I have a genetic condition called amelogenesis imperfecta (also called congenital enamel hypoplasia), which boils down to I was born without much enamel on my teeth. This made them very brittle. Despite brushing, flossing, and using a prescription mouth rinse 4 times a day, I was still left with cavities and dental abscesses almost constantly.
I have been in an out of the dentist all my life for various procedures and ended up giving in to the final option of dentures just a couple months after high school graduation.
Here’s a picture for as much proof as I can think of. I’m not interested in showing my face (hence the throwaway account), so if this doesn’t suffice please give me ideas of how I could help!
Link in case hyperlink doesn’t work bc mobile user: https://imgur.com/a/CjpitHM
Edit 1: alright y’all, I’m going to end the official AMA. I’ll still answer all questions that I can, but please forgive me if it takes a while to reply. I just want to say thank you to everyone who has asked me questions and shown support. it’s really nice to see so many people coming out to either show support or to express how they have a similar issue I’ll do a FAQ edit here in a bit.
Edit 2: FAQ
-Why not implants? My insurance didn’t cover implants at the time and we didn’t have the money to cover the out of pocket expense. As for now, I’m not interested in letting another drill near my mouth ever again.
-How do you clean them? I brush them with a kid’s toothbrush and kid’s toothpaste before letting them soak in water and denture cleaner overnight. I don’t need to floss them. I don’t think I even can floss them.
-What was the process like? My dentist did it in stages where he took the back teeth out at first, let it heal, and then took the front teeth out. He did the top completely and then did the bottom. When I say “front teeth” I mean canines and teeth in between. I had various impressions done to get jaw shape and whatnot after the back gums were healed enough, so the dentures were ready (save for minor adjustments) by the time I got the front teeth out. They paired the impressions with xrays and physical photos. I didn’t have walk around without teeth. This lasted over the course of a year and a half. We scheduled it where we would roll over into a new year so my benefits would reset and we had more to work with.
-How is eating now that you have your dentures? Eating is roughly the same as people normally eat, but I have to adjust in certain ways. For example, I can’t have certain brand of gum, I have to cut up apples, etc. All of this I got used to growing up due to needing to be careful to not break my teeth.
-What about... you know... My partner and I haven’t done anything without them in. He’s still new to this and I’m still self conscious. Maybe one day.
From what I can tell, I think? you had all your teeth removed beforehand. if so, was that hard for you emotionally? Did you struggle in any way afterwards or was it a relief to finally be free of them and the problems they caused you?
So my dentist did the denture process a little different from what I understand is “normal”. We went through removal in stages: upper first and then lower (because my lower were more stable and people see your upper teeth when you talk). He took out the left side and then right side, leaving the canines and all teeth in between. Once the gums healed enough, we had different impressions done (similar to when you got that fluoride goop treatment) and paired that with xrays and actual photos to make the dentures. This was so I could still do everything I needed to, being only 19 years old.
Once those were made, the rest of the teeth came out and the dentures went in. I had to go back every two weeks for a couple of months for things to get realigned so it wouldn’t poke me or cause blisters.
I’ve been told by my mom that I smile and enunciate more with my dentures. With my teeth having been as bad as they were, I was really timid and afraid of talking because I could see people glance at my teeth and try not to mention them. I was told at age 16 that I would need dentures but still held out for three years due to stubbornness. So I guess I was really relieved once I finally got everything done. I’m really happy not to be in pain all the time and not have to worry if my next dental infection will cause other health issues.
I am so pleased to have found this!
I am 30 years old and have recently been fitted with full dentures. My speech is gradually improving but I am really struggling with what type of denture glue/sealant to use. I've tried several and they all seem so weak! Which do you find is strongest?
Also you're amazing! I found the whole process from start to finish quite draining on my mental and physical health. It's been an awful year and to know someone even younger than me has gone through this makes me feel a lot lighter!
I don’t use adhesive half of the time, they fit pretty well to the point where I don’t need it, but when I use it (days that require presentations, running around for sports, certain activities with my partner, going on rollercoasters, etc.) Fixident works good. I usually buy the Walmart version though because I’m cheap lol. You’ll have to mess about with how much you need and where to put it, and clean up can be a bit messy with it being goop. Get a soft kids tooth brush to brush the adhesive off roof of your mouth.
And thank you for the compliment! I’m glad my AMA is helping some people :)
How does it affect your confidence? My son is 5 and he got all his upper teeth taken out because of cavities. no matter that he brushes 3 times a day and doesn't eat sweets. I worry if he has something like yours. How did the dentist detected it on you?
I had 6 baby teeth surgically removed at his age due to them crumbling despite doing what he’s doing. It put me in a really bad place because I didn’t deal with it properly and didn’t find out that it wasn’t my fault (I still blamed myself) until I got the word.
My father’s side of the family has it as well, so it was more connecting pieces. I’m sorry, but I don’t remember what tests they did to confirm. I hope having a name for it might help point you in the right direction though. Dentures definitely boosted my self confidence.
Do you get annoyed by having to take them out every day? Do you still have to brush them? If so, do you brush them in your mouth or after you take them out?
They’re a little annoying to brush each day, especially since I take them out to brush them due to needing to brush the part where they touch my gums. I guess I might not have to brush them as often- the denture cleaner soak might suffice- but I’m so used to brushing my teeth four times a day that it’s ingrained.
Just how brittle are your teeth? How much force do you need to break a tooth?
I was very scared of chewing gum throughout my life haha. I did what I could to avoid getting hit in the mouth, but there were a couple of times I went in for a filling and it became an extraction due to the tooth crumbling.
Hi! How expensive is dental work where you’re from? This is weird but have you looked into dental tourism? My family goes to Costa Rica for all our big dental procedures because it’s a fraction of the price. So example a full mouth restoration in Costa Rica is $10,000 versus $30-$90,000 in the USA. And it’s A++ medical care there too.
Sorry if this seems pitchy! I just saw your comment about implants being too expensive :)
Nbd, it doesn’t seem pitchy! I don’t have a lot of money, and was actually barred from being allowed to see the bill since I’d start feeling guilty (I was in a really bad place going through all of this). It’s definitely something I’ll think about if I decide to move forward.
H! Upper Denture Wearer here. One day, ill have to get lowers too. Which do you find more problomatic / or more comfortable?
I find the upper dentures are more comfortable because my tongue doesn’t really run into them as much. You do get used to it, and I don’t even have a lisp, but it took some time. Good luck with your adventure! When you go to get the bottom ones, it’s less painful to mush your food between your tongue and upper than to “chew” while you recover.
Can't you have implants instead of dentures?
I could, but unfortunately my insurance didn’t cover them with all the extra work (removing teeth, attempting and failing to save some teeth, etc) that was done. I’m definitely interested in it in the future, though!
I just wanted to say, you aren't alone! I've had mine since I was 21. Also plagued with imperfecta, I spent 4 years battling to get a good fit with my dentures. Never made it happen. I now live without, can eat almost anything, besides a select few things, and I'm significantly happier!
I would like to ask you if the process of getting your dentures to have a good fit, due to a young age and your jaw still growing a bit, was a difficult one? My dentist by the time I have up had basically given up as well..
That’s really affirming to hear that there are other people out there. I knew in theory there were, but it’s really nice to get in contact with someone directly.
My dentist did it in stages where he took the back teeth out at first, let it heal, and then took the front teeth out. I had various impressions done to get jaw shape and whatnot after the back gums were healed enough, so the dentures were ready (save for minor adjustments) by the time I got the front teeth out. I probably would have lost it had he not done it this way. If you want to dm me, we can try to talk things out if it’s hard to understand.
Hi, I [23m] will also have to have a full set of dentures in the near future. Though I've never been officially diagnosed with anything, I fear I may have the same disorder. My teeth are at the point that I cannot even eat chips or anything mildy crunchy without part of a tooth chipping or becoming cracked. I have had 4 very infected teeth removed already and I'm afraid that there are many more to come. Since dentists where I live seem to treat teeth as more of a luxury item,my biggest issue is obviously finding enough money to be able to get mine removed and get dentures made for me. I'm also very nervous about dental work, no matter how many times I've been there, I get really bad anxiety trying to schedule a dental appointment. So just a few questions if you don't mind.
Were you able to find some sort of program that helped you to pay for all the dental procedures?
If you also get anxiety when scheduling appointments, how did you cope with that?
What was the recovery process like?
How was your mental state before you got dentures and how has it changed since then?
Thank you very much for doing this ama. I've never seen someone with the same sort of issues as I face, and it's a bit calming to see someone go through the same thing and come out ok.
