Serious problems with teeth/jaw

Jan 19, 2013

So in order to explain the severity, this post may end up rather long.

My last trip to the dentist as a kid was when I was 16. I was told to have had several cavities and a few root canals. My family couldn't afford everything so they opted to help the most severe problem which was the root canals.

When I was 18 (now 28) years old, I had a cracked tooth (Upper left, second tooth in the far back). I was unemployed and was couch surfing through peoples houses in order to get by, while searching for a job. I literally had no money, and lived off a good portion of Top Ramen. The pain was so severe so I cracked the tooth out with a pair of pliers. This left shards of teeth where the tooth used to be. The tooth had been previously root canaled before that, so while there was pain, it was still somewhat tolerable.

Between 18-20 I didn't really notice anything terrible so I just kind of rolled with it, assuming things would be okay. The cavities didn't seem like they affected me, as I didn't even notice they were there, but they were. I was unable to afford any trips to the dentist, as I barely made enough to get by. Living on minimum wage, out on my own. The company I worked for didn't offer dental.

Around 21 I developed my first problem, one of my bottom back teeth had abscessed, it looked as if I had put a golf ball in my mouth. I went to the ER and they directed me to an oral surgeon. The only choice was to sacrifice the tooth. It was pulled, and because they had to put me under it ran a few thousand dollars, as well as a few hundred in pain medication.

Later that year, the same thing happened on the right side of my mouth, same opposing tooth.

Neither of these times was I able to afford the removal of the shattered tooth shards.

Around 22, I developed a grind, I grind my teeth so horribly and I don't even realize that I do it most of the time.

When I was 25, I received my third abscess, upper left far back (prior to the wisdom). The company I was working for paid to get a root canal, and a filling, but couldn't cover anything else.

Shortly thereafter the company laid me off as they were having a financial crisis.

At 26, I moved to North Carolina as rent was coming up, and I could not afford what my room mates at the time required. My friend offered to take me in. I gladly accepted and did my best to find a job. Regretfully, it was North Carolina, I was 26, had no job, no car, was living off unemployment and using that to pay what rent I could, and eat. My grinding problem continued to worsen, and I have grinded and fractured some teeth. My front tooth has been cracked and I can see a cavity developing. My friend had graduated college, and took a job for a big company in another state. I was having no luck on the East Coast, so I came back to San Diego, found a job, and have been working there for the past few years.

The problems, the company doesn't offer me insurance as I am a temp. The insurance the temp agency offers is very poor and saves only 6 dollars or so on the 1000. While it may add up, the company itself doesn't pay more than 10 an hour (with no chance of a raise, unless you get a promotion) as we are all considered permanent temps.

Now, I am living in California off 10 dollars an hour, living on my own, I make it by, by I don't really have money for leisures, my nights consist of staying inside.

So what I can visually see, without x-rays:

A cavity on near every tooth (brown looking specs)
edged/jagged teeth from grinding
some teeth appear to be rotting out
gingivitis buildup around some teeth (I brush 3-4 times a day, wash my mouth out with mouthwash 2-3 times a day) I believe this is because I have grinded so much enamel off my teeth, that no matter what I do; they aren't getting protected, on top of the problems that have been building up for years.
gums developing peridontis (black developing on the end of the gums)
fillings from when I was 15 started to deteriorate, causing severe pain
grinding getting much worse (noticeable clenching, pain in the morning: more severe the past 2 months)
Severe jaw pain, from what I am reading online it seems to be TMJ/TMD. I have a very difficult time opening my mouth wide, without pain in the back left of my mouth, somewhere in the middle between my upper and lower wisdom teeth.
Massive migraines / headaches due to the clenching/grinding of my teeth

Now, this is just what I can see, so I know the problems will be much worst than what I can explain, especially under an x-ray.

So I am 28, and living paycheck to paycheck, not a great life, but I have a roof. The dental problems I see there would be multiple thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of work. There is absolutely, no way I could ever possibly afford something like this, unless I won the lottery, and I can't even afford to buy a ticket <_<.

I'm expecting the answer to be "you're screwed", but I have recently been searching for dental forums in hopes that someone out there, might have some clue or advice as to what I could possibly do...

Thank you very much, If you took the time to read this, I really do appreciate it.

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