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Old 03-04-2004, 02:30 PM   #1
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barbara913 HB User
I have a very strange problem

I can't seem to get help with this anywhere. As I have gotten older (early 50's) I have lost bone in my gums. My dentist said that makes the gums recede. The backs of my bottom teeth feel very strange (to my tongue, that is). I feel thick areas, sensations that areas near spaces between teeth kind of "flip-flop" when I move my tongue across them (it has to be a sensation -- I know teeth don't move). My dentist "sanded off" similar problems from the backs of my top front teeth and they feel perfect now. He tried some of the bottom but he said he couldn't do any more because some of the dentin was starting to show through. I got braces (at his suggestion) to close up the spaces figuring I wouldn't feel these sensations anymore; however, the spaces have closed and, guess what, I still feel them! And, they get worse each day!! You know how it is when you have a sore in your mouth and your tongue just won't leave it alone? Well, that' how this is, except this won't ever heal!! The orthodontist told me that I am feeling the new area of the teeth from where the gums have receeded. The thing is, IT IS DRIVING ME OUT OF MY MIND!!!!! I'm afraid that the constant playing with my teeth is going to make the spaces come back!! I feel like I'd like to have them pulled and get implants!! Does anyone know if veneers can be put on the backs of teeth? Does anyone know what I can do? I don't want anyone to think I am some dummy - I have a master's degree from Washington University in St. Louis, but I'm going to end up in a mental institution with nothing if this doesn't stop. Does anyone have anything to offer? And, please, don't just say, "stop touching your teeth with your tongue". I can't. I've tried. It's become a terrible habit.

 
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Old 03-06-2004, 12:55 PM   #2
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alibunnylady HB User
Re: I have a very strange problem

I can't help you with your problem but just wanted to say, I know exactly how you feel about poking and prodding with your tongue, it does become a habit and it's extremely hard to break. I'm going through the poking and prodding thing with my gums at the moment and try and try but can't stop doing it.

If you find a way to stop yourself doing it, let me know cos I need to stop it too! Lol!

 
Old 03-09-2004, 08:52 AM   #3
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Halo31 HB User
Re: I have a very strange problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by barbara913
I can't seem to get help with this anywhere. As I have gotten older (early 50's) I have lost bone in my gums. My dentist said that makes the gums recede. The backs of my bottom teeth feel very strange (to my tongue, that is). I feel thick areas, sensations that areas near spaces between teeth kind of "flip-flop" when I move my tongue across them (it has to be a sensation -- I know teeth don't move). My dentist "sanded off" similar problems from the backs of my top front teeth and they feel perfect now. He tried some of the bottom but he said he couldn't do any more because some of the dentin was starting to show through. I got braces (at his suggestion) to close up the spaces figuring I wouldn't feel these sensations anymore; however, the spaces have closed and, guess what, I still feel them! And, they get worse each day!! You know how it is when you have a sore in your mouth and your tongue just won't leave it alone? Well, that' how this is, except this won't ever heal!! The orthodontist told me that I am feeling the new area of the teeth from where the gums have receeded. The thing is, IT IS DRIVING ME OUT OF MY MIND!!!!! I'm afraid that the constant playing with my teeth is going to make the spaces come back!! I feel like I'd like to have them pulled and get implants!! Does anyone know if veneers can be put on the backs of teeth? Does anyone know what I can do? I don't want anyone to think I am some dummy - I have a master's degree from Washington University in St. Louis, but I'm going to end up in a mental institution with nothing if this doesn't stop. Does anyone have anything to offer? And, please, don't just say, "stop touching your teeth with your tongue". I can't. I've tried. It's become a terrible habit.

Have you been seen by a Periodontist? Did they do a Periodontal exam prior to placing you in Orthodontic therapy? The main cause of bone loss is periodontal disease, but so many general dentists don't check for it. Dentists should measure the depth around your teeth at every dental cleaning. I would suggest you see a Periodontist. Orthodontics can make bone loss worse in people who have Periodontal disease. Teeth can literally fall out of the socket if a person has advanced periodontal disease. I have witnessed it more than once! Hope this helps.

Halo

 
Old 03-15-2004, 05:21 PM   #4
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barbara913 HB User
Re: I have a very strange problem

Thank you. I'll look into it!

 
Old 03-27-2004, 11:25 PM   #5
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mhitt HB User
Red face Re: I have a very strange problem

Dear Barbara,

I can't tell you what a relief it is to hear someone else say that they have this problem. Mine is not identical, but very similar. I can't keep my tongue from playing with my lower incisors. My mind imagines all sorts of lumps and bumps and configurations. It just will not see what is really there.

I didn't have any peridontal problems when this first developed, but I do now. Three dentists have looked at it without any helpful advice.

I actually quit doing it after two years. It was a wonderful 3 weeks, but unfortunately, I slowly started again.

The sores(from constant playing with my tongue), and the inability to stop messing with them absolutely drives me crazy. Some days I feel desperate and panicky. It really destroys my mood and makes me feel out of control and crazy.

I did have some luck with dental wax. You can get it at most drug stores and you push a small piece against the back of your teeth. It works like a charm to discourage the tongue, but unfortunately, my tongue just moves over to the first space not covered with wax and commences to play.

Thanks for sharing and I wish I had more info to help, but hang in there.
By the way, this started when I turned fifty. Wierd huh!

