A Redditor with the name DrRam121 shares his story as a dental student saying: “I am a dental student and I’ll graduate in May, but I was a hygienist before I started dental school. I have seen a couple of things. I’ve had to tell people that I can’t clean a couple of their teeth for fear of pulling that tooth out with my scaler. I’ve also seen NUG or necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis, which is a periodontal disease so bad that the gums start dying. The worst I’ve seen though is a woman whose face was swollen from her midline under her chin to her eye on her right side with trismus. We took a panorex on her, and I identified at least five possible culprits (badly decayed teeth) for the swelling. We sent her to the hospital for IV antibiotics.”
To which another Redditor, ScoliOsys, who is actually a patient, replied: “I’ve always had weird teeth. Adult teeth stained yellow bc I was always sick and had to have antibiotics a lot. When I did have braces, they had to use headgear brackets (I didn’t have to wear headgear) because, for some reason, my teeth wouldn’t hold the glue. I got really good at taking the rubber bands off because of this. I also have TMJ, which sucks, and a very small mouth. They use the kids’ bitewings on me.”
Another Reddit user, queenc92, who is not a dentist, shares a story saying: “I am not a dentist, but I am a dental hygiene student. I recently had a WTF moment. Just a little background. I work in a low-income clinic. Most people that come in have little to no oral health care knowledge and have never been to the dentist, so they have something called Periodontal disease (Perio) and cavities. The worse period gets, the worse your breath gets. So fast forward to the moment. A new patient came in, and usually, I am immune to the smelly breath (my mask will cover most of it, but sometimes I do smell something), but this patient opened their mouth, and I just about threw up in my mouth.
It was absolutely disgusting. I had to excuse myself. Luckily, I have some essential oil that I put in my mask for that exact reason, so I put some on, and then I had the patient rinse with Listerine, and the smell got 10x worse. I began the cleaning, and even with all the water and rinsing, I felt the smell was just getting worse (usually, it gets better). So I excused myself again and sat in the back for a minute, and I just did not know what to do. I can’t just excuse the patient for bad breath, but I did not want to finish the cleaning. Not a huge story, but it definitely left me dumbfounded. TL;DR: Pt had monster bad breath, and after all the remedies I could think of, nothing worked, and I just about vomited.”
4. Things Went From Bad To Worse At This Dental Office
A Redditor, drdrillaz, shares his horrible encounter stating: “Two things almost made me puke. The first was when I volunteered at a homeless shelter. The guy’s teeth were green. And I stuck an instrument straight through his front teeth. I almost vomited on him. The second was a lady who previously had a root canal. The temporary filling had fallen out, leaving a hole in her tooth. She said it had been out for a year. I picked decomposing chicken out of this hole. The stench made me dry heave right in front of her. It was the most disgusting thing imaginable. I will never forget those two situations.”
Then, osodeoz adds: “I had the periodontics clinic awhile ago, and you could not believe the smell and the things these people had in their mouths, basically have you ever seen the green calcifications that starts building up in the sprinkler of old showers? Imagine a tooth COVERED completely by that crap. Also, I saw a temporary tooth during my internship that started coming out sideways like the permanent tooth was pushing in the wrong way so you would see the root and the crown of the tooth in a horizontal way but still attached to the gums and bone.”
If you aren’t grossed out to the max, you have made it this far. A RedditorLyingFor-Karma describes his weird encounter with a patient, saying: “One day a regular patient of ours came in, all seemed normal, pleasantries were exchanged, but later on in the day I was going to a life-altering amount of poor hygiene.
As soon as they sat in the chair and uttered an ahh at my request, I saw that since their last visit, most of their teeth had been nearly rotten all the way through. I’m not even kidding. I swear one of the back molars was hollow. Long story short, they now need dentures.”
An anonymous Reddit user who is a patient shared his story, saying: “Growing up, I didn’t take care of my teeth properly, and when I got older, I didn’t have insurance or the money to go to the dentist. Now I’m 28, and I have at least three teeth that probably should be pulled and two others that I’m pretty sure that bad cavities. At this point, I know I need to go to the dentist because it will only get worse, but I am so afraid of them judging me.
To add to matters, I now live in another country–I am American and now live in the Netherlands. I’m learning Dutch, but almost all of my ‘outside’ interactions are high stress for me as it is. I’m not afraid of pain from the dentist; it’s more the shame I feel for letting it get this bad. I know that if I had just flossed/brushed my teeth more, it wouldn’t be this bad.”
1. When Someone Really Needs a Hygiene Lesson: Chewing Tobacco Is Gross And Unhealthy
Redditor Tinyfishy shares his view on this topic, saying: “Food is up there for gross. Hard calculus is kinda ‘fun’ in a ‘can’t wait to clean that up way’ and not as gag-worthy somehow. Weeks-old gunk under dentures is awful. Soft plaque spreads on like cake icing, and where the upper layers are bright colors is a bit gross but also fun to clean away. Bits of chewing tobacco and pre-cancerous lesions around it are chilling. So why do you ask? If it is for a friend with a ‘gross’ mouth, we have seen it all pretty much before and just wanna help.
In turn, another Redditor, goldeeen, added: “The only thing that’s made me physically gag was a patient with dentures who didn’t know she was supposed to take them out and brush them. The amount of calculus that was built upon the bottom was profound” Another Redditor tdoggins replied to this saying: smoker’s teeth can be really bad, and infections won’t be pretty as you might expect. Tons of people would find watching procedures like extractions quite gross, though I’ve heard that in dentistry, the smells are generally much worse than the things you’ll see.”