Ugh I’ve been there and totally understand. I’m so sorry you have to go through all of this; I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. A lot of dentists near me feel teeth are luxury as well, which is dumb since a dental infection can literally kill you if not properly handled. If you’re concerned about cost, quite a few dental schools do work for cheaper. You’ll have to deal with students watching you (and trust me, they’ve seen worse), but you can close your eyes and it’ll be over soon.
I was not, but I went to quite a few dental school appointments for extractions. My main dentist did a finance program that I could pay on the dentures a little at a time, even before the whole process started.
I do get anxiety. I usually call later at night when I know I’ll reach voicemail. I’ll tell them who I am (I even spell my last name so they don’t have to call to ask), tell them what I need, and tell them my availability. I usually end it with “just schedule me and tell me when to be there”. They know me because I have explained in person what it’s about and are pretty accommodating. A lot of people have a fear of dentists so generally they understand.
My dentist did it in stages where he took the back teeth out at first, let it heal, and then took the front teeth out. I had various impressions done to get jaw shape and whatnot after the back gums were healed enough, so the dentures were ready (save for minor adjustments) by the time I got the front teeth out. I probably would have lost it had he not done it this way. So I did a little recovery at a time. It took about a month to be completely set in how I needed to eat (I ate a lot of Mac and cheese and spaghetti-o’s lol). Don’t rush it- I t’s okay to take time to the harder foods- but remember to get your nutrition. I ate a lot of baby food. It’s practically apple sauce but other fruits and veggies.
I was in a really bad place before. I’m still not in the best place now, but it’s a lot better now that I don’t have my teeth to worry about. The biggest issue was accepting that it wasn’t my fault and that there was nothing more I could do. Also accepting that there was times I shouldn’t have done something and that it’s okay because I have learned.
You’re very welcome, I hope it helps! I have had a couple of people mention that they have similar issues, so definitely scroll through the comments. It’s helped me a lot to know that there are quite a few people reaching out to share that we’re not alone.
I’m a dentist that does hundreds of the implant hybrids(the kind of teeth you need) a year. Once a year during the holidays I do a program called the 12 arches of Christmas (12arches.com) where I find 6-12 UNSUSPECTING individuals and give them an entirely new set of implant teeth. Do you think you could make it to Florida in December? Also do you have any xrays?
EDIT: lol ok, so a couple things.... I didn’t mean to hijack this AMA and I haven’t heard from OP. If I don’t hear back by tomorrow morning at 10 EST I’m going to do something I don’t love but am a little forced to do. I’ll put up a post to take submissions to receive these implant teeth. I’ll narrow it down to 10 or so and draw out of a hat. If anyone has a better idea to do this I’m all ears. I’ll also open a go fund me for this project to take travel and hotel accommodations. I’ll post receipts or whatever is allowed to ensure the only money removed is for the intended person and their process to get teeth.... again I’m all ears on what to do, genuinely not sure what to do and I’m kinda winging it here.
EDIT 2: Many people are suggesting I wait a while longer for OP since maybe she went to bed so I’ll wait for a bit to see if we can’t track her down!
EDIT 3: Okay guys, still no word from OP. It's Thanksgiving Day, so I think she may be unavailable due to travel and/or family time. I think the general consensus is that we should give her another day. So if we haven't heard from her by tomorrow evening, I'll pick one of you beautiful people who have been submitting your stories to me for the past 24 hours and give you a full-mouth restoration with dental implants for our 12 Arches of Christmas promotion. I truly wish I could help you all.
That being said, I've decided to expand my offer. If we can all come together and contribute whatever we can into a GoFundMe that would cover travel expenses for those who need it, I'm willing to take on up to 10 more pro bono cases for anyone suffering from declining health due to their dental situation and would consider having their teeth extracted and high quality dentures placed as a viable option.
What do you guys think? This is a community effort and I want your feedback, reddit. I'm still winging it here lol.
FINAL EDIT: Okay, ladies and gentlemen. I am in the process of setting up a GoFundMe account to accept donations towards covering the travel expenses for all of our future holiday smilers! I will make a new post right here in r/IAmA and everyone who has commented in this post and/or DMed me is in the running. We'll give it some time to hopefully grow so we can help as many people as possible. One thing I want to reiterate is that this is something I do on my own, independent of the company, for you guys. I'd like to keep this confined to us, so reaching out beyond this forum to inquire about the pro bono aspect isn't necessary and may even hamper my ability to offer this program every year. Let's keep this online, and keep it going! Thank you for the opportunity to give back, reddit!
Hey danhook! I'm so very sorry for taking so long to get back to you; the holidays have been crazy. Thank you so much for the offer, even though it sounds like you're giving it away. I'm happy that others are taking you up on your offer! Teeth can make or break someone's confidence. I'm willing to talk to you privately if you're still wanting to talk. I completely understand if you can't offer anything anymore, but I'm still happy to talk about anything :)
Thank you again! That's super kind of you.
Are you going to get braces on them to confuse people?
Haha I should. At least those fake braces just to see what people say.
Have you ever looked into getting them insured in case they're lost?
I have not but that’s probably a really good idea considering I can legally drink now.
Does your Bf like it when you take them out for him? Serious.
He was really weirded out at first, but he got used to it eventually. I only take them out when I’m ready to sleep so there isn’t much time he sees me without them. If anything, it’s more weirded out by seeing them in the bathroom in the morning.
So you were p young getting them, I can totally see how fucking scary that could be. How did finally getting them impact you socially/emotionally? Is that different from how you feel now?
It’s definitely very different. I smile and talk more nowadays and I don’t avoid social interaction as much. I don’t go seeking for it due to introvert life but I’m not self conscious with replying to a classmate.
With fhe dentures out, can you close your mouth further than if you had teeth?
I can but it starts to hurt my jaw where it connects. My jaw usually hangs in roughly the area it should be with teeth or I bite my tongue.
Does your syndrome effect your jaw bones? I was curious after the implant question.
It doesn’t seem to have, which is odd now that I think about it. I had a lot of dental infections to the point where my face even became swollen a couple of times, so I don’t know if that has anything to do with it. It could have made it easier for the infection to get down into everything.
How many teeth did you have left when you decided to go with dentures?
Probably about 20. I had canines forward on both top and bottom and then a few on either side.
Hey! My best friend also has scores of dental issues, but has been wary of getting dentures for a number of reasons. I’ve been encouraging it because, in nearly ten years of friendship, she’s been unable to smile or laugh without covering her mouth. Can you offer some words of encouragement that I could maybe pass along to her? Maybe an experience or two regarding how it’s improved your life?
Dentures have completely changed my life. I, too, didn’t smile or talk much and only did so when I could cover my mouth. I smile, laugh, and talk a lot more openly now. It’s so nice to not be in pain all the time, not having to go to the dentist weekly, and being able to save money. It’s an adjustment, but I can still eat apples and corn on the cob and I can still chew gum and hard candy (Wrigley’s Extra gum works best for me, and it’s not something that I’m self conscious about when offering to people since it’s not a “denture gum”.)
Also toddlers really, REALLY like it when I pull them out. It freaks boys out when they’re getting handsie at the club (I spit them into my hand and just talk without them lol). I’m able to pass off buying denture cleaner as though I’m a good granddaughter picking up her grandparent their necessities.
My grandmother had this same condition. Her adult teeth just sort of disintegrated when they came in, and she had dentures her entire adult life and she lived to 99 years old.
Did you get your dentures right away after the extraction, or did you have to heal for a time first? I know someone who had to have a full extraction, and they had to wait a few months before they could get their dentures so everything could heal first. This person has a whole host of health issues that affect healing (specifically, improperly managed diabetes).
That’s actually really affirming to hear that someone who lived that long had it as well and was able to manage it. I know that’s not the question, but I want to say thank you.
My dentist did it in stages where he took the back teeth out at first, let it heal, and then took the front teeth out. I had various impressions done to get jaw shape and whatnot after the back gums were healed enough, so the dentures were ready (save for minor adjustments) by the time I got the front teeth out. I probably would have lost it had he not done it this way.
Weird coincidence but I read up about this condition just last night because some jackass on reddit was making fun of some dude's yellow teeth and that pissed me off because mine are also yellowish since my GERD is thinning my enamel (I eat without chewing so I kinda fucked up my esophagus). Did you have the problem with teeth yellowness and were you self conscious about that? I gather that once you start losing teeth altogether, the colour is no longer the worst thing that could happen. If yes, did you have any techniques to overcoming it? Or comebacks if people were being assholes? I am a big laugher but I rarely do it now because I was regularly bullied for it so I kinda consciously stopped laughing ha ha :(
GERD is a bitch.
My teeth did yellow, but I was always the quieter kid so I didn’t talk or laugh much around people who didn’t know. Now that I have dentures I definitely smile, laugh, and talk a lot more often.
