Skip to main content
Denture Living Community

44 Messages

 • 

1.4K Points

Sat, Mar 7, 2015 1:26 PM

First look in mirror with no teeth.....

I was curious as to everyone's reaction the first time they saw their face in the mirror with no teeth. I had done tons of googling about dentures, extractions, etc before the procedure and was quite horrified at the images online of what the inside of the mouth would like like post op. I reassured myself and figured I'd cross that road when I got to it. I vividly remember the fear I felt the first day I had to remove the immediates myself to swish with salt water and clean the dentures. I stood there sweating and shaking with fear ready to face a mouthful of holes, possibly blood, stitches etc... I got them out ok, gently placed them in a cup of water and surveyed the damage. Yup....potholes, some blood, and lots of zig zagged yellow stitching, overall, pretty much what I was expecting. I felt instant relief and was actually proud of myself for crossing that hurdle. Then horror struck.....I looked up in the mirror at my face, mouth closed.....OMG,OMG,OMG!!!!!!!!! My face looked collapsed! I was by no means prepared for THAT! I immediately went to tears and just fell apart, totally horror struck! I was totally appalled at the image looking back at me. My mouth and lips felt like floppy uncontrollable rubber! I looked like a hound dog with floppy jowls and when I tried to speak gibberish came out instead of words. What had I done? I looked 20 years older! What would my husband think?

I am bringing this matter up to warn all of those about to step into the denture process. I've been following along on this message board since just before my extractions a little more than a month ago and had never seen a post about this particular subject. Honestly just the mental acceptance of having to get dentures was hard enough, never mind the fear of extractions, appearance with new "teeth", pain etc..... I mean logically speaking I should have anticipated "the collapsed" look of my appearance but with so many other things racing through my mind before the extractions and post op, I was totally unprepared for this. My self esteem was crushed! Yup....my plastic smile looked better than my original teeth but without them in I looked like hell. I also wasn't prepared for having to speak to the dentist and assistants without teeth as they made adjustments, or trying to answer the phone when my teeth were soaking. Forming words without teeth is extremely difficult and frustrating!

As I have said its been over a month for me now. Due to a problem with the original immediates I was given I had to stop wearing them while new ones are being made. I was forced to see my toothless face on a regular basis, answer the phone and speak to people regularly without teeth. The muscles around your mouth get stronger daily and words become easier. The muscles also seem to strengthen up and the collapsed look isn't as bad.... Things do get better! My warning though, especially to the much younger folks......be prepared for this .....your teeth support your lips and face.....

Responses

94 Messages

 • 

4.1K Points

6 years ago

Kelly,

Thank you so much for this report! I am sure there are a lot of people who weren't expecting what they saw 'afterward'.

Personally, I didn't have the 'collapsed face' but, that could be because I still have 10 teeth on the bottom in the back (5 on each side). However, I have to say, when I took my dentures out the first time here at home I couldn't stop laughing! OMG! I was making faces at myself in the mirror and talking to myself and watching all the contortions my face was going through! LOL

I am SO not a vain person.  Perhaps because I was a nurse for 22 years and I have seen more things than the law allows, I wasn't as 'offended' by my appearance as some people might be? I know that when my dentures are in, I look so much better and different than before.

Being without teeth from time to time is something that I am going to experience so, it is something I have to learn to deal with and except. I'm not afraid, ashamed, or embarrassed to have other people see me without my teeth. If they liked me before with my old and ugly teeth, and they like me now with my new teeth, they damned well better accept me when I give them the occasional gummy grin I might flash! LOL

I've said in other posts, 'Positive attitude brings positive results', and I truly believe that. So, instead of focusing on what you look like to others without your teeth, focus on what you look like (and FEEL) to yourself with your new smile! Learn to accept yourself and others will accept you in like.

I'm not afraid to go without make-up; I'm not afraid to be seen with hairy legs. I'm not afraid to be seen with my hair twisted up in a knot or a ponytail; and I am not afraid to be seen with my teeth. I am still the same person now as I was before.... and I like me!

