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I am 21 and have a strong fear of the dentist

I am 21 and have a phobia of the dentist and really bad dental health. When i was 10 i had an accident which broke 3 of my front teeth and had to get them filled because the inside of the teeth were exposed and painful. I brushed my teeth normally – when i woke up, after i ate my main meal and before bed. Then my fillings kept falling out and it was very painful and i was constantly at the dentist every couple of months getting new ones in. I stopped brushing as often and noticed my fillings stayed in for longer and they have stayed in ever since. But the last couple years ive noticed my dental health has gone downhill. My teeth are stained, my molars have or are getting cavities, really bad breath, noticed shrinking of my gums and discolouration on my teeth which makes it easy to see the outline of my fillings. Now im starting to get bad toothaches and im just so embarassed to go to the dentist because im ashamed of the way i let my oral health go. The past experience of the pain and so many visits to the dentist has stopped me from going again but im now at a point where i cant handle the toothaches and and other symptoms. Icant even enjoy food anymore because of the cavities. Any advice?

Hello
Im so sorry you have had such trouble with your teeth .
The embarassment and shame you are feeling are not nice emotions .
But dentists are not judgemental , they are there to help you get back to a life free of pain . The feelings are something which are produced by your own thoughts .
A dental phobia is not something that people choose to have , and it can have exactly the effect you have experienced . Also if the fillings have kept failing
As well as going to the dentist you will need to be given advice how to clean effectively and prevent further tooth decay and gum disease .
Its possible nowadays to see a dental hygienist to get that advice , without going to a dentist , you need to google ‘Hygienist , Direct Access , Your area )
Dont let this stop you trying to get help . I recommend that you go on to www.dentalfearcentral.org to find others in the same position and perhaps some dentist recommendations
Hope this helps
Jenny

Answer provided by: Dr Jennifer Pinder Retired
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