As for comebacks, I just tried to dig at their own insecurities despite it being dirty play. So, for example, “I may have yellow teeth, but at least I have a mother who loves me”. Dirty play, but play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
Saw you mention gum.. What other foods are hard to eat/do you wish you could eat more of?
I can actually eat certain types of gum now. There are kinds made specifically for dentures, and I find that Wrigley’s Extra gum works similarly. Some gums like Bazooka stick everywhere and I regret everything the moment I realize it’s not working.
I can’t think of a food I have stopped eating, but I have adjusted to a lot. I cut up apples, cut corn off the cob, etc. I guess I wish I didn’t have to because it’s inconvenient to have to track down something in public to snack on an apple.
Do you have issues with the feeling of having dentures in your mouth? I know from experience that some people actually gag because of it
Also - will you be outgrowing those at some point? Will you need a new set?
I don’t gag with them and have become used to them to the point where I only feel they’re there occasionally. Like how you can sometimes feel a jacket you’re wearing. I actually play with them a lot, like how someone will roll a pencil between their teeth.
I’m unsure if I’ll grow out of these, but I imagine I’ll need a new pair eventually due to normal ear and tear. I should talk to my dentist about that.
Are you aware of your dentures throughout the day? How different is your smile from before?
It goes through stages, similar to how you become aware of something touching you. I do end up playing with them though, similar to how people will stick a pencil in their mouth and roll that around.
We’re all thinking it.... blowjobs?
My partner and I have discussed it without them in, but we’re still both uncomfortable at this point. I’m just careful to make sure they’re “glued” in properly before so no accidental biting happens lol
I'm currently in a position where I have an abcess in my gum that my dentist couldn't tell which of two teeth it was coming from. I was referred to a specialist who wants to charge way too much for an xray and consult, then of course the root canal will be at least $1200 on its own. My Mom talked to me about getting upper dentures like she has, since it's more cost effective and I would be able to avoid problems with the upper half afterward.
She and I have both had dental issues all our lives and I know she has her heart in the right place, but I'm having trouble with the decision. I worry about how recovery will go, and how they will look, but also how I will feel mentally afterward. If I will regret it and wished I paid so much more to get root canals and all other work I need.. How did you prepare/recover mentally before and after?
So I actually denied it for three years and I wish I hadn’t due to how much unnecessary pain I was in. There was a couple of times I had to go to the ER due to my face puffing up from infection. It’s definitely a process to get used to, but I don’t regret having made the decision.
My dentist did it in stages where he took the back teeth out at first, let it heal, and then took the front teeth out. I had various impressions done to get jaw shape and whatnot after the back gums were healed enough, so the dentures were ready (save for minor adjustments) by the time I got the front teeth out. I probably would have lost it had he not done it this way. It might be something to talk to your dentist about? If you dm me, I’m willing to give you my dentist’s name so your dentist can get in contact with him to discuss the process.
Have you given a blow job since then? Did they tell you much more awesome it is without teeth?
(I'm deadly serious. I read about this in a book called something like 'the untalked about mile stones of life' and one of them was about how no one talks about the joy of getting a toothless blown job.
My partner and I have discussed it without them in (my sister calls it a gum job), but we’re still both uncomfortable at this point. I’m just careful to make sure they’re “glued” in properly before so no accidental biting happens lol.
(I expected this question so you’re fine asking)
Do you find eating less enjoyable with the sensation covering the roof of your mouth?
I definitely did at first. With all the work done, I practically lost the sense of taste and only ate to sustain life. I was in a really bad place until I saw the finished product. I’m used to the roof of my mouth being covered by now, so it doesn’t affect me.
What’s annoying is something getting under them, like corn meal or bits of food.
Has this affected the shape of your face or speech?
Not really. I adapted around speech (though I did have a lisp for a couple of weeks after getting them) and I think my face shape has remained stable. It’s a little thinner now than when I was younger, but that could have to do with constant infections back then.
What happened to your normal teeth?
I had 6 baby teeth removed when I was younger and the adult teeth started to deteriorate with time due to the lack of enamel I was born with. We ended up just pulling the rest in the denture process.
Okay real talk as a 21 year old with horrid teeth who wants to eventually get them replaced, do they feel like they impede you in your social life, at least in the confidence department? I'm already missing 3 front teeth, so I've been figuring that having a full mouth would be easier, but there's still trepidation.
Honestly if anything, waiting impeded my life. I don’t really tell people about it unless it’s relevant but most are understanding once I explain the science behind it. I’ve gained more confidence with my dentures and I smile and laugh a lot more nowadays.
If you’re wondering how they feel, at least for the top, stick a spoon to the roof of your mouth. That’s about it. It’s a little uncomfortable at first but you get used to it pretty quickly.
Cut the corn off the cob. I don’t like canned corn and I’m wary of trying to eat it on the cob
I don’t have dentures but I cut my corn off the cob anyways, I hate getting all the little bits stuck in my teeth from the cob. Which just made me think of a question, I saw in another comment you don’t have to floss, does that mean the dentures are a solid piece or are they individual “teeth” that are just tightly packed together so they don’t need flossed?
Thank you for posting as someone with a similar condition it can be a very lonely problem and makes me very self conscious/always second guessing my dental care regimen. How frequently do you have to get your dentures refitted or replaced? Were there any surprises with food when you switched? Like if you eat something spicy does it stick around longer? Thank you again for posting.
That’s really nice to hear there are others out there with similar issues. You’re right about how lonely it can make you feel.
I did a fair amount of research before hand, so the only surprises I found were this thin film I found that was left from eating chocolate or most things milk based. Spicy foods seem to be less spicy, actually, but it does stick around longer. From what I understand, you have taste buds on the roof of your mouth. They’re blocked by the dentures, so I don’t get as much spice, but it sticks around so I taste it longer.
This is probably something I could ask an old person with dentures also, but since you’re here: Does it feel different when you bite down? I’ve always wondered whether what we teeth-having normies feel is actually our teeth touching one another, or just the pressure the teeth apply to our gums
So I actually cannot touch my gums to each other. My jaw starts to hurt when I get even close. You’re probably feeling the pressure though because biting with my teeth in feels about the same as it did before, just a little more stable since it’s all connected.
As a dentist I'm curious as to how you found adapting to the denture? What have you found the hardest part?
I feel providing dentures to be mainly about patient management as people expect them to be like for like, they expect to be able to do everything that they could do with teeth.
I was able to adapt pretty well. The hardest part was mentally accepting that this is my new reality and that I did everything I could have. It wasn’t my fault. It’s okay.
Also not launching the bottom dentures out of my mouth when my tongue gets caught on it or launching the top dentures out of my mouth when I start playing with them in my mouth is a big thing lol.
But really, not much as changed other than I am no longer afraid to eat. There was a period of time where I only ate to survive because I was sure my next bite would have a domino effect. I didn’t realise how much pain I was in until it was gone and I started getting “ghost pains”. Apples and corn on the cob can be a pain to eat, and food bits getting under them can be really annoying, but I’ve adapted decently.
Feel free to send this ama to any patient if you’re allowed to.
Have you needed to worry about jaw formation? I understand that an extraction in a younger person can cause problems with how the jaw and face form. Was that compensated for with bone pastes placed in the extraction sockets? What type of follow ups did you have to do after extractions to check on bone formation?
I’ve gone through four dentists (very bad dentists might I add) and only my current one was concerned. He only started working with me by the time I had already lost a good portion of my back teeth, though, so he couldn’t do anything but keep going and do what he could to not mess up.
It seems to not have affected me, though. I think my face looks normal. It might be something that comes up in time. Nothing was pasted into the sockets so either I’m fucked in the future or I have really good luck.
Have your dentures ever came out accidentally? If so, what was the situation?
They have a few times, but thankfully it’s been around the house when I was talking (usually around the “f” or “sh” sounds). They didn’t fall out of my mouth completely because I was quickly able to catch them. I’d be mortified if they came out in public
I'm not much older than you and was informed I'll end up with dentures within the next few years. What's been the hardest adaptation?
Probably just accepting that it’s out of my control. It’s somewhat easy to adapt to how you eat and how you clean, and I did a lot of research before hand to learn all of this, but I blamed myself for a really long time despite doing what I could. I definitely recommend talking to someone as you go through the process. I was in a really bad place during it, and still struggle with some things, and I wish I talked to someone.
I'll give you fair warning. in 20 years, you better have a dentist you trust.
I received my dentures (top & bottoms) at 13. Whelp, it was a three year process, starting at 11, when the dental surgeons started pulling my teeth. Then at 12, the stretching of the roof pallet, grafts, implants. Then at 13, a full top and bottoms with only 5 molars left behind to be used as supports.
Your first 5 years, keep your teeth clean, by not being a soda drinker. the dyes in the soda will darken your teeth in no time. I am a avid Water drinker, so when it comes to poison of choice, filtered water 90%. Cranberries, and fruits that stain often can keep a lingering color for awhile, but most of the time, a few brushes will do.