Fyllis


44 Messages

 • 

1.4K Points

Fyllis, you have the most wonderful attitude!   I know I reel in horror when I see my face in the mirror.  It is just as the poster described, but each day I get a little more used to it.  I can't go back and I keep telling myself that at least I will never have to endure toothaches ever again and that I WILL get better and stronger.  You are so wonderful and supporting.  I cannot thank you enough.

94 Messages

 • 

4.1K Points

Aww Cathy, that was sweet of you to say.

I wasn't always so positive though. I went through a few rough spots in my time and it finally hit me ...  years after my Daddy was gone, I remembered words he spoke to me a long time ago: "Once you hit bottom, you can only go back up".

I decided to change my attitude and it changed my life. Change isn't easy to accept and my only regret is not accepting it earlier. Your mental perception has a direct bearing on how you deal with life.

Smiles!

Fyllis

44 Messages

 • 

1.4K Points

Good for you!  I shall work to adopt the same positive attitude (but it ain't easy).  

44 Messages

 • 

1.4K Points

Fyllis, I SO applaud that response. Teeth don't make or break who a person is. I myself had a pretty messed up mouth all of my life and from childhood deathly avoided having my picture taken. I was struck with a baseball bat when I was 4 yrs old. The injury left me with a deviated septum and my adult teeth came in all wrong. The top were super large with an overbite and the lower were crooked and jammed onto a tiny lower jaw. As the years went on I became a mouth breather and it took its toll on my gums. I've always been a happy easy going person and I smiled all the time.....I just literally ran from a camera. The twists and turns of my face and mouth were so accented on a photo I just couldn't bare to see it, it embarrassed me. I always wore bland clothes, very little make up, and avoided drawing attention to myself. Any discussion of teeth prior to this was a very uncomfortable situation for me....even toothpaste commercials left me squirming.

I was so anxious to get rid of that gigantic mouthful of crooked teeth that I had overlooked just how much of my appearance they were. Having large teeth removed makes for a huge cave in...lol! Anyway, as the days have progressed I too am becoming more used to my toothless grin. I think it will just take time to totally adjust to the new naked me . I have yet to regret having them pulled and would do it again (just at a different location).I find security in the fact that I will never have an infected tooth again, no more Mercury fillings lurking and waiting to cause hidden health problems, and my mouth shape is no longer being contorted by those huge crooked teeth. My tongue is even happy now. It always had a hazy appearance and now it is a healthy pink!

ALL I CAN SAY IS R.I.P. old teeth.........and hugs to all of you that have been so informative and supportive in this journey. XOXOXOXO

472 Messages

 • 

14.2K Points

I like Fyllis' attitude! I feel the same way (most of the time), but I'm a 55 year old male. I forgot my teeth at home the other day, and had to work till lunch with no teeth. I had a good laugh about it, although it was a little uncomfortable.

10 Messages

 • 

490 Points

6 years ago

I believe your comment fulfills the majority of individuals that experience total extraction, BUT NOT ALL! Having had inferior teeth all of my adult life, when the dentist finally accepted my request for extraction, seeing me that day and now almost five years later, is a positive event.

I walked out of my dentist office without dentures. I sat in my car using various mirrors just looking how great I look without teeth; tears of joy were present. Now with almost 5 years in this situation, I readily leave my dentures behind. I've been told by numerous people that my normal look without dentures is not significant to alter anyone's viewpoint. I enjoy the feeling of having nothing in my mouth but realize specific times they must be present (eating & business) but never find my image in the mirror offensive. My naked smile is good for me!

200 Messages

 • 

3.2K Points

They started pulling my teeth in june so slowly my face was sunken in only had the Last six on top left in January when they had my dentures ready it was weird seeing my self with teeth in when I got my new teeth that's what was so crazy.but I won't go out of the house with out my teeth now.

107 Messages

 • 

2K Points

I have had ugly teeth my whole life. I feel just like you. Someone recently commented on my new dentures and what a lovely smile.

94 Messages

 • 

4.1K Points

6 years ago

There you go!

It's just a matter of how one person reacts opposed to another.

I know a girl who called off work on a Monday because she didn't have time to 'wash the grey' out of her hair over the weekend! Did she really believe no one noticed her miniscule grey hair on Friday?

What happens when situations arise that might affect your otherwise 'normal' appearance that you have no control over ... like, getting a wrinkle or a zit? At least you can put your dentures in and show yourself to the world.

