Problems With Your Teeth? I’m Going Dental …..

As Pam Ayres famously said in her poem “Oh I wish I’d looked after me teeth”. You know there comes a time when you have to at least acknowledge that your various bits and pieces might not be in the first flush of youth. I have had endless problems with my teeth and my jaw. It probably started when I had impacted wisdom teeth removed under anaesthetic when I was 15.

problems with my teeth - woman having a dental checkup

In my view, it was a completely unnecessary procedure and my poor parents were badly advised. Since then, my jaw clicks and I have a bite so sensitive to changes in my mouth that the slightest high filling makes me feel like I’m chewing a brick.

So now I also seem to be clenching my teeth and the pressure is such that parts of my back molars have actually split off. I am hooked on sensitive toothpaste (thank you Sensodyne) and try to avoid foods that might crack my teeth. It’s taken me years (I’m not joking) to eat crisps after a bit of my tooth fell off whilst eating a ridged crisp. And as for chocolate covered Brazils! Forget it. Objects of terror.

At night I have a mouth guard, lovingly crafted by the Jaw Clinic at the University of Wales Hospital in Cardiff. Slight overtones of pugilism and a slightly drooly start to the day. I also have to regularly visit the dentist for check ups; good and reliable ones like are certainly helpful in my case.

I’m not sure I can even be accused of poor dental hygiene, being a regular cleaner and flosser.  As I sit occasionally transfixed by life’s flotsam and jetsam on Jeremy Kyle (don’t judge me..) which now seems to have become the benchmark of the Nation’s poor dental health, the questions I have to ask myself are i) do people not realise how much poor teeth affect the way they look and ii) what on earth has happened to dentistry in the UK? It is clear that the reduction in the provision of adequate NHS dentists is having a serious knock-on effect on people’s teeth and, at the same time, their overall health.

It may be vaguely amusing to titter at the latest gap-toothed, black stumped participant but how on earth did we get to this? I pay for a dental insurance scheme and, by the time I’m 70 will probably have coughed up enough for a Mediterranean cruise.

The chance of finding an NHS dentist for many are, I suspect, slim and the ability to pay for a dental insurance scheme, a luxury compared to, say, coping with ever-increasing utility bills.

My two children are taught dental hygiene and, due to my sensitive gnashers, they were exposed to toothpaste and one of those strange finger puppet tooth cleaning thingummybobs as soon as the merest speck of a tooth appeared.

My father has dentures.  He had poor teeth and when he joined the Royal Navy a condition of his appointment was that all his teeth were removed. He’s never looked back although he frequently mutters about pips under his plate and it does take a while to get used to a new set.

As kids, we had endless fun when mum’s back was turned and dad would shoot his bottom set out of his mouth in a very impressive gurn. He’s never used them to crimp the edges of the pastry of an apple pie but it’s the sort of thing he’d consider for a laugh.

Perhaps Corsodyl has got it right.  I’m sure you know the advert where the beautiful woman’s teeth bleed as she brushes them and at the end of the advert she reveals she is missing a canine tooth.  It’s not the snappiest catchphrase – “Corsodyl, for people who spit blood when they brush” but, by heck it’s honest.

Perhaps the dental industry should concentrate less on the promotion of bright, white smiles and more on the true consequences of poor dental health.  Mind you, that would probably put you off your popcorn. (No I can’t eat that either).

So that’s the story of the problems with my teeth. Tell me, do you have similar dental trials and tribulations?  I’d love to hear.


  1. Stephanie McGuire
    23 February, 2021 / 5:50 am

    I can only think my parents for being such nags about brushing our teeth and going to the dentist when I was a kid. Some of my friends didn’t have parents that cared a lot about their dental health.

  2. 9 May, 2018 / 6:39 am

    I fully agree with the message of the post. Toothpaste ads should focus more on the healthy teeth and mouth rather than just cosmetic appearances.

  3. Steph Crandall
    1 May, 2018 / 8:16 pm

    I have deep grooves in my teeth, so most of my molars are filled. I also have pretty bad TMJ, which runs in my family. I have a night guard for that. I hope yours is a hard plastic, the softer ones actually make it worse!

    XO Steph

    • linda
      2 May, 2018 / 8:04 am

      Mine is made of a flexible material so it’s inbetween but I hate wearing it because I swear it makes my jaw ache more and because it makes me sleep with my mouth open I find I get a very dry mouth – and dribble. Nice.

  4. 16 April, 2018 / 6:35 am

    I dislike the dentist but do make the effort to attend – really do need to make an appointment though. My mum has no teeth left at all!!

  5. Maria Gellar
    12 April, 2018 / 7:40 am

    I remember that poem! ‘All the toffees I chewed, all the sweet, sticky foods’ ?
    I really do feel your pain. I’ve just taken a handful of ibuprofen and codeine with my morning coffee – managed to lose a chunk of my back molar the other day on a cold piece of blooming chewing gum! I’m petrified of the dentist, and am hoping it’ll magically heal itself, but I know I’ll have to suck it up and go soon, as I can’t eat anything on one side of my mouth. Positive note – I’ve lost several pounds already. Gah!

    • linda
      12 April, 2018 / 10:32 am

      I lost half a molar biting on one of those ridged crisps – honestly the list of foods I have to avoid is growing. Raspberry jam is the latest – the pips! x

      • Maria Gellar
        12 April, 2018 / 9:17 pm

        Pips! I just winced. Oh, the humanity of it all……? x

  6. Hafiz Sajid
    28 June, 2015 / 6:44 pm

    Thank you so much for this – I clench my jaw too sometimes and it gives me migraines!

  7. Clinton Zelman
    24 February, 2014 / 8:54 pm

    It can get tough sometimes, because an entire spectrum of problems can attack that one particular area at the same time. Teeth really are like that, and leaving them in a bad condition tends to start a domino effect, until you're left with no other choice but to remove them. That's why the dental work should be both comprehensive and specific, not to mention done regularly.

    Douglas Smith DDS

  8. 6 December, 2013 / 5:36 pm

    Thank you so much for this – I clench my jaw too sometimes and it gives me migraines!

  9. 29 October, 2013 / 9:55 am

    I have been visiting my current dentist for a long time. He is crowns to implants; minimal pain and always on time which is big for me. Its relatively easy to set appointments and change if need be.

  10. Kenneth Barn
    25 October, 2013 / 7:38 am

    Well I don't know if this is a worthy story to share, but I did had some issues with over-the-counter teeth whiteners. I wanted to have pearl-like teeth (if possible), so I bought on of those paint-on teeth whiteners. After a few use I experience some sting in my gums and eventually had some mouth ulcers. I went to the dentist to check what was wrong. There I found out that otc whiteners are not meant to be used everyday but for special occasions only. So there, my negligence in reading the instructions and vanity (i should say) almost got the best of me. My dentist gave me a bit of a 'sermon' after giving me prescriptions.

    You can tell that I have a good relation with my dentist and I guess that helps a lot too, when it comes to taking care of my teeth.

    • Linda Hobbis
      25 October, 2013 / 8:18 am

      Hi Kenneth. Yes I had heard about others who have had problems with tooth whiteners and also veneers. I'm lucky enough to have a good dentist too but I think I'll be giving cosmetic dentistry a wide berth. I have enough trouble with my teeth as they are. At least we don't have a dental phobia – I also know of loads of people who are too scared to go to the dentist in the first place. Glad you got your gums sorted.

  11. thefairyandthefrog
    20 October, 2013 / 8:05 pm

    Thanks for sharing on the Monday Parenting Pin it Party 🙂 (that's a smiley with freshly flossed teeth 😉

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