Dentists Share Horror Encounters with Disgusting Teeth

11. Plaque and tartar build is pretty gross. Tartar, also known as calculus, is the calcium deposition on teeth, which forms a topcoat on gums leading… Trista - August 27, 2021

11. Plaque and tartar build is pretty gross.

Tartar, also known as calculus, is the calcium deposition on teeth, which forms a topcoat on gums leading to the formation of plaque. Everyone gets a build up on their teeth after eating and drinking. However, that is why it is essential to brush your teeth after feasting; or, at least twice a day. If not, you already know your teeth and gums can suffer. Not only that, but tartar and plaque can be pretty nasty if not treated for a long time. A Redditor pumpkinrum shares his experience with a patient with poor hygiene and tartar.

“I’m not a dentist, but a nurse. I had a patient whose teeth were so dirty and unwashed that the tartar build-up made it look like two solid rows. The patient was hard of hearing, too, so you had to stand close when you had to speak. It smelled awful. Tried to help the person with hygiene but was almost violently told to f— off each time.”


10. Periodontal disease is a problem for this patient.

Periodontal disease is a wide range of dental issues. From gingivitis to bad breath, temporomandibular disorders, tooth decay, and dry mouth – all of these are considered periodontal disease. A Redditor describes his experience, saying: “My dentist told me I have periodontal disease. He wants to inject some antibiotics into my gums, and it costs $900, and insurance doesn’t cover it. As for the price, I haven’t done it. My friend also told me that that was BS because she had the same issue, and “scaling” cost much less. So IDK, I don’t trust dentists much.

“Edit: I probably should have mentioned this, but a large part of my not getting treatment (yet) is that I’m someone who doesn’t have a lot of money to spare. $900 is a large chunk of my wallet. I’ll admit that I haven’t exactly prioritized it, but a small part of it has to do with the fact that my parents (who won’t pay for anything) simply think the dentists are scamming me. While I don’t think they are, I guess their thinking made me downgrade the severity of the issue. I’ve already contacted a second dentist in regards to a second opinion, but I never got around to forwarding them my x-rays. I’m going to get to that. And I guess if I have to, I’ll take the financial hit.”  


9. Braces can be yucky — and painful.

A Redditor shares his dental experience saying: “The dentist is my friend. I’ve had all four wisdom teeth pulled at the same time 3 or 4 years ago and a root canal last year. I was put to sleep for the teeth extraction. The healing was pretty good. It kind of sucked with eating soft stuff for a while, and I was not a happy camper when the pain meds wore off, but it was so worth it. I was in pain for years before that because I was afraid to have them removed when I was a teen before they became a problem. Now to last year, I had two cavities but not the money to take care of them. I let them go, and the pain was excruciating. I could hardly chew, and some nights I would stay up just crying.

“All it took was for one to become infected, and I had to be rushed to the dentist. My whole cheek puffed up. I still could not afford it, and now it went to collections, but that tooth is all better after the root canal. The other cavity is now big, but the root is curved, so it’s going to be even more expensive since I have to go to a specialist. It surprisingly doesn’t hurt, but after I eat, I have to rinse my mouth immediately (dentist-recommended act mouth wash) to get the food particles out of the tooth. I’m terrified it’s going to get infected, and I’ll be in trouble. If you have a cavity, don’t wait if you don’t have to. Go to the dentist and get it taken care of early. Every dentist I’ve been to throughout my life has been pleasant and just wants to help.” 


8. Dealing with excruciating gum pain.

Gum pain occurs due to many reasons like brushing too hard, wearing braces or dentures, and in women, it is mostly due to hormonal changes in pregnancy or periods. It can be worse for some people, as montanagrizfan explains: “I used to be a chairside assistant in Montana. We had several older patients that would winter in Arizona and go across the border to get cheap dental work. I remember one person who came in complaining of gum pain around their new ‘gold’ crown. The tissue around the crown was all puffy and inflamed, and discolored.

“It wasn’t infected as much as it was irritated. I could tell just by looking at it that the crown was not gold. It was a weird bright yellow color, more like brass than gold. We removed the crown by cutting it off because, despite its strange color, it fits quite well. The patient wore a temporary crown for a few weeks just to make sure everything settled down before a new one was made. Once the crappy crown came off, the tissue went back to normal fairly quickly despite some recession. We never could figure out what the crown was made of, even had our lab guy look at it. Whatever it was wasn’t gold, and it wasn’t biocompatible.”


7. Cavities can be really bad.

A Redditor, huphelmeyer, shared a horrific patient encounter 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 pernio gets, the worse your breath gets… So fast forward to the moment.

“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 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.”


6. A nasty dental plate.

A dental plate is a hard acrylic plate that fits around the teeth and gives them a symmetrical position. A Redditor with the name transemacabre shared his mother’s experience (as a dental assistant) with a having loose upper plate. “My mother was a dental assistance WAY back in the ’70s. She tells me they regularly had people come in with teeth so jacked up. The dentist had to pull every last tooth in their mouths. I think the worst I’ve ever seen was a man who had some sort of dental plate on his upper palate.

“It had come loose and flopped around when he spoke. He had only a couple of teeth left. I don’t know what this condition is called or why it had gotten that bad (aside from him probably not being able or willing to pay to fix it.” Luckily today people can have better procedures. Not only that, but they better understand how important oral hygiene is. That way, they can prevent having to get dental plates in the first place, much less fixed!


