View Full Version : Obsessed with my teeth and it's controlling my life

01-12-2016, 01:33 AM
I was diagnosed with OCD about 20 years ago. At that time my obsession was related to disease. But in the last few years the focus has been my teeth.

I had braces as a teen but a few years ago I felt they were still crooked so I got Invisalign. I'm still not happy with the way they look. Everyone says that I have nice teeth. Even my dentist says I have nice teeth. I'm back to a new orthodontist for yet more treatment. I explained my issues and she said that any orthodontist would be pleased with my teeth the way they are right now. Yet I don't believe anyone.

I am constantly looking at my teeth....in different lightning and in different mirrors and magnification. I take pictures of them every day and compare them to see if there have been any changes. I know every defect and if I notice something new I have a full blown panic attack and am inconsolable.

I look after my teeth and see a dentist regularly but not only do I think that they're crooked and ugly, I'm also petrified of them cracking or falling out. I'm afraid to even bite into cookies or sandwiches....anything really....for fear of damaging my teeth. I'm even afraid to go on vacation in case I chip a tooth.

This obsession has take over my life and is literally sucking the life out me. I'm tired of crying and being worried about my teeth all the time.

I am on medication (Luvox 100mg) but it's clearly not working.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this and if so, how do you cope? I don't know what to do.

01-13-2016, 08:37 AM
Hi glo gal

It sounds like you're having quite a difficult time with your ocd which is exactly what it wants; to keep you occupied and control every aspect of your life so you don't think about what really lies at the heart of your issues. They used to call ocd the doubting disease because no matter who tells you your teeth are fine, you still doubt others and yourself.

It's not about your teeth because those of us with ocd can and will obsess over different things. Heck several weeks ago I was obsessing over light bulbs as humorous as that may sound. There are different types of ocd; relationship ocd, harm ocd, body image ocd, etc and without getting too psychological I would venture to say you have some things in your past as it relates to your body and self esteem that drive your ocd. Every day tv and radio tell us what to eat, how to look, how to dress, what to wear, and most importantly (and most detrimental) what is attractive and what is not. Through main stream media were force fed ideas every day telling us how we sould look, how we should act, what is acceptable and what isn't, what's beautiful and what isn't and it's very difficult for those of us with OCD to say "I don't care," because deep down we all want to be accepted by those we love and care about.

Were sensitive, caring people who are very susceptible to rejection and we always strive to gain the support and acceptance of those around us. To other people someone telling them their unattractive may not effect them at all, whereas for us it could be very detrimental and cause us to obsess over ourselves and how we perceive ourselves.

It's so important for everyone who has OCD to understand that it's not about teeth. It's not about cats. It's not about lightbulbs. It's not about the obsession or compulsion; it's about what it represents. Obsessions and compulsions are symptoms of OCD, and OCD is driven by subconscious thoughts, fears, and worries. Of course I don't know you and I can't tell you where your OCD comes from, but what I can say is if your medication isn't working, you may want to talk to your PCP and get in to a psychologist who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy.

Hope this helps!

01-13-2016, 11:51 AM
BadMalibu, thank you so much for your detailed response. It's comforting to know that I'm not the only one that struggles with this. I just can't believe how much control that OCD is having on my life. I've even found it difficult to leave the house as I believe everyone is staring at my teeth and judging them. Heck, I even check my teeth in reflective surfaces if I have to go out shopping. Absolutely ridiculous!

I'm going to go back to my doctor and get my med dosage adjusted and ask if I can get into CBT.

Thank you again. I appreciate your wisdom.

01-13-2016, 12:39 PM
Glo gal-

You mentioned a very important word in your posting title and in your post; "control." Ocd tries to exhibit control over us in every aspect of our lives so wet don't have to acknowledge the real reasons behind why we experience the symptoms associated with ocd. As ridiculous and irrational and controlling ocd is, its trying to serve a purpose but going about it in the wrong way and in a way which is detrimental to our emotional health and well being.

Hang in there because we all know how you feel and you're never alone . NEVER.

07-15-2016, 10:45 AM
I too have this problem with my teeth, I obsessively focus on them being crooked, I have had braces in the past but my teeth moved back into their original positions-crooked- I feel really worthless. I cannot afford to see a dentist right now. I try to focus on my inner qualities whenever I think about my teeth. I tell myself of all the good things inside, so I don't feel ugly.