist doesnt care and i asked for gum specialist referal but that was nothig important also been to see sumne private but got ripped off as paid 200 for consultation and nothing else.

please someone let me know more about your advice and help as was thinking of getting pregnant dis year but know dreading after reading all this forum and effects o pregnancy


LeanneAndBump2013 Wed 08-May-13 20:32:39


I’m hoping people still check this discussion as I found it very relieving to read that other people are going thought what I am!

I am 24 years old and have just been diagnosed by my Dentists with advanced Periodontitis and I am completely devastated.

At first I was advised it was gum disease and I had my gum pockets measured, the measurements didn’t mean much to me as this was the first time I had these taken however following my appointment I realised how severe the disease was and how deep the pockets were so booked another appointment with my Dentist to discuss again. She confirmed with me that I have advanced Periodontitis and that my teeth would start coming loose in around 15 years (39 years old!). This was a massive shock to me and I have been devastated thinking about it since. My teeth are perfect and I don’t have a single filling but some of my pockets were 7/8mm deep.

I can’t believe I didn’t notice how severe it was sooner, my gums are visibly receding, much worse on the bottom set. I am pregnant so have been told the change in my hormones don’t seem to have helped the matter.

I was just wondering if anyone else suffered with this disease and how bad it can be? Would the Dentist just be giving me the worst case scenario by her saying my teeth would become loose in around 15 years? If the worst case scenario was to happen, are they still able to fit replacement teeth? It has also been confirmed that my bone has already been affected so I’m worried that if my bone and gums continue to deteriorate I will be left with gaps in my teeth and not be able to be fitted with implants / bridges / crowns to replace the teeth.

Any advice would be appreciated as I have got myself in a total state about it and convinced I am going to be totally toothless by the time I’m 40 blush help please!

OrangeMabel Thu 09-May-13 16:36:52

Leanne - when I was about 32 I went to a new hygienist who scared the hell out of me by telling me my gums were so bad that they would be loose in 10 years time. 18 years later they are all (knock on wood) firmly in my mouth.

I never returned to that hygienist and suggest you find yourself another dentist, have an assessment and take it from there. There's lots that can be done and you need a supportive dentist not one that scares you.

In my case I just got a sonic care toothbrush, alcohol free mouthwash and learned how to floss properly.

And, worse case scenario, if you were to lose teeth they can do bone transplants so that you can have implants. However, it probably won't come to that - just find a sympathetic dentist.

Renpc Tue 02-Jul-13 10:53:39

Hello everyone.
I have been diagnosed with a pretty severe level of Periodontitis just last week, and I don't have to tell you how scared I have been since. I had my teeth cleaned and I have started a proper oral hygiene with Sonic and interdental brushes, chewing xylitol gums after every meal. My teeth don't wobble or anything visible and that's what worried me the most..that I had no idea and no I am 15 weeks pregnant and read a lot about the interrelation of severe gum disease and preterm birth. It increase the risk of PB by 30% . I am really healthy and have been taking care of myself so well..except my mouth I's never too late though.I am really stressed out about the baby. that what matters the most to me. Has anyone had this experience or has consulted the doctor regarding this issue which is still subject of debate in the medical world? thanks a lot

Littleorangetree Tue 09-Jul-13 21:00:27

I am in the same boat as everyone here - severe case of peridontitis with alot of bone loss and I'm in my mid thirties. I was also told it was very rare to see in someone at my age and whose teeth were in good condition. When i was first diagnosed I was in complete shock and freaked out! I was referred to the dental hospital and I had treatment that involved a very deep clean around all my teeth (debridlement?), antibacterial gel around all my teeth and a course of heavy duty antibiotics.

I was told to clean thoroughly with interdental brushes and use mouthwash. I have to go for regular checks.

I feel so relieved that I'm not the only one going through this!

I'm trying not to think too hard about losing my teeth, but it may happen. My dentist has been very good about it and even though the treatment was pretty horrible, I'm feeling more positive now. Can't believe how different my teeth look compared to even a few years ago. They're all gappy now and my gums have receded alot.

mam29 Tue 06-Aug-13 23:31:05

Can I please join the bad gum club?

Had the worst week teeth wise.

gums been hurting for weeks

think lost a old filling about month ago.

been takng painkillers all week.

cath is have not been dentist in 10years have dental phobia since bad tooth extraction.

