Archive for June 22nd, 2009

After reading the comments on my blog entry entitled Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Hoarding, I realized just how common it is for child abuse survivors to hoard pens. In light of this, I would like to hear from my readers if there is also a common obsession with teeth.

I have been obsessed with my teeth throughout my life. I would freak out whenever I had a loose tooth because I feared that there were no adult teeth underneath to replace it. I have had recurring nightmares throughout my life about my teeth falling out or growing too large for me to shut my mouth.

I brush my teeth a minimum of five times a day: When I wake up, after each meal, and before I go to bed. I will also brush after any snack or if I will be interacting with another person.

I actually own my own dental tools. I cannot stand to have tartar build up and have to wait six months to see the dentist for a cleaning. I have one particular area that builds up tartar quickly (inside of my bottom front teeth), so I scrape that regularly with my own tools. As a result of my obsession with my teeth, in combination with grinding my teeth, my gums have receded, so I have to brush with toothpaste for sensitive teeth.

Is anyone else obsessed with their teeth like this? My sister is. She got an infection in the roots of one of her teeth and had to have the tooth pulled. (She could not afford a root canal.) She couldn’t bring herself to do it until the entire side of her face got infected. The dentist pointed out that failing to remove the tooth (or pay for a root canal) could kill her. Only then did she have the tooth pulled, and she was completely wigged out by its removal (well beyond a typical reaction to having a tooth pulled).

Is it just us? Did something in our abuse cause us to obsess over our teeth? Or is this a common phenomenon among child abuse survivors? I would love to hear from anyone else who is as obsessed with his or her teeth as I am.

Photo credit: Faith Allen

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