Yea, it was surprising when I saw myself in the mirror; It was a drastic change to what I looked like before. The only tears I shed were due to laughter!  But I guess I have too many more prominent worries on my plate than to worry over how other people perceive me.

So, here I am for all the world to see... Before, After, and In Between!  I hope this makes you laugh!

Fyllis

   

44 Messages

 • 

1.4K Points

You are beautiful, Fyllis.  Inside AND out!

259 Messages

 • 

6.1K Points

Beautiful!!

4 Messages

 • 

90 Points

They look great! Makes me cry because my mouth looks like your before.

4 Messages

 • 

90 Points

1 Message

 • 

62 Points

Did anyone having trouble keeping your botyom denture in? Mine will not even hold with glue.

68 Messages

 • 

1.4K Points

6 years ago

My "toothless" look was not so shocking to me because my grandmother (Mom's mom) lived with us and she had dentures from my first memory of her.  So, I grew up seeing her without her teeth and it wasn't such a traumatic experience when I went through it myself.

107 Messages

 • 

2K Points

I had several aunts, uncles, etc with dentures. I never saw any of them toothless. That is my goal. I do remember seeing dentures in a cop in the bathroom.

40 Messages

 • 

1.1K Points

6 years ago

Considering I'm having 17 teeth removed in two days, am extremely scared about my appearance, I don't think this helped me as much as others. I shouldn't have read such a discriptive piece on what's in store for me. My bad. I think I'm off the boards until after my procedure.

107 Messages

 • 

2K Points

I had all my teeth pulled and intermediate dentures put in immediately. Thank goodness I have not had any serious problems. I learned a lot here. Hang in there. You have lots of people pulling in here for you. Some days I come here 2 or 3 times just to visit.

3 Messages

 • 

74 Points

Hi im thinking about doing this but im so scared an i need it done, how was u able to get immediate dentures put in?? Was it right after or a few days later?

43 Messages

 • 

904 Points

Sherri, you can have them put in immediately after you get your teeth pulled. It's not as bad as I thought it would be. However , you cannot take them out for a few days or they will not go back in. You have to sleep with them in.(because of the swelling) If you take the other way you will have to wait about 3 to 4 weeks for dentures I was told.

1 Message

 • 

102 Points

My dentist had my dentures ready & waiting when I went in to have my teeth pulled.  I'm about 10 months out and am soooo happy!  I have never liked my teeth and they just kept getting worse the older I got.  I smile with my mouth open now and I love my teeth!  Still only soft liner until August.  The liner made all the difference in the world.

1 Message

 • 

80 Points

My story is a tad different. I am younger (32) I have always had ugly teeth. Recently I discovered a disorder that caused me to begin having issues with my teeth. After the rapid loss of the teeth, I finally was approved for a denture. However, the only Doctor in my area who would work with my insurance requires I have extractions this week & wait for 8-10 weeks before getting my denture. I am having 15 teeth extracted. 

44 Messages

 • 

1.4K Points

6 years ago

Stephanie,
Don't be afraid. I was so worried about my appearance with new teeth that I really hadnt thought about what I would look like with no teeth. I was worried sick ...would they be white enough ? Would they be the right size and shape? etc..... I overthought that aspect of the situation and hadn't given any thought to what my appearance would be WITH OUT teeth at all. I wrote this post so others wouldn't be caught totally off guard as I was. I'm sure you read the wonderful posts by the others.....everyone's reaction to their new naked mouth is different. Some were quite humorous! I can tell you with no reservation that I would not want my old teeth back and that my mouth feels healthier and cleaner than ever. I'm about a month and a half in to this process and I am still adjusting to my new appearance. It takes times. Please stay on the boards, the amount of support here is incredible.

75 Messages

 • 

1.8K Points

Thanks for the post! Even though it is 4 years old it perfectly describes my reaction 3 days ago after extractions and implants. I've only glanced at my lower jaws and the zig-zag of sutures...that is enough information for me at this time. Your post and others here are encouraging to me and give me a spirit of optimism for my future with a healthy mouth! Thanks!