I also had horrid dentist a a kid.

I gave up smoking 8years ago
was just a casual smoker anyway
had 3kids in 8years.

since having kids noticed gums bled more.

they do look bit red and inflamed.

tried extra flossing, interdental brushes and brushing 10times a day.

but i can see visible gre plaque cant get off?

can I buy a tooth scraper as floss not working.

anyway booked appontment with nearest local njs dentist who had space.

I explained I had dental phobia

i was really nervouse.

They were not english just 1 lady dentst and her nurse plus rceptionst who seemed the nicest of the lot.

whilst waiting i heard rceoption ring loads people reminding the when their appoitments were which seemed bt odd as she must have rang least 5people.

The lady before me 3pm looked really upset when she came out.
hubby had kids iutside as was told they too noisy.

when i went in their engish was fine interpersonal skills not great.

she said i had advanced perondtas and could lose all my teeth by time im 40.

I was bit upset.

i had lost filling which she said she try refill or extraction.

as for treatment about gums she said needed 3cleans but would not expain how they clean and told me yes it be painful and she could seate me but if i couldent cope and acted like im being silly then dental hispital could put me under.

im really scared

she was really off and said take antibiotics/cordosol
keey brushing, flossing

the book in for more treatment if i want to keep my teeth.

she looked at me it total horror and sgust and made me feel quite crap.

I asked about pregancy and shes says that common excuse.

I admit not always flossed but always brushed
dont eat lots sugary stuff.

she dient even say goodbye i realy dident like them

is it too late to change?

i did search locally and all the ones who deal with dental ohobia are private.

today cost me £18 for 15min check up then any subsequent treatment be £49 as band 2.

if i need lots of treatment i think i need to go someone who puts my midn at ease.

i found current one through nhs find a dentist and had good 3star rating.

found another few miles away has 5stars looks much better modern bright practce says they good with dental phobias missedit before as was page 10.I ont mind travel find the right dentist.

horrifie how they can call it nhs no wonder uk has teeth problems.

im really scared and upset was she trying to scare me?

I dont disbelive i have gum disease but no teeth are loose apart from red inflamed gums and some visible plaque my teeth are fine.

Told my mum who said my fault as dont brush properly and not been for years.To which I say hows your dentist ad she says she hasent been in years and hates going same time as lecturing me for being slack.

will the antibiotics help?

i taking loads painkillers for the pain.

I hate chewing gum would chewing starburst have same effect?
whats a sonar brush?
any specific toothpaste I should be using?
apart from interntal brushes can i try get rd of plaque at home in any other way some bits has loosen over last few weeks and scraped away with nail knife.

im devestated and scared. I know I need treatment.

I guess next step is try reregister with someone more sypathetic,

woderng if i might be bettr off having 1 big clean at dental hosptal under general?

wish I had money to go private.

mys ssters training to be dentist bt has another 4years to go ad helping poor people in inda for next 2weeks.

shes in it for money and wants to get into high end cosmetic dentistry so maybe she be help further down the line.

my husband has awful teeth loads chipped, missing and fllings but he says his gums are fine..

Officiallyamazing Sat 17-Aug-13 23:25:19

Just thought I'd add my experience. I've also got advanced periodontal disease and have been having treatment for the last year. I have 80% bone loss in my 2 top teeth and 50% on 4 of my molars. I did have deep pockets, but these have all gone following deep cleaning/antibiotics. I've found that using a water jet has made a massive difference to my oral health, and for now my teeth are stable. I also have horrendous looking teeth following deep cleaning as my gums have shrunk back so much. However I have a gum shield/veneer which is basically a gum coloured bit of silicone (I think that's what it is, anyway!) that slots into the gaps in my gums (made to measure using moulds). It wasn't cheap (£750), but was worth every penny, as it means I can smile without worrying. I still hate my teeth though & spend a lot of time worrying about them...

Alexia123 Wed 08-Oct-14 10:45:13

Hi I'm just wondering if anyone on this thread could give me an update as yo how they have got on with this terrible disease! I've just been td I have advanced periodontal disease and that I will loose all my teeth . I am not coping at well with this ... I have such a fear and it's taking over my life!! I'm just wondering how you all are and if there is any ray of hope ...

Madamecastafiore Wed 08-Oct-14 10:48:40

My pockets were due to grinding and so moving my teeth in the night. I now wear a retainer each night to stop me doing so and it has made a huge difference so check that you are not doing this.

