Reading your story brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for reaching out and for giving me permission to share your story with other Ask the Dentist readers. You are an inspiration.
Many of the changes you made may not be dental related, but your story is a perfect example of how dealing with your dental health is part of dealing with your overall health—it’s all connected!
If you haven’t been to the dentist in awhile, it can be overwhelming.
Here are my tips on where to start. Let’s hear Mike’s story.
Dear Dr. B,
I’m a 40-year-old male. I’m married and have a special needs, 13-year-old daughter. I suffer from severe dental anxiety. I avoided going to the dentist since age 10! Yes… I didn’t go for 30 years! I broke my upper left wisdom tooth at the gum line 10 years ago and I have been experiencing mouth pain for about 15 years!
I finally (with a lot of therapy and downright grit) just started going to my wife’s dentist. About 60 days ago I went for a checkup and cleaning. Unfortunately, I was told that I had 10 cavities and was going to need the one wisdom tooth extracted. Wow, was I a nervous wreck! My wife has accompanied me to every visit over the last two months. I have had seven of the cavities filled and just five days ago I went to an oral surgeon and had a wisdom tooth removed. I only have two more appointments with the dentist and I’ll be caught up! Then, I will go every six months for checkups.
I’ve done a lot this summer to take care of my oral health. Last year I had a health scare because I was morbidly obese. I am 6’1″ and weighed 350 pounds. Through unbelievable hard work and dedication, diet, and exercise, in that 12 months, I lost 160 pounds and I currently weigh 190 pounds. I put my diabetes into remission, came off of diabetes medications, and also no longer have hypertension and came off of five blood pressure medications! I physically feel better than I’ve ever felt in my entire life and currently weigh what I weighed when I was 16 years old! Now that I am 190 pounds I no longer snore and I find that I sleep through the night and rarely wake up before morning. When I do wake up I feel refreshed and ready for the day.
I’ve enclosed a few pictures. Again thank you for your work and help!