36 Messages

 • 

604 Points

I had all teeth upper and lower removed 2 weeks ago.  It took me about 5 days before I had the courage to look at the inside of my mouth.  My first thought was it looked like a black hole in the middle of my face and I abruptly shut my mouth.  Which may have been a mistake...I wasn't prepared to see what I looked like without teeth.  I'm 71 and now I look 90.  I couldn't get my teeth back in fast enough....ahh, back to being 71.  I don't care how much they hurt, I don't take them out except at night or to take the lowers out to eat.  (Still having a problem with that)

75 Messages

 • 

1.8K Points

It' been about two months,and I'm mostly comfortable looking at myself without dentures. My initial shock was like yours,YIKES!  I've been practicing how to make my face look "normal" without them in...definitely no open mouth smiles,a casual smirk seems to work. When I get discouraged I remember back to when I would morbidly look at my mouth full of broken and missing teeth and bleeding, receding gums. UGH! I don't know how I lived like that,health-wise. Now the worst I see is healthy pink gums! And when I have my dentures in I dont have to look down or cover my mouth when I speak or laugh! I hope your dentist can make some adjustments to help you with the fit (which is probably causing the pain?). Be demanding and proactive in that regard,we paid for a healthier,toothache free mouth not painful dentures. With my limited experience,I have to agree with the general consensus on this site...things do improve and get better with time! i pray for your continued recovery and better health,good luck! 

75 Messages

 • 

1.8K Points

Just wanted to add,at this point in time I cannot imagine being in public without my teeth....EVER!

6 Messages

 • 

180 Points

I had all of my upper teeth extracted and got an immediate upper denture in November of 1999, and 10 lower teeth extracted and slower partial, which is held by 4 crowns , the following January. The day after the uppers were gone, I took the denture out for cleaning and a warm salt water rinses. When I saw myself in the mirror, I looked at the craters where my teeth had been, and I couldn't help but laugh. The gums were ugly, but I made funny faces at myself and told myself that I looked okay, even without the denture. Thus, I started on a positive note.

Despite pain and dealing with bone shards and adjustments, I felt good about having "false teeth.". The lower partial was no problem at all. It was more of a shock to see the big gap between my lower canines that it was to see the totally empty upper gums, but it looks fine with the partial in, much better than my natural crowded and crooked teeth.

I take the denture's out at night, and my family has seen me in my gummy state. I actually like the gummy feeling and don't have any problems with speech. I have had to make public appearances without my dentures, and I have survived. I leave them out while I'm home alone and sometimes when I go out to run errands, etc.

I understand when people don't want to be seen without teeth, but my experience has been positive. During several trips to the hospital, nobody cared about my being toothless; they had more important things to be concerned about.

Everyone is different, but this has been my experience. I hope that it helps others who are new to the denture adventure.

3 Messages

 • 

190 Points

6 years ago

I hate to say it, but I won't look at myself.  When I go to my boyfriends for the night, I'm taking them out after he falls asleep, then slipping into the bathroom at 4:30 am to put them back in.  I wish I were more comfortable and I know my boyfriend wouldn't mind at all. I hope to get over this some time soon. 

To be honest, I have not even told anyone I got dentures.  

3 Messages

 • 

140 Points

Please, tell your boyfriend!  If he pushes you away, that's his loss.  Some things are better without teeth.  I won't go into detail but some of you may know what I'm talking about.  ;)

107 Messages

 • 

2K Points

Everyone knows about my dentures, but I have not gone without them yet. Of course my husband has seen, but after 50 years of marriage he has seen worse.

200 Messages

 • 

3.2K Points

6 years ago

Jay things will get better in ur own time.I don't tell people I have them.and don't go anywhere it they have been taken out for the night.

5 Messages

 • 

200 Points

6 years ago

I have to say that I was never prepared for what to expect with my teeth gone and the new dentures. I was so stunned and humiliated and embarrassed the first day that I just wanted t go home and end it all.I could not believe that I had agreed to do such a thing. I had lost faith in my dentist early on and was not sure if I should go forward or not. I did not have much choice as I had already paid him 6 grand! I feel like I was taken advantage of and now am my dentist's cash cow. I don't let anyone see me ever with out my "trial teeth".. the adjustments are still being done and I am so frustrated. I feel so embarrassed every time I look in the mirror. I don't even want to see how I look. I hear that my dentist has done a good job. I don't know, I don't believe it.what a horrible experience this has been.