OMG, being able to brush your teeth outside of your mouth! I mean, who wouldn't want that option!, All those years of parents telling you to make sure you brush the back of your teeth. BAM! look, I pulled them out, and SEE!! brush brush!.
People will swear you have perfect teeth. and you do!. So live with that luxury. If you have implants and such, I swear to you, you must keep a special kind of attention to your teeth. For two of my implants (Bottoms), are used to support a bridge that supports the frontal bite. So... there are these caps/plastic, that cover the screws that mount the bridge, and teeth. Whelp, you brush, and brush... eventually you'll lose those caps. No worries... the screws now need to be watched because after 4 or so years, they come loose.
You have a dentist into your mid-20... excellent. Hopefully, you get some tools for yourself. I unfortunately didn't have the luxury of money into my young adult life. and Jobs in Texas always found ways to skip out on healthcare.
So being familiar with your gums, dental hygiene, and such, is one thing people who have Dentures will have a lifelong expectation to live by.
After 16 years, I've had to adjust some of the enamel ridges to keep the "uppers" from cutting into my gums. A few times I've had to adjust the magnets to snap-on the denture snug. I've had to replace the original magnets after the original ones cracked. Some dentures can be self maintained, but most would have to be seen by a specialist.
Many Dentists, do not support Dental implants, so if you have infections and such, head to a ER first, then heal up, THEN go see a dental specialist. Results vary widely across America. My teeth were done by Military Dental/Surgeons. As a Special Needs kid, I was born with EEC Syndrome with had cleft lip/pallet issues. In my case, most of my normal teeth came out wild! So, it was persuaded to me to go Dentures! Because USAF Pilots would do so, for safety.
How can a kid argue with that logic? Jamie D' (Capt F104 Sabor Pilot), B. Gen Frank Gailor Jr (F100 Pilot) had dentures. (old people)
I am concerned about having a dentist in 20 years due to my current dentist not being able to live forever. I'll have to shop around when the time gets closer. Thanks for the heads up!
Do you take your teeth out to give blowjobs?
Nope. My partner and I have discussed it and we’re not comfortable with it yet. He said that one day we might, but neither of us are ready yet. I just have to be careful that they don’t fall down and I don’t accidentally bite him lol
Ive looked into this as well(30m, US) but was advised against it due to potential for bone loss. Was that something they were/are worried about?
I’m getting worried about it the more I get asked about jaw and bone formation, but I don’t regret switching to dentures. It’s boosted my self confidence, it’s saving me money in the long run, and I am relatively pain free since I don’t have cavities and abscesses anymore. I’ll get “ghost pains” every so often that my dentist assured me isn’t anything to worry about.
One day at a time, though. I’m still recovering from the bad place I was in from growing up being all self conscious over it. I definitely blamed myself a lot. I was brushing four times a day, but what if I needed to do it five times? What if I ate something wrong when I was little? My sister told me once that if I worry about it now, I’ll have to go through the experience twice, since I go through it while worrying and while it actually happens. So I’m trying not to think about it lol
Have you ever comically spit out your dentures? Or what was the most clever discrimination you’ve had for having dentures?
Honestly I do not judge or shame for physical malformations or issues. Lord knows I have plenty.
I’ve just found the best way to approach these issues is with comedy. Lighten the mood, don’t let it drag you down.
I’ve spit out my dentures by accident a couple of times, but thankfully I was at home the few times they came all the way out and was around people who knew when I had to quickly catch them before they left my mouth. I haven’t found anyone discriminating me perse, but there are people who no longer offer me gum or candy.
Comedy is definitely my approach. I have no external shame lol. My favorite thing to do is probably pull them out, suck my lips in, and look like a grandmother. It makes people either laugh or uncomfortable enough to leave me alone.
Do you look like those old ladies when they take out their dentures?
I do when my mouth is open! I sometimes will suck my lips in and look in the mirror for a laugh.
This is the first I have heard of this condition, but I am confident I also have it, as do both my children. When my 2 front teeth grew in, they had awful yellow and white spots on them. I didn't smile much as a kid since I was so embarrassed. I remember being around 9yo and having to go into the hospital for dental surgery because I wouldn't let the dentist put freezing in, let alone actually do any work. Currently I'm 32 with partial top and bottom dentures. My children on 8 and 13 and already have several teeth pulled each.
It sounds like you were super careful and cautious with your teeth and still ended up in this situation. With your experience, what are your suggestions as to what I can do to help my children escape our fate?
(Just as an anticdotal piece of information, I saw significant reduction in decay when I removed fluoride from my diet. Toothpaste, gum, and tap water specifically. My kids and I use fluoride free toothpaste now and it seems to be helping slow down the decay.)
That really sucks to hear and I’m really sorry. I wouldn’t put this on my worst enemy. I had 6 baby teeth removed surgically at age 5 for the same reason you did.
There’s nothing I could have done differently, and I’m sorry to say that I have no idea. I had fluoride treatments because I didn’t have enough. I even had to use fluoride drops in water. I’m glad to hear that removing fluoride helps y’all.
At the very least, definitely talk to your dentist about this. You now have a name for what it could be, and that gives you a lot of power. There wasn’t anything they could do to help me with how far gone I was, but they might be able to do something for them now.
I also recommend getting them into some kind of support group or therapy so they can at least talk about it. The biggest thing I had to deal with was accepting that it wasn’t my fault and that there wasn’t anything else I could have done.
I had a FWB with this same thing and I tried to get her to take her teeth out while getting a.... She was dead set on never doing that unfortunately. :( So what problems do you face if any, being a full denture wearer?
My partner and I have discussed it, but we’re both a little uncomfortable about it right now, so we’re just going with the flow. I’m just careful to make sure they’re “glued” in properly so I don’t accidentally bite him lol.
The biggest problem is probably being self conscious. I don’t stop people from asking me questions, but I don’t go tell people that I have it unless something comes up (ie they fell out) that requires I explain. Also, I had a long process of accepting that it wasn’t my fault. I kept coming up with things I could have done differently, but it wouldn’t have mattered.
As someone who has also spent too much time at the dentist, I feel your pain. I was born missing 6 permanent teeth and my cousin is missing 20. I have four implants and he has a few anchors with the rest bridged together. I know it can be expensive since for whatever reason insurance companies typically consider teeth as simply cosmetic.
How important is being able to eat anyway? /s
I know you're kidding about the last line, but there was a point in time where I asked myself the same question, but in all seriousness lol. I wish it was understood that teeth aren't cosmetic and that dental hygiene and care affects your overall health, as a dental infection can kill you.
How good is your head game 1-10?
My partner says 10 but he might be lying. I don’t take my teeth out for it.
A few years ago when I had my second root canal the endodontist and I got talking later. I asked why didn't regeneration of teeth move into the clinical setting yet? She told me they were doing it in labs when she was dental student 20 years ago. I then realized the WHY they don't do it. If you could regenerate our teeth there'd be no need to fix cavities, or root canals etc. Patients would get to keep ALL THAT MONEY!
If they just shift the cost from fixing to regeneration, there wouldn't be that big of a loss. If anything, they would still be making money since people would rather pay the same amount than they would have in the past, but for better outcomes.
My dentist did it in stages where he took the back teeth out at first, let it heal, and then took the front teeth out. I had various impressions done to get jaw shape and whatnot after the back gums were healed enough, so the dentures were ready (save for minor adjustments) by the time I got the front teeth out. I think there was a month or two between pulls for healing process. He did the right side, let it heal, did the left side, let it heal, and then did the middle.
Were your baby teeth brittle too? What age did they figure out that you have this condition? Are the other bones in your body brittle as well?
They were! I had 6 baby teeth removed when I was 5 years old. I was probably 14 or 15 when we figured it out and 16 when they told me I would need dentures. I still held out until I was 19 due to stubbornness.
My other bones aren’t brittle from what I can tell. I broke both of my wrists in 3rd grade, but that’s unrelated due to how I broke them lol
If you’re asking why I have dentures, basically I was born without enamel which caused my teeth to deteriorate despite brushing and flossing 4 times a day.
If you’re asking why I did this AMA, I guess I was just hoping it would help bring awareness about dental health and that there is someone out there that might have the same issue you do.
If you’re asking why, I could point you towards r/philosophy
I'm scared of gum and taffy. What's the extraction process like? Any shame for being a young person with dentures?
I was scared of gum and taffy too. I still don’t eat taffy out of habit but there are gums I can eat without any problem.
My dentist did it in stages where he took the back teeth out at first, let it heal, and then took the front teeth out. I had various impressions done to get jaw shape and whatnot after the back gums were healed enough, so the dentures were ready (save for minor adjustments) by the time I got the front teeth out. I probably would have lost it had he not done it this way.