Alexia123 Wed 08-Oct-14 12:40:27

No it's not due to that I don't think ! I've had trouble with bleeding gums when I was 20 and then stopped .It reappeared when I had my son about 7 years ago for a short while and then since then no bleeding ! I've had three dentists in that time at the same practice and recently I went to get a filling done and a week later I noticed my gums were receeding quite badly ! I went back to the practice and they were surprised to see me . I told them about my gum fears and they probed me up and sent me to the hygentist for deep cleaning and to come back after a few months to see if that improves the pockets ! It didn't and now I have been referred to a periodontist in the nhs but the waiting list is 12 weeks! My dentist took more X-rays to send with my referral and at that stage I asked her if I was going to loose my teeth ? To which she replyed yes you are going to be wearing dentures ! As you have chronic gum disease !!! Well I started to get upset and she told me to came down as they wouldn't all fall out on my pillow !! I asked her how long they would last and she said I don't know how long is a piece of string !! That was three weeks ago and i havnt stopped crying and I have such a fear everyday ! I have multiple 6 mm pockets. I have been very stressed In the last three years and I Probablly have eaten more junk than normal but I associated that with tooth decay which I don't have alot off! I have been going to my dentist religiously ... I got a second opinion who said I do have gum disease but he thinks there's no reason why I shouldn't have the majority of my teeth when I am 60 . However i just can't believe him based on what my dentist has told me and how much my gums have receeded and the fact that I have multiple 6mm pockets and bone loss I'm feeling so anxious in case you can't tell ! I'm at work and feel so emotional . I've lost a stone in a half in three weeks due to the worry !


LightastheBreeze Wed 08-Oct-14 20:24:43

I've got bad gum disease and have had for years, started losing my teeth in my early 50's and now have a partial denture, will probably lose more in the next few years but hey ho there could be worse health issues than a few missing teeth. Alexia, are any of your teeth loose, because some of mine were loose for years before I had them removed and were sticking right out of the gum and were quite uncomfortable, if they're not really loose they could go on for years

Alexia123 Wed 08-Oct-14 23:04:50

Hi lightasthebreeze smile! Thx for posting ! Yes a few are loose .... Have you been told you will loose them all at some point? Do you mind me asking what age you were when you were told
that you had advanced gum disease and what were your pocket sizes ? I know there are many many worse things that could happen up me .. But I've just got myself into a terrible mindset about it all ! I'm going to have to get a grip !
Also can I ask did you ever get referred to a periodontist and have any deep treatments carried out ? confused

LightastheBreeze Thu 09-Oct-14 08:04:17

I have had gum disease since I was about 25-30, After I had DS age 34 it got worse, all my teeth are quite ropey anyway and heavily filled from the drill and fill culture in the 60s and 70s.

It just gradually got worse, I have deep cleaning under the gums every 3 or 6 months to keep it at bay, probably for about the last 15 - 20 years, I can't remember, it seems like forever and have also had the antibiotic treatment when I was about 50. All of this does help and the dental hygienist said it was not all my fault some people just have the sort of saliva that is bad for teeth and gums. My DH just give a quick brush to his and they are fine.

My pocket sizes are about 4-7 mm and have been like that for years, Now I just have them out if they get bad, I'm 56 and I guess by the time I'm 65 or perhaps before I will have a full set of dentures sad, I have had about 13 teeth out so far but 4 of these are my old ropey wisdom teeth and just have partial denture at the bottom. I'm resigned to it now as when you get older you see that other people have much worse health issues and I can even joke about my poor teeth and gums. At least having them out gradually and having a new false one put on my denture, I'm not having the horror of them all removed at once like my dad did when he was 40.

Alexia123 Thu 09-Oct-14 12:53:07

Lightasthebreeze thank you so much for taking the time out to chat to me ! It's really helped me ! I'm sorry that you too aren't blessed with good gums !! My husband sounds like yours brushes his teeth once a day and no issues and he's not lead a healthy lifestyle by any means ! I'm trying to get him to floss and clean more but he's not interested !! Which is amazing considering hes seen me in a bit of a state over the last few weeks ! He says I've never had good looking teeth nor any of my family which I do agree on. however this is to do with the gums ! If anything we can teach better oral health to our kids !! IBig hugs lightasthebreeze !! Thx so much again xxxsmile

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