44 Messages

 • 

1.4K Points

Give it time.  You cannot go back, it is what it is.  I'm only 2 weeks in and it IS a struggle, but we are all in the same boat.  I truly believe that in time, we will all look back with gratitude for our new smiles.  It is not an easy transition at all and I completely understand your frustration.  Hang tough, Joseph.  It WILL get better.

3 Messages

 • 

74 Points

OMG IM SORRY TO HEAR THAT,,,NOW IM REALLY SCARED!!!!!

3 Messages

 • 

74 Points

OMG IM SORRY TO HEAR THAT,,,NOW IM REALLY SCARED

40 Messages

 • 

1.1K Points

6 years ago

I removed mine for the first time after getting them three days ago. 17 extractions, some gum snipping here and there. Lot of stitches. I was really scared to do it but got them out, cleaned, and in with no issues.

My face looked no different without teeth than it does with them. Nothing was sunken, or misshapen. Just me. Gums looked like gums. There was nothing terrifying about it so if you're about to try it , don't let it freak you out. It can be a little sore going back in on raw tissue but it was mild for me. Good luck.

44 Messages

 • 

1.4K Points

Glad all went well for you Stephanie. I think a lot of my sunken in face problem had to do with the fact that I had large teeth. Without the teeth for support my mouth area looked caved in. How are you making out with swelling and sore spots?

40 Messages

 • 

1.1K Points

Not bad. My cheeks are puffy and my sinuses are sore but the gum swelling didn't seem to be bad. They felt a little looser day two but just a little. They fit pretty well.

I have a couple of sore spots however they are both up under the lip and along the top and I'm not sure if it's pressure or where they've snipped and stitched tissue. The dentist told me to come back today but then when I called to schedule they were booked until thurs. I've been leaving them in 24/7, only removing a couple times a day to clean. He had said not to leave them out more than a minute but didn't say how long I needed to do that. This is day five.

1 Message

 • 

80 Points

Does anyone still get on here? Noticed most comments were from yrs ago. I'm 32 and go to the dentist tomorrow to set up a mold appointment for the full upper denture. Very scared! I was told at 18 all my teeth needed removed, but I ended up getting root canals and now all of them have failed. I am afraid I will look silly and the teeth will look so fake :( that or I won't be able to get use to wearing them.. oh and then I think about if my bf of 7 years will still love me or be attracted to me. I HAVE been so upset this past month I feel sick all the time and depressed. My teeth are all I think about :( I never had a chance to have a pretty smile. Never got to go to a dentist until I was 18 and it was too late. Pretty sure I need a denture for my bottoms too but was hoping he would let me do a partial for now.

259 Messages

 • 

6.1K Points

Yes.  We still use this site.  The current new/comments are mixed in with older posts. Think of it as a journey.  A journey to better health because your teeth affect your overall health.  It will take some adjustment and some of it will be hard but in the end you will have a healthy mouth and a great new smile.  Go slowly.  Don't expect to be able to eat a steak right away but if you give yourself time to heal you will do just fine.  Your new teeth will look different to you because of what you are used to seeing as your normal mouth.  Don't be discouraged. People will notice what a great smile you have.  I hope this helps.  Please keep us updated on your progess.  

14 Messages

 • 

342 Points

October 2016 I had all my top teeth pulled & a denture put in immediately.
The pain wasn't bad, but the denture had to come out because I was bleeding badly.
So a day or two later, back in they went.  They looked OK.  Didn't take all that much to get used to, I just hated the idea of them.  
Fast forward to April 2018.  I get my permanent denture.  It's twice the size of the temp.  But boy does it look good!  Yes, it's taking adjustments.  I have a sore spot (very sore).  Not to pat myself on the back.....but I really do look younger!!  
As for looking in the mirror without them?  Nope.  Still haven't done it.  
And I'm still trying to learn to smile, because I hadn't done it in YEARS.  
Better days are coming.  Turn your back at the bathroom mirror.  You really don't have to look.  Stock up on SeaBonds and Secure and especially OraJel.....including the mouthwash.  
This too shall pass.
May the 4th be with you.