The only shame I have gotten was from peers who didn’t believe me and from myself. It was a really hard thing to accept that I didn’t do anything wrong and that it was out of my hands. The dentist was a fill-in therapist at times from me freaking out in his office haha.
My partner and I have discussed it without them in, but we’re still both uncomfortable at this point. I’m just careful to make sure they’re “glued” in properly before so I don’t accidentally bite him.
(A lot of people have asked this lol. It’s okay)
I'm 35 and considering doing something like this. I have several broken in half molars, some cavities, enamel chips breaking off front teeth etc...and to be honest it's my fault. I smoked and I drank lots of soda. I didn't ever floss because my entire life my gums were too sensitive and I only learned this past few years that I was brushing with too hard a toothbrush. My sensitive gums caused me to not brush very good with a stiff brush...anyway, on to my question:
From the time you had your teeth pulled, to the time you had dentures in, what kind of time frame? My biggest fear is walking around at work for months on end with no teeth. I don't want to be looked at without teeth. I'd probably wear a painters mask or something but I'm terrified to be seen without teeth. Mine currently don't appear that bad when I smile yet, so it would definitely be a downgrade for my appearances at this point.
It looks like some people have replied already about immediate dentures. That’s definitely an option. I opted out of that due to not having the time to dedicate a whole chunk to sit there.
My dentist did it in stages where he took the back teeth out at first, let it heal, and then took the front teeth out. I had various impressions done to get jaw shape and whatnot after the back gums were healed enough, so the dentures were ready (save for minor adjustments) by the time I got the front teeth out. I probably would have lost it had he not done it this way because I was also self conscious about walking around without teeth. It was probably a year process to do both since we had to wait for insurance benefits to reset. A lot of dental schools will do the extractions for cheaper so you’d have to talk to your dentist about that.
I’m sorry to hear you’ve had to go through this. Yeah, you didn’t do what you should have but it still sucks and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
Have your boyfriend's ever asked for a gummer? Did you honor the request? How was the feedback?
Edit: Of course this has already been asked. Reddit, you didn't let me down.
This has been asked a lot actually! I expected it too. Reddit didn’t let me down. I should really put an edit in with the answer, but idk it it’ll mark this AMA as NSFW.
My partner and I have discussed it without them in (my sister calls it a gum job), but we’re still both uncomfortable at this point. I’m just careful to make sure they’re “glued” in properly before going down on him so no accidental biting happens lol
If you drink alcohol does it degrade the adhesive? If you thow up with your teeth in do they come out?
I don’t use adhesive regularly, but that’s definitely something to think about when I go to have a drink. I’ll have to test it out. As for vomiting, I take them out when I feel it coming. I’m worried that stomach acid might eat away at them, so I spit them into my hand as I run for the toilet.
What do you use to affix your dentures to your gums?
I use Walmart’s dentures adhesive brand mostly, but I hear fixodent works well. I just don’t have a lot of money lol.
Why is your verification picture not your dentures biting the paper? Why have you deprived us of this?
Holy shit, I totally should have done that! I didn't even think. What an idiot I am. I hope y'all can forgive me for this sin
I certainly am now.
Have you ever been in a fight or play any physical sports?
I used to play football in high school, but I stopped at about age 16 due to my teeth. I was running back and was really good at running away from people, which helped me avoid fights and being tackled lol. Looking back, I probably shouldn’t have been in football.
Were dentures your only option or did you have any other choices?
I also have this condition, but was fortunate to have crowns put onto all of my teeth. I couldn't imagine having dentures, but it'd be better than the teeth as they normally are. I could see the condition being so bad that dentures are the only way, but that'd have to be extremely bad. The conditions vary widely. Even within an individual, teeth vary greatly. I had two teeth removed because they came in so decayed, but could keep two of my wisdom teeth for it because those were fine for the most part. It's really interesting. Anyway, you're not alone OP!
It’s really affirming to hear that I’m not alone, so thank you!
I had options to keep going with the keep up, but I held out for three years (I was informed at age 16 that I would need them eventually) before deciding that enough was enough. It’s really nice to not be in pain all the time. We couldn’t afford implants, but I’m not upset over that.
I don't have any genetic conditions besides just shitty teeth but I had all of my teeth removed about 3 years ago now. Combination of not taking care of myself due to depression, smoking, and developing alcoholism is what finally did them in. My dentures don't fit and I can't get back to my dentist to get them adjusted but I honestly don't really mind not having them in. About the only thing I miss eating is peanuts. 29 year old male here and I guess I should ask a question huh? What is your favorite shirt that you own?
That's rough and I definitely feel for you. I know quite a few people who lost their teeth strictly due to not taking care of them. It sucks. One bad decision repeated for whatever reason (like depression) can have irreversible damage and it's unfair.
My favorite shirt is probably this purple one that says "I have no idea what I'm doing" on it. I wear it for exams and the professors get a kick out of it.
How hard was the transition? I’ve been told I need uppers. Could you leave them in at night? Are there foods you can’t eat? What about talking? I have a small mouth, would that make it harder?
I have a small mouth as well, and it seemed to work out. The transition wasn’t actually as hard as I anticipated, and maybe that’s due to countless nights researching things. I cut food up that’s harder to eat (apples, corn on the cob, etc) and just take it little at a time. You’d have to test with gum what sticks to your teeth and what doesn’t. Wrigley’s Extra gum seems to work for me, and it’s not a “denture gum” that I’m worried about offering.
I’m able to leave them in at night and actually do so often mainly for laziness. They start to feel a little gross if you don’t brush them and rinse your mouth out though. Talking is fairly easy once you get used to it, but I had a lisp for the first few weeks.
Now that you have them, do you notice them more in others? And has anyone ever noticed/said something about yours without having been told they were dentures? I know in some older folks its kind of obvious their teeth are dentures, but you being so young, I am curious if anyone even notices it on you.
I notice people’s teeth more than anything, but I can’t ever tell if someone else has real teeth or not. Only a couple of people I went to school with or worked with before thing started getting really bad can tell that something changed, but they can’t figure out what. I usually just say I have shorter hair haha.
I’ve had a couple of strangers tell me I have nice teeth and asked if I ever had braces. It depends on the person and the state of their teeth about how I respond
Honestly, seriously... was it worth just getting the full replacement? From someone who has a stomach + jaw condition that is destroying her teeth. :(
Also, why removable dentures instead of the screwed-into-the-jaw style replacements?
It was very worth it! I probably would have done it sooner if I hadn't been so stubborn about trying to save my teeth. Eventually, my dentist sat down with me and laid it all out that I could spend thousands of dollars to try to save them, but it would still end up with losing them all in the end. It's so nice to not be in pain anymore.
Also, cost mostly. Implants are expensive and I don't know if the screw version was covered by the insurance. I also really the thought of removing them and freaking people out.
I really want to thank you for this AMA!! I've had dental issues my whole life - weak enamel, brittle teeth and no adult teeth to replace my baby teeth and my mouth is awful. It hurts all the time. I've thought about dentures but have been too scared to pursue it. After reading this I think I'm going to make the first appointment!
Do they hurt to wear initially? Thanks!!
Hey, I’m glad I can help! I wish you the best of luck with all of this! It’s really changed my life.
They don’t hurt to wear, but they are uncomfortable at first. Stick a spoon to the roof of your mouth and that’s about what you deal with. What hurt was the teeth being removed, but they were pretty solid so they didn’t rub against the wounds too much.
Do you have a sharp set that you keep on your person in case you need to attack someone?
No but holy shit I should
I scrolled through a lot of questions and didn’t see this one yet. When you got the dentures, did they change the your singing or speaking voice at all? I know that there are a few famous singers who refuse orthodontics because they don’t want the sound to change at all, but there are so many young singers with veneers, that I’m not sure if the differences exist at all lol.
This is a really interesting question! I don't think it changed either long term, but I definitely had a lisp for the first month. If it did change at all, I feel like I speak more clearly now since I don't mumble to hide my teeth and I'm not afraid to enunciate and pronounce sounds properly (since I was afraid I'd break my teeth).
Can you have implants?
I probably could and I’ve thought about it, but the idea of another drill near my mouth freaks me out. I was awake during all extractions, so I’m pretty happy with leaving well enough alone.
You worried about jaw bone deteriorating?
I am the more people mention it. I’m trying not to think about it, especially knowing that there isn’t anything I can do right now, but it’s something I need to plan for.
Did you have to take out some of your teeth for the dentures or like till they came off (sorry)
And does this affect the teeth alone or like hair, nails as well?
My dentist did it in stages where he took the back teeth out at first, let it heal, and then took the front teeth out. I had various impressions done to get jaw shape and whatnot after the back gums were healed enough, so the dentures were ready (save for minor adjustments) by the time I got the front teeth out.