5. Pus in the mouth is never a good thing.

“Not a dentist, but a dental office manager. We’re used to seeing bombed-out teeth, which cannot be saved by root canals or crowns, can usually be addressed with extractions with grafting and implants. So, what can be assumed as a ‘worst’ case is fairly common in this industry? The worst I can think of is advanced pernio disease. Pus coming out of gum tissue if you poke at it, exposed dentin, teeth wiggling around. I don’t care much for the gooey aspect of dentistry, which is why I prefer to stay at the front desk. I did see an unusual case the other day, though. A young girl (pre-adult dentition) came in complaining of pain. She was on vacation with her family and was in town for only a couple of days. We followed protocol and took an x-ray, nothing particularly unusual at first glance.

“So, the doctor advised mom to take her daughter to a dentist ASAP once they get back home to follow up. I called them later to check-in, and mom said on the 10-hour drive back to their home state, the daughter was feeling intense pain in the same area. She had a “tooth within a tooth,” with the interior tooth inside the erupted tooth and being upside down. This is very rare! So, this harbored a pocket for infection to develop, and an abscess formed after we took the x-ray (so my Dr. could not see it at the time). She ultimately had an extraction done and got a flipper until she is old enough to get an implant. The oral surgeon who did it said it was extremely unlikely our office could have caught it because of the way the inner tooth was positioned.”


4. Discovering severe gum disease after a nasty fall.

There’s a reason why dentists emphasize taking care of dental health. Not doing so might result in severe gum diseases, including periodontal disease, bad breath, tooth decay, or trench mouth. A Redditor mdp300 shares his story saying: “A lady comes in, she had just tripped and fallen, and the browns in her front teeth had fallen off. I take a look, and her front four teeth were all connected together with crowns.

“The roots of the two middle teeth were sticking out of the crowns – those whole teeth had fallen out. The other two teeth broke off at the gum line. I look in her chart, and she’s been in every six months for cleanings. At every visit, she’s been told she has severe gum disease and needs treatment or else she’s going to lose all her teeth, but she never did anything because nothing was hurting her.”  Well, the moral of the story is to not only brush your teeth. That is a given. But if you lack in oral hygiene, make sure you are cautious with your clumsiness!


3. Tooth decay can be common, but it is still gross.

The main cause of tooth decay is eating sugary and sticky food and drinks as well. These things weaken the gum and lead to tooth decay. Charliesixx shares a patient story saying: “24-year-old guy. All of his teeth were decayed to the gums except 2 – his lower canines – that still had the retainer bonded to the back of them. The only pieces of enamel left in his mouth were underneath that bonding.

“All that time, effort, and money straightening those teeth… I asked him what he thought contributed to his rapid decay. He replied that he had consumed at least a 2L of Coke a day since he moved out on his own. I spent 12 hours (4 – 3-hour appointments) pulling the 32 roots out of his head so he could get a set of dentures made by some dental students. I will never forget this case because it was also the case that started the chain of events that led to my professor getting fired from the dental school.”


2. The gums swollen over the brackets and bands.

Right after your first braces, your gums may swell due to tightened wires, and as a consequence, you might suffer from gum diseases. A dentist under the name UnicornCumParty at Reddit shares a story saying: “Had a patient come in at age 15 to get braces on and their parent never brought them to another visit after the first one. Years later, the patient shows back up randomly, now age 18, and wants the braces off.

“The parent was in the waiting room screaming and losing their crap, trying to say we could not do anything without their consent, and trying to control their now-adult child. The patient demanded the braces off, and we did it because they were the age of consent. Their teeth were ruined under the braces due to lack of care. Gums swollen over the brackets and bands; one front tooth even crumbled due to decay. We found a large fingernail back in one of the gums. It smelled awful. And while we were working, the parent continued to freak out and had to be escorted out. Wild times. I felt awful for the patient.” 


1. Finally, a great dentist and patient.

A Redditor Select_Wonder5744 shares a story saying: “Getting a wisdom tooth pulled from my lower jaw that had grown in a horizontal position facing forwards. I was preparing myself for an ordeal and had even prepaid for 3 hours of parking beyond my appointment time. I entered the clinic at 8:55 am and was ushered directly to the surgery and chair. My dentist was the clinic’s ‘wisdom tooth guy,’ a big young redhead with a shock of hair, freckles, and paunch. He reminded me of someone you’d sit down and eat 5kg of BBQ ribs with. A happy, cheerful guy. He injected me within Novocaine by about 9 am and started at about 9:10 am.

He informed me that he planned to cut the tooth in half, remove the cap, and hopefully, the root system would slide forward and that I would hear some nasty crunching sounds. I was seriously mentally prepared for a tug-o-war, closed my eyes, and steeled myself. I heard the crunch as he broke the cap off, followed by a moment of silence. Then he asked me to bite down on a cotton pad. I thought, ‘OK, part 1 wasn’t so bad,’ and opened my eyes. He said something like, we’ll just leave that for a moment for the bleeding to stop, and I realized it was over. I mumbled, ‘is that it?’ to which he said yes, and I couldn’t hold back a laugh. A few minutes later, he changed the pad, wrote a prescription for painkillers, and I was let go. I paid at the front desk and walked back to my car.”