Mike

Last edited by mhitt; 03-27-2004 at 11:27 PM. Reason: Misspellings

 
Old 04-06-2010, 08:53 PM   #6
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CarmelaSoprano HB User
Re: I have a very strange problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by barbara913 View Post
I can't seem to get help with this anywhere. As I have gotten older (early 50's) I have lost bone in my gums. My dentist said that makes the gums recede. The backs of my bottom teeth feel very strange (to my tongue, that is). I feel thick areas, sensations that areas near spaces between teeth kind of "flip-flop" when I move my tongue across them (it has to be a sensation -- I know teeth don't move). My dentist "sanded off" similar problems from the backs of my top front teeth and they feel perfect now. He tried some of the bottom but he said he couldn't do any more because some of the dentin was starting to show through. I got braces (at his suggestion) to close up the spaces figuring I wouldn't feel these sensations anymore; however, the spaces have closed and, guess what, I still feel them! And, they get worse each day!! You know how it is when you have a sore in your mouth and your tongue just won't leave it alone? Well, that' how this is, except this won't ever heal!! The orthodontist told me that I am feeling the new area of the teeth from where the gums have receeded. The thing is, IT IS DRIVING ME OUT OF MY MIND!!!!! I'm afraid that the constant playing with my teeth is going to make the spaces come back!! I feel like I'd like to have them pulled and get implants!! Does anyone know if veneers can be put on the backs of teeth? Does anyone know what I can do? I don't want anyone to think I am some dummy - I have a master's degree from Washington University in St. Louis, but I'm going to end up in a mental institution with nothing if this doesn't stop. Does anyone have anything to offer? And, please, don't just say, "stop touching your teeth with your tongue". I can't. I've tried. It's become a terrible habit.
I have the same problem with my two top front teeth. I have been to many specialists and no one seems to know what is going on. It does drive you crazy and playing with the area becomes a habit. I am making an apt. to see if I can locate a dentist that does dental ultrasound and see if they can look at the problem and maybe diagnose it. I live in Canada and have heard they have a dentist that does this in Toronto.

 
Old 04-06-2010, 10:00 PM   #7
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mhitt HB User
Thumbs up Re: I have a very strange problem

Carmela, the more I look in to this, the more I find it's more common in educated people. I've got a BA, MA, MS and MD and it's now, what, 6 years from my first post and I'm still trying to figure it out. I ran in to a type of self therapy that works, but you have to make yourself aware of what you do subconsciously. It takes constant vigilance and is very discouraging at first. But alerting yourself every time you do it, even if it's every 2 seconds, will help you make progress. When you drop your vigilance it will start to come back. You'll find that there are certain situations where you do it more. Stress, watching TV, working on the computer. Identify those triggers.

You may finally stop and the mouth will heal and you won't have the urge to keep exploring what you've made to hurt. When that happens you really have to be careful not to get back in to the habit. When you first start to resume the habit it will seem like you have total control over it. It might feel reassuring to you for a little bit, but before long, you're back at it.

It's probably not much different than thumb sucking, nail biting, nose picking, etc. Unfortunately these habits are easier to break because people have to move their hand to their mouth or nose to perform them, and anyone can see what they are doing. The tongue, however, is millimeters from the teeth and ohhh, so tempting and secret.

I have not had any luck with dentists, oral appliances, numbing agents, even carrying smooth little beach rocks in my mouth. There is a device that I have not tried, the Galella Tongue Habit Appliance. It's got a little ball on the end of a wire holder and you can play with the ball.

I've had my teeth ground and it has helped. But if a dentist used cement to completely eliminate the gap between my lower incisors, my tongue would find another gap between another set of teeth to pay attention to. I've become a sensation/pain junkie and my tongue screams to be fed.

A Physician told me that these habits are often "tics" of neurologic origin and that they respond to medications for Tourette syndrome, and autism. It may even be a variant of the autistic spectrum. Drugs are like using a hammer to kill a fly, but we sometimes get desperate enough to think about it.

One therapist said that this is very similar to Pavlov's dogs experiment. A stimulus (a tickle or itch or pain on your tongue or gum) and a reward (getting to explore the sensation with your tongue). In this case, perhaps we should wear a dog shock collar and trigger it every time we catch ourselves doing it. Good luck, I know it can be beaten! Search "tongue habits" on the internet and you'll get some ideas.

Last edited by mhitt; 04-06-2010 at 10:01 PM.

 
Old 04-09-2010, 12:44 PM   #8
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CarmelaSoprano HB User
Re: I have a very strange problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Halo31 View Post
Have you been seen by a Periodontist? Did they do a Periodontal exam prior to placing you in Orthodontic therapy? The main cause of bone loss is periodontal disease, but so many general dentists don't check for it. Dentists should measure the depth around your teeth at every dental cleaning. I would suggest you see a Periodontist. Orthodontics can make bone loss worse in people who have Periodontal disease. Teeth can literally fall out of the socket if a person has advanced periodontal disease. I have witnessed it more than once! Hope this helps.

Halo
Hi I just want to mention that my problem started six years ago after I had a piece of popcorn kernel stuck between my two front teeth. I think it may have severed a nerve that rehealed incorrectly. I apply an aloe cream to the inside of my two front teeth at night in order to sleep.

 
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