I haven’t found that it affects my hair or nails, but I know there are multiple kinds of imperfecta so there might be a version out there that does.
How is eating? I work w/ the geriatric community, and am always interested in how dentures must affect chewing.
Is the sensation pretty similar, or do you feel like you've lost out on a portion of the sensation when biting into a piece of meat or candy?
I don’t find the eating has changed too much, though I do have to be conscious about whether something will stick or might be too hard to be a good idea to eat. I feel like my experience and the geriatric experience might be different though, since I have the jaw strength still. Taste is affected at first, but I was able to bounce back due to being young.
How do people react when they first learn that you have dentures?
Not a lot of people know, but most are understanding when I tell them the medical history behind it. It ends up turning into a irl AMA.
Do you ever regret the time wasted brushing, flossing and using prescription mouth rinse 4 times a day when you had to get dentures anyway?
Sometimes I do. I try to remind myself that it worked out because I might have had worse long term issues if I got them pulled while I was still a kid and developing. I think my biggest regret though is being so stubborn for 3 years (I was told at age 16 that I needed dentures and didn’t do anything about it until 19) and causing myself to go through some unnecessary pain and scares.
What’s your favorite food, that you had to avoid pre-dentures, that you can no enjoy post-dentures?
Probably gum or ice cream. I ate apples back them, but I ate them the same way I do now (cut them up). I was always really afraid of chewing gum because one time a filling came out while I was chewing. As for ice cream, I really enjoy not crying from pain due to the cold. Also biting into ice cream always gets an interesting reaction from people.
As someone with a top plate, do you have any advice for someone who is in need of a full bottom plate or implants?
When you get the whole thing done, it's easier to mush your food between your top teeth and your tongue when you go to eat during the recovery process. Also, make sure you are very adamant about getting any problems fixed as you find them. It makes having them easier lol.
Do you feel like you have any kind of dental fear or phobia or trauma from the dental work? I had impacted canines and had to have a lot is surgeries and years of braces... now I’m terrified of the dentist :(
I don’t think I have any phobias, and that might have been due to the fact that I spent quite a good time of my life in a dentist chair. Usually if you joke about it, it helps.
You mention dental abcesses, is that in the gums? Also, are you more comfortable with dentures than you were with your real teeth?
Yeah, it’s up in the gums. It surrounded the tooth root and nerve. It hurt like hell to the point where I was willing to take a whole bottle of Motrin to hope it would fix it. Also, I certainly am! My real teeth were horrible looking.
How do people react when they found out you have dentures?
Most people are understanding once I explain the science behind it. Others are weirded out and distance themselves. I haven’t had anyone who has verbally attacked me for being “gross” or “weird”. The closest thing that came to it was one dentist accusing me of using meth, but that was before my dentures.
How does this effect your love/sex life?
It doesn’t affect it from what I can tell. My partner and I have had a conversation about “gum jobs” but we’re waiting until we’re both comfortable with it. I’m self conscious and he’s still getting used to the idea. I just make sure they’re “glued” in properly before I go down on him to avoid any accidental biting.
Hi! Hope this doesn't sound too odd, but do you have any wisdom teeth that are waiting to go through your gums?
All four of my wisdom teeth tried to come in at the same time and they ended up getting removed at the time of the other teeth. It felt like a normal extraction, just a little more painful afterwards, so I think I got really lucky.
Can you eat popcorn? I have an implant and several crowns, which didn't affect my popcorn ability, but I had gum surgery due to recession, and now I can't eat popcorn.
I can! Bits of it get under them, which requires taking them out and trying to clean them off, but it’s nice to not have the popcorn piece stuck between two teeth
Does this cause issues with dating?
Not that I have found. Usually I can tell who would have an issue with it by the time I’m ready to disclose it, and that’s not the kind of person I want to be with anyway. It’s not necessarily a deal breaker, but generally if they have issues with it then they have other issues as well.
You may be in the unique position of having touched your tongue to both enameled and non-enameled teeth. If this is true, are there differences in taste?
There absolutely is. I don’t know how to describe it exactly, but non enameled teeth taste softer and more brittle. It’s more of consistency than a flavor
I wear my dentures throughout the night sometimes cuz I heard it helps prevent bone loss, can anyone confirm this?
cannot confirm but it would make sense. I wear them at night because I forget to take them out, but it might be worth doing on a regular basis if I can get that confirmed.
Do you have that dream a lot of people have, where you can feel your teeth falling out?
I used to a lot. It seemed like I had it almost every night. Now that I don’t have teeth, I seem to get it only every once in a while.
Didn't someone do this yesterday?
Did they? I was going to post it on my main account but decided against it. I hope I didn’t accidentally post it. Now you’ve got me worried.
Have you looked into zygomatic implants? I also recommend dental tourism in Romania for example. You have state that of the art clinics and can get your whole mouth done for like 10-20k. Then everything is fixed and you can actually taste the food you are eating. Good luck!
I haven’t but that’s definitely a good idea. A lot of people seem to recommend implants to the point where I’m interested in talking to my dentist about this. Thanks!
How many times have guys asked you for a gummy?
My partner and I have discussed it, but I'm not comfortable doing it yet and he's still a little freaked out over the fact that I don't have real teeth lol. It's alright though; maybe one day.
Where in the UK are you from?
I’m from the US actually. In the Midwest where it’s cold and the snow is trying to kill us.
When dating, when do you tell the guy you have dentures? Before the first kiss? Before meeting? Before the first time you spend the night together? Bedtime routine with someone new is always awkward and I'd imagine that could cause some extra anxiety.
Once I feel comfortable enough with them, I’ll tell them. I can sleep with my teeth in, but it usually leaves them feeling gross in the morning, so definitely before then. I’m not going to say it before the first meeting due to being self conscious about them, and I feel it would be unnecessary to bring that out only to find out our personalities don’t match up anyway.
I have a partner right now and he was pretty cool with it. A little freaked out at first, you don’t generally expect people to have fake teeth, but he adjusted well
Why didn't you get implants instead? My mom also has a lot of teeth problems so she just got implants when she turned 40.
Cost mostly. My insurance didn't cover them and I couldn't afford to pay out of pocket.
Not even to be weird but do you take these out to suck dick or what? And if so, have you ever brought a dude home and started hooking up and you just pull your entire mouth out?
My partner and I have discussed it, but I'm not comfortable doing it yet and he's still a little freaked out over the fact that I don't have real teeth lol. It's alright though; maybe one day. I don't really do hook ups so I can't comment on that.
Hey man. I'm also 21 year old dealing with the same issue. I've had 17 teeth removed so far. Some are still hanging in there. Unfortunately I haven't gotten to the denture stage. I still have my front teeth so my smile almost looks normal. But Im missing basically all my back teeth on either side. Anyway. I feel for you, and it's rare to see other people speak out about this sort of thing. It was really nice to read this and made me feel a bit better about myself. For the longest time I thought I was alone and none of my friends really understood, and i was always embarrassed to speak out about it. It was very hard for me in my formative years too, bet it was the same for you. Thanks for sharing, Hope things go smoothly for you?
Hey, thanks for commenting. Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I hope this AMA, as well as everyone who has commented, gives you a little hope for the future. It's definitely something people don't really like talking about it, so feel free to bask in the attention without it being pointed directly at you lol. Things are going fairly well right now, thanks. I hope things go well for you also :)
I have had permanent dentures since I was 22 following a slew oral surgeries due to the fact that I was born missing 17 adult teeth!
While growing up with baby teeth was difficult (imagine grade school) and sometimes painful (think about the sensation they touch a nerve at the dentist, it was that but every time I chewed), the multi-year surgical process was very humbling (I had no teeth and couldn’t eat a sandwich during sophomore year of college because my dentures would fall out), I’m left now with a beautiful smile and nobody can even tell.
I emphasize with your story greatly!
My questions are - 1) what’s your end goal with your smile? 2) what’s your current favorite food to eat? 3) Do your dentures prevent you from enjoying foods you previously enjoyed?
Ah, I can feel the nerve thing. Dental pain is the worst thing ever, and I’m really sorry you had to go through that. That’s crazy!
My end goal is really to just be comfortable with it. I’m getting there, but it takes time.
I really like to be able to eat gum and ice cream again. I really like biting into ice cream and watching people freak out because I don’t react properly.
I can’t bite into apples the way I used to and I haven’t had taffy or any sticky candy. It’s probably fine but I’m worried about it.
As someone with the exact same disease, I can relate. Doc told me all my teeth would be gone by age 30 (27 now) so it's pretty bleak. Smiling, what's that? I just say I got a natural resting bitch face and if I laugh, I cover it up. Luckily for me, this is one of those super-rare diseases that grants free dentist for life. It's just a shame I've never made use of it because I know my teeth will be gone one day anyways.
