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How to deal with gum recession?
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How to deal with gum recession?

Hi,

I'm writing this feeling at a total loss. I am a 23 year old female and yesterday, when I visited the dentist, I was told that the gum on one of my front lower teeth is receded by about 3mm. I didn't even realise, and having looked at the pictures, it looks really bad :( I'm returning in 2 weeks time for a deep clean and some x-rays to find out what's going on. But I feel terrified & devastated. Between my lower front teeth I do have a gap which I find hard to keep clean and atm the gap isn't visible due to plaque build up, and I think this is possibly how the recession has happened in that gum.I have been getting some pain in that tooth/gum for the past few weeks as well which scares me.

Basically I'm so frightened that my tooth is going to fall out. I know I am so young to be having these kinds of problems and I'm really worried. The thing is, I have struggled with mental health in the past, and over the last few years I have suffered with depression and suspected BDD; the thing is, when these things were bad, I cared so little about anything and hated myself so much I would nearly always go to bed at night without brushing my teeth, so for years I was only brushing once a day. I'm sure this will be the cause of the recession and I am too embarrassed to my dentist, my family don't even know about my depression as I never took medication or anything for it, although I have seen various counsellors over the years. I'm so nervous now for these x-rays and my dentist seems to think that my risk of periodontal disease is high and I am absolutely terrified.

I guess I am just looking for someone who is clued up about these things to give me some answers, and any advice at all that I can get in terms of preventing this recession any further, or even reversing it (although I'm under the impression that it;s not possible to reverse it). I've damaged myself through my self-hatred, & now I'm only going to hate my appearance even more :(

Thanks for any advice.
540545_tn?1377626518
From a dental perspective, it would be important to follow up with your dentist and follow the recommended treatment to help slow or stop the progression of gum recession.  After the condition is stabilized, a visit to a gum specialist (periodontist) may be needed.  They could potentially graft the gums back but it may not be entirely possibly to restore the entire 3mm.  It depends on the health of the area.

From an overall perspective, I'm glad you're getting help with counselors.  Did they ever make any recommendations to see a psychologist or psychiatrist for further treatment or diagnosis?  

Obviously this gum problem is a smaller problem in the larger overall picture of your depression and possible body dysmorphic disorder.  I would imagine it would be best to tackle the depression and BDD first as that could create more problems for you overall.  As for the gums, proper home care and routine follow ups with the dentist should solve/slow down/stop the gum recession.
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Hi Jerome, thank you very much for your reply.

I think I am going to try to call the practice tomorrow to see if I can go any sooner than 2 weeks time as I am really really frightened and want the problem solved asap. My problem is my working hours and I have kept putting off my check-up due to my being scared to ask the boss for the time off, this has been made even worse now as I have just had to have the last 3 days off sick, and now I'm going to have to ask for more time to go back to the dentist's (I also have to go for another medical appointment in the next couple of weeks time that I need to have the whole afternoon off for).

Tbh, I'm pretty sure I have perio. The gum is really red and painful, and I was having pain/discomfort with it for a while before I got round to seeing the dentist. Although I'm not aware of any bleeding. I'm just so upset about it. If I do have perio, what is the prognosis like? I am too scared to tell my boyfriend about all of this as I already feel like he could do so much better than me and I feel like if he knows all of this about me he will be repulsed by me and want someone else.

I have had CBT on two occassions - I don't know if the leaders of this form of treatment are classed as psychologists rather than counsellors or not? I was very recently having my second course of CBT, and am technically in the middle of it atm, but I've had to put it on hold just at the moment, although to be honest, I feel like this is the first real successful treatment I've had as I do feel like a different person now than I have done in the last 9 years - I no longer have "bad thoughts" about myself multiple times on a daily basis, and am in general more accepting. Although I do struggle with these things I feel like I am able to manage them efficiently at the moment.

The other thing is that during my time at university I developed dermatillomania, mainly on my scalp, and I've noticed lately that my hair has thinned a lot and I think I may even have some bald patches. I've developed psoriasis from the constant picking and the itching is now so terrible I'm constantly scratching, it's a vicious cycle! I need to get treatment for the psoriasis, but again I can't miss more time from work and I have been at the doctor's so often lately due to other ill-health issues I feel like they'll think I'm a hypochondriac!

I'm at a real struggle with all of this, mainly my gum problem, as I know I have done it all to myself, and I completely despise myself :(
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540545_tn?1377626518
That's excellent.  It sounds like you're making good progress with everything so that's good.  Its great that you're taking a more proactive approach to everything and addressing the issue itself.  You should continue to see good results as time goes on.  

You may need to discuss the prognosis of your periodontal condition.  Judging by your description, it should be stabilized and not an issue with routine checkups and good home care.

You can't find a doctor or clinic that's open on the weekends or non-work days?
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Jerome Tsang, DDSBlank
Irvine Modern Dentistry
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