Desperate mum forced to pull out 11 of her teeth because she couldn’t afford the dentist

Danielle Watts now avoids smiling after pulling out her own teeth because she can’t afford private dental treatment

A desperate mum was forced to pull out 11 of her own teeth because she couldn't find a dentist and says she now avoids smiling.

Danielle Watts, 42, who is in constant pain, now fears that she'll lose all her teeth as she can't afford private treatment, which could cost "thousands of pounds".

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The mum-of-two is missing a third of her gnashers, including both front teeth, and her mouth is plagued by pus-filled abscesses due to chronic gum disease.

Danielle and her kids Oscar, 12, and Eliza, eight, haven't seen a dentist for six years after their NHS practice shut down, leaving her unable to afford private appointments.

‘On a daily basis I’m in pain’

She said: "My teeth literally fall out. It's not like I have to get the pliers out - just a little twist or tug and they're free.

"I don't enjoy it, trust me. It's not like I've got a weird fetish or anything.

"I'm always having infection in my mouth - on a daily basis I'm in pain.

"If I have a bit of a lump that comes up I tend to give it a squeeze and it erupts with pus coming out.

"If I squeeze my gum, even without an abscess, I have pus come out."

The teeth Danielle Watts has pulled out.

‘I can’t afford that initial check-up’

Danielle, from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, said that she avoids smiling due to her teeth and takes paracetamol daily to manage the pain in her mouth.

She visited her practice, run by MyDentist, once a year before it shut, while her kids visited every six months.

Danielle, an aspiring teaching assistant, said: "It's not like I've given up on my dental hygiene. I brush my teeth every day."

"When MyDentist shut they didn't refer us anywhere. They've now reopened but not for NHS patients.

"When I've walked into a private dentist they've handed me a leaflet with a £180 cost before I even sit down in the chair.

"I can't afford to have that initial check-up and then have everything else afterwards.

"I don't expect free treatment. I'm aware there are costs but if I can't get through a door then I don't know what I'm looking at.

"I can't help not being able to get the help I needed."

Danielle said she's received emergency dental care via 111 before but the dentists were unable to address her underlying gum disease.

‘I don’t want my children to be looked at like I know I’m looked at’

She added that she is now worried for her kids, including son Oscar who needs braces, but still can't find a practice accepting NHS patients.

Danielle said: "I'd like someone to look in my mouth and my children's mouths.

"I don't want my children to be looked at like I know I'm looked at.

"I'm paranoid. It's horrible walking into a situation and all you're thinking is 'I've got no teeth, I can't speak properly, what are they going to think of me?' "Even walking down the street, if someone makes eye contact and I smile then I think 'oh my God, I've smiled, s**t and I close my mouth."

She said that her teeth problems have brought about huge changes to her diet and lifestyle.

"I avoid eating out because it hurts. I've probably lost a bit of weight through this.

"When I brush my teeth I have to use a sensitive toothbrush and I use hot water to soften the bristles.

"I can't eat apple slices. Bananas I can manage but they stick around my roots, which is painful."

MyDentist and the NHS have been approached for comment.

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