Anyways, as someone who's going to have dentures at some point, or (if I'm lucky) get a big discount on teeth implants, Do you currently have remnants of your teeth underneath the dentures or were they all surgically removed before? Also, have you looked into getting teeth implants?
Ugh I totally relate about the smiling and laughing thing. I mumbled a lot growing up.
My dentist did it in stages where he took the back teeth out at first, let it heal, and then took the front teeth out. I had various impressions done to get jaw shape and whatnot after the back gums were healed enough, so the dentures were ready (save for minor adjustments) by the time I got the front teeth out. So other than bone fragments that make their way out of my gums every so often, they’re practically gone.
As for implants, I’m not interested in having another drill near my mouth ever again. I was awake during the extraction processes and I’m good lol
I have to say, I had this as well. I endure all through school and went the denture route after having the same issue. MY self confidence has never been better. I don't know why I spent years of my life getting veneers and all that treatment. Honestly, I think back to when you eat something cold or have a drink and you shriek in pain from it. That and not being able to smile and feel good about yourself. Anyway, I hope the dentures bring you the same happiness that it finally brought me. I just hope that if I ever have children it doesn't go to them. Its honestly stopping me from wanting kids. I guess for females it doesn't pass down? Do you happen to know?
Thank you, they have really changed my life! I can bite into anything that’s not room temperature without crying lol.
I’m not sure about the genetics of it, but I do know I got it from my father’s side. I really hope it doesn’t pass through the female because I’m there with you about it stopping me from wanting kids.
My son was born with idiopathic enamel dysplasia and its been a whirlwind. He's only 6 and has needed 5 extractions, 4 crowns and his back molars now may need work too.
I know the AMA is over, but if I could fit in a question- is there anything I can do to help my son, mentally? We go to the dentist every 6 months, I still brush his teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste (I let him brush after), he uses mouth wash and flosses, rinses his mouth with water after every meal... so I mean, the habits are there, but I'm worried that when he grows older he will be negatively affected mentally.
Sorry for the late reply; I got busy with holiday stuff.
Negatively affecting him mentally might happen, and that definitely happened to me. The biggest issue I had was accepting that there wasn't anything I could do and that it wasn't my fault. I'd definitely look into a therapist he can talk to. At the very least, it gives him a space where he can talk freely, especially since dental topics are usually kept under the radar since people don't like talking about it.
I feel you mate. I've got dentinogenesis imperfecta and also have no enamel in my teeth. I've also got no nerves, which is kind of nice? I guess. I have paid to have crowns placed on all my teeth, twice. Also got 4 implants and 2 bridges. I've paid 45k in the past 6 years towards my teeth thanks to the garbage insurance we've got in the US. As my mom and I say, at least it isn't a fatal condition, could be worse.
I feel you pain!!! (Except for the actually feeling part, thanks to the nerves)
I want to say that I would rather be in your situation, but I'm not sure if I do. Not having nerves sounds like a blessing in disguise. I'd be worried, as I'm sure you are, about not feeling when something is wrong.
I've known 2 other people with this disorder. One girl had her teeth taken out before highschool and had a full set of implants. Other girl was a coworker who desperately tried to save her teeth but ended up getting dentures around the age of 22. The girl with the implants honestly didn't seem to care she had lost her teeth so young, but my coworker is extremely self conscious about it even though it was absolutely not her fault. Does it bother you having dentures at 19 or is it a relief?
I was actually told at age 16 that I needed dentures but because of self consciousness and stubbornness, I held out until age 19. I wish I had caved sooner because it’s such a relief. I never realized how much pain I was in until I wasn’t in it. I used to cry a lot without completely understanding why. It’s really nice to not have to go to the dentist every week. It still bothers me a little, and the biggest challenge of all of this was to accept that there was nothing I could do and that it wasn’t my fault.
Is this anything like Dentinogenesis Imperfecta? My family has that (not me, but my sisters, mom, aunts, etc) and it is genetic, so my two nephews and cousins child have it too. Any idea if yours spreads to children?
From what I have gathered on google, it's similar. Amelogenesis imperfecta definitely has effects in childhood. I lost 6 baby teeth when I was 5 due to them falling apart.
My daughter (she's 14 now) had encephalitus when she was 2, and whatever infection went onto her brain causing the enceph, also attacked her teeth as they were growing, meaning they had hardly any enamel when they came through. Her teeth were really yellow and we ended up taking her to a private dentist who put a treatment onto her teeth which acts as a form on enamel, her teeth although still a bit yellow, are nowhere near what they were. She has had two cavities and two teeth removed at the back. We have had some horrible attitudes from medical and some dental professionals and she ended up with a fear of dentists ( This is why we ended up paying a lot of money for this private dental practice, which was the best thing we have ever done because they are brilliant with her and she is no longer scared of dentists or of having anything done medically). Have you ever come across dental/medical staff who have just straight away assumed wrongly, that it's because you don't look after your teeth?
I was accused of using meth a couple of times. I definitely don't use meth, nor do I look like I do, but they saw my teeth and just asked how long I used meth for. Switched dentists a couple of times.
Thank you for this...especially your FAQs.
I'm in South Africa and in 2012 - in a nutshell - I had a root canal done...which somehow had to be done over a 3 weeks period, and it was a student that did it. In hindsight, I should have insisted the dentist do mine. I ended up with nerve damage. Had to go to a maxillofacial surgeon to "fix" - which meant removing necrotic bone and tissue. Had 2 ops. I still suffer today. The pain is excruciating. So much so that I sometimes wet myself. I haven't been to the dentist since which means that the rest of my mouth now (7yrs later) feels like it's giving in - which is understandable.
I have been pondering extracting ALL of my teeth and getting dentures but I'm so afraid that 1. It won't fix the pain I currently have or 2. It'll add more pain to where the bone was removed and 3. that I won't be able to eat certain things....
I am soooo glad that you're smiling more!!!
Dentures have nearly removed all dental pain for me. I still get "ghost pains" every so often as things finish healing up, but it's nothing compared to the past. As for eating certain things, I can eat just about everything still. I'll cut up apples for my own peace of mind, but I can still chew gum and have things of the like.
I hope you're able to get everything taken care of!
Do you know anyone else with this condition? Well, I have the same condition! I’m 25 and as of now all of my molars are all built up with cement then capped over after having them chip out so much and one of my fronts are chipped and has been fixed with add on (I’m not sure what it’s actually called). I haven’t made the dive into replacing my teeth because against the odds they’ve held up relatively well ( I still have to avoid certain gum otherwise I may find small bits of teeth crunching in my mouth), so I’m basically going to let these ones work until they’re gone, but it’s nice to see that other people are doing well with other alternatives! My mother has the condition as well and went the denture route like you since before I was around and hasn’t had any issues so if there’s anything to take away it’s that although it’s rare there are plenty of others going through the same thing!
I don't know anyone irl with the condition, but a lot of people here seem to have it, which is really affirming. I appreciate everyone, especially people like you who share of other family members. It definitely helps to stomach the whole idea.
Are there any other options, or are dentures probably the best?
I have oligodontia, which is apparently rare. It means I was born missing at least 6 teeth. So as an adult, I am missing a total of 15 teeth including my wisdom teeth. I have 17 real teeth, 7 of which are on the bottom. I am 35 now, but have had a lower partial denture since I was 16. Honestly, I don't wear the denture much any more. My teeth shift around so much, I was finding the denture was rubbing me raw. But if I got it adjusted and left it out for a few days to heal, my teeth will have shifted too much to put it back in. It's considered cosmetic to get implants, so I mostly just eat without the fake teeth.
The best option for you personally is something you’d have to discuss with a dentist, but for me it was dentures. We couldn’t afford implants and our insurance didn’t cover it. If your dentist doesn’t work with you for a good denture fit, you might want to look into switching. While dental is considered cosmetic, it can certainly affect your physical health, ranging from weight control to even killing you from an infections, so make sure you find someone who takes both your health and comfort seriously.
Did it hurt when they removed your teeth? Were you knocked out or did you have to suffer?
I had to suffer. My insurance, among not covering implants, didn't cover knocking me out. So I had to stick with the general shots they gave to numb. A couple of times, I still felt it due to an infection causing the medicine to not reach the tooth. Definitely do not recommend!
Have you ever thought about attending group therapy or similar? (or a support group)
A lot of people feel quite alone, because you don't know what the people around you are going through. For example if someone didn't know the story they may think there is nothing strange about your teeth, and that everybody but them is doing ok in life health-wise but they have a struggle to deal with. Talking helps both people
to look at me you wouldn't know I have a life-long eye condition, but I've probably spent as much time at the opticians/opthal as you have at the dentist.
Honestly I probably should. I really don’t mind taking about it, but there’s still that nagging voice that convinces me that whoever I tell doesn’t believe that it’s not my fault.
I am living with this condition as well. My heart goes out to you friend. I was lucky enough to have my most visible teeth replaced with a combination of veneers and caps about 15 years ago (I’m mid-39s now) but I’m very careful to not show my bottom teeth or the absolute wasteland that are my molars.
I’ve always told myself that implants would get cheaper but they just never do, so they?
You’re a beast for making the denture plung as early as you did and I hope you get space age super teeth as soon as life allows. I’m, uh... rooting for you. :)
Thanks! I really only took the plunge because I was tired of being in pain all the time. It was a great decision nonetheless. I was lucky enough that the visible teeth were the last to go so I was able to hang on for a little longer.
I'm rooting for you as well :)
Those are your grandma's dentures and you're doing this for attention, aren't you?
Lol sure Jan
I'm 28, and have been a Professional model my entire working career. I have to get dentures because of several missing teeth from childhood neglect that caught up to me as an adult. Does it bother you at all how the dentures look? Do they look real, or are they obvious dentures? Thank you for any response! It's been really messing with my self esteem that I have any missing teeth, and especially that I need dentures so young. Not to mention I miss the foods I love!
Sorry for the late reply. My dentures look like normal teeth, so it's really nice! My dentist matched the variety of colors with what I had now (and did a few shades whiter due to the lack of enamel) to make it as natural looking as possible. That being said, you can't tell that I have dentures and it's super nice. I hope you're able to get the same
Do you happen to have celiac disease or some other nutritional disease? I had weak enamel all my life, though not to your degree, and it wasn't until my late 20s that a dentist made the connection that I had trouble absorbing the proper nutrients to form enamel. I was diagnosed with celiac several years ago but had it before my adult teeth grew in. It's too late to prevent any more damage but it's nice to know what the deal was at least.
Well I’m lactose intolerant so that could have had an affect. I still drink milk bc I ain’t no bitch but maybe I wasn’t absorbing enough calcium? I don’t think I’ve connected the two before, so it’s interesting to think about.
Hey my friend I was born with the same condition but I luckily had enamel on my adult set even though they're much weaker then normal teeth. With all the shit I had to go through as a kid I can't imagine how awful it must be to have the condition as an adult. My question is as a kid did you have to have crowns over most of your outer teeth like I did or did you have other types of teeth protection as a kid?
I had a couple of baby teeth removed surgically, but most of them had crowns. That's cool to hear you "outgrew" the enamel condition for the most part. It really sucked and I'm glad to not be in so much pain lol. I hope you're not in as much pain either.
We have the same condition!!!! Aren’t the odds like 6 per million or something ridiculous? Each of my teeth are individually capped. I would love to hear your story!!!
I had doctor Blende in SF do my work, it was to totally experimental at the time and now the work is more mainstream and easy thanks to their work for future kids. My Instagram is the same username if you want to see how my smile looks
That's cool! I know the odds are really low!
I'll definitely check you out when I get a chance. I have to make an instagram first lol
I've got this too (28M). Was lucky enough to get a full set of veneers when I was about 12 (poly-ceramic as they were meant to be temporary)
How do you find the dentures?
I'm up for replacing the veneers as they are all cracked, yellowed and chipped (was meant to be replaced about 9 years ago) so looking at pumping 15k AUD into my mouth..... or dentures. But am concerned about the gum loss.
The dentures are pretty nice. I haven't had to deal with gum loss yet, but that's something I'm going to talk to my dentist about.
How used are you to them now? Can you eat everything?
I’m pretty used to them and can eat pretty much everything. I cut up apples, cut corn off the cob, and stick to certain types of gum, but that’s really about it.
As this is a genetic condition, have you considered genetic testing to determine the genetic cause of your condition? Would you want genetic testing on a potential co-parent to manage the risk of inheritance?
Considering your experience, and if you wanted children, would you want genetic engineering of the child to ensure they didn’t inherit the condition?
I do want children and I am very wary of doing so because of this. I’m not sure if I will ever do genetic testing, but it’s definitely something to look into when I’m ready to settle down. I want to adopt a child regardless, so maybe I’ll just have to settle with that.
I have never been to a dentist. We grew up dirt poor. I was never made to brush either. I regret it now beings I have not one tooth left. Still have not been to a dentist. I'm so embarrassed by my teeth, or lack thereof. I never smile I always talk with a hand over my mouth I never let anyone see. I'm 31. Advice?
Dental schools will do work for cheap. I'm not sure exactly how they could help, but talking to them or a dentist should be your first step.
Also make sure you're still keeping your gums clean.
As someone with similarly shitty teeth (it got to the point where the act of brushing caused the chipping away of enamel, so not brushing was the preferred choice), I got my whole mouth filled over and over instead, now I am looking for a long term solution; why did you choose dentures instead of implants?
Cost mostly. My insurance doesn't cover implants and I couldn't afford to pay for it out of pocket. It was easier to make payments on the dentures, too. I also like being able to take them out and freak little kids out.
Is life easier with dentures? Not worrying about cavities anymore would be a dream come true for me as well, doesn't seem to matter how much i do (brushing flossing, etc, mouthwashes) I'm always having problems and being told off by the dentist even as much as I am insisting I am doing my best.
It's a lot easier with dentures. Not having cavities nor pain is like living on cloud 9. I've been accused of doing meth from different dentists from how bad they were.
Do you enjoy chewing gum with your dentures out? My father was in dentures since ~16yrs old and absolutely enjoyed the massaging feeling of chewing gum without his dentures in. I would have never felt comfortable asking someone this before. Thanks!
I don’t, actually. I haven’t tried it in a while, but it usually irritates my gums. That’s really cool that he likes it though! Thanks for the question :)
My bf has full dentures since his 20s, osteogenesis imperfecta. He used to glue his teeth back together. I'm so thankful he got new teeth. How long have you had them? My bf is going on a few years now and he needs them recolored.
Ive had both sets for about a year now. I used to get those temporary filling packages you can buy from the health and beauty section and use that to "fix" my teeth lol.
My sister had hers by age 30 and my son is preparing for his full set and he's 25. Both with the same condition.
Question: What warning, if any did you receive for mandible health in later life from your healthcare provider?
I don’t think I got any warning due to us trying to play catch up. It was to the point where I was going to lose my teeth regardless of what we did I’m going to talk to my dentist about it though
I got all my teeth out at age 34. Was given dentures but I can't wear them.
I eat almost everything I ate with teeth. Only things I can't are pretzels, nuts and a few other hard foods.
Steak? Easy. Corn on the cob? Easy.
A lot of things like pretzels I’ll let get mushy just because I like to suck on it. Maybe that’s something you could do?
Do you take them out to give blow jobs?
Nope. My partner and I have discussed it and we’re not comfortable with it yet. One day we might, but neither of us are ready yet. I just have to be careful that they don’t fall down and I don’t accidentally bite him lol
I am like the opposite of you, I inherited my mom's teeth where they pretty much impervious to cavities. Can we do an M. Night Shyamalan movie together?
Also what sort of food do you like to eat without your chompers?
Hell yeah we can. What would the title be? To teeth or not to teeth?
I don't really like eating food without my teeth in. My gums get irritated when I try
My grandfather lost his last adult tooth when he was 16. He's had a full set of dentures since.
He's now in his 60s. In what ways do you think technology is making your experience easier than his was?
Probably the process of getting them done. I was able to get my natural teeth taken out in stages and never had to go without teeth for an extended period of time. By the time the remaining front teeth were pulled, the dentures were able to go in immediately and only required minor adjustments. They were able to have them done and ready through a series of impressions, xrays, and physical photographs.
I imagine they’re also better quality since I don’t have to worry too much about what I eat (just cut up apples and whatnot) and I can chew most gums.
I'm gonna end up in dentures myself before long, how long did it take to heal before you could comfortably eat again? A relative had it done and it's been a year and she's still having issues :(
Mine took only a couple of months. Make sure you follow the necessary care, like the salt water rinse you'll likely have to do. If you mush food to the roof of your mouth with your tongue, it usually makes it a little easier at the beginning. I wish you the best of luck!
Is your first name bethany?
No, but that’s a pretty name. Do you know someone named Bethany with a similar situation? That’d be cool to get her take on it.
Are there absolute nonos for leaving them places? I used to have an older roommate who’d leave them in the shower, in the sink with dishes, etc. (not to mention we had major bug problems)
That freaks me out a little and I’m the one with the fake teeth here lol. I’d say anywhere but the specific case or cup in its specific place in the bathroom is a nono. It’s her life and she sounds like she’s not self conscious, which is a good thing, but I’d be concerned about bacteria in the shower, breaking them with dishes, and the bug problem.