Post # 1
So I feel really embarassed and shallow about writing this post. My future mother-in-law has the worst teeth I have ever seen. She is missing teeth and the ones that are there are very crooked and rotting. She’s a heavy smoker, doesn’t go to the dentist, and doesn’t have dental insurance. I think she may have some type of mouth disease. I know that she is self-conscious about it because she puts her hand over her mouth when she talks sometimes. I want her to get them fixed before the wedding but don’t know what to do. My fiance is afraid to say anything because he thinks she’ll get upset. What should I do?
Post # 3
Ouch. You may just want to leave that one alone. If she’s already embarassed about it, there is no sense bringing it up to her. Some things are just better left unsaid. And everyone will be focused on your beautiful smile anyway! 🙂
Post # 4
If she doesn’t have dental insurance, you probably shouldn’t ask her to get them fixed. That would be embarassing to her, and she might not be able to afford it, so it would be doubly humiliating. Dental work = mad expensive.
Post # 5
Yes, unfortunately, there is no polite way to bring this up with her. It frankly isn’t any of your business and she already feels horrible about it. I’m sorry, I’m sure she is worrying about pictures and talking to people as well, she’ll figure out a way to get through it on her own.
Post # 6
Yikes. I disagree with the other posters.
If she were my mother I would tell/make her address the problem.
Teeth aren’t cosmetic! There can be serious health consequences to not taking care of your mouth/teeth- infections, bone deterioration, etc. And given that she’s a smoker she’s at an increased risk for oral cancer (which most dentists screen you for when you go in for a checkup).
I don’t think you should say anything. However, I think your Fiance definitely should. Use her embarrassment as a tool to encourage her to address it. Explain the health consequences of pretending her teeth aren’t rotting out of her mouth!!!!
If she had a gangrenous foot that was rotting off, would you think it impolite to discuss it with her or would you force the issue and get her treatment?
If she were my mother in law I would tell my husband that it was necessary she be treated and that if she couldn’t afford it, we would find the money to pay for it.
I know people think of teeth/smiles as something cosmetic. But her teeth are not just crooked or discolored- they are falling out!! That’s not cosmetic- it’s medical.
It may be uncomfortable for your Fiance to talk to her about it, but I do think it’s medically indicated.
Lots of dentists can work out payment plans. Credit card companies like Capital One have special credit for medical purposes with low interest rates. Dental schools often have clinics where the rates are very reasonable. Look into those things. I really do think this is a important. If she doesn’t have health consequences now, she most likely will in the future.
Post # 7
You should do nothing. This is one aspect of the wedding you just can’t control. I think even mentioning it to anyone else but us (an anonymous forum), would be considered in very bad taste.
Post # 8
I completely agree with rosychicklet!! Have your Fiance talk to her!!
My Fiance has a front tooth that has been a problem since he was a kid (he knocked half of it off as a kid). I told him to have the dentist check it, and they found it needed to be pulled out. Now he’ll have a fake tooth for the wedding, but I don’t care, since they said it will prevent his upper jaw from deteriorating!
A less expensive (and only cosmetic) option would be veneers. If she’s embarassed, they could help her.
I think it’s good that you care about her and want to help! I don’t think you sound shallow, you acknowledged she’s embarassed and you want to help. Have your Fiance talk to her about getting some good help!
Post # 9
I also completely agree with Rosy! Teeth are not just cosmetic. Whoopi Goldberg has been talking recently about not neglecting your teeth because poor oral health leads to so many other health problems.
This is a situation that your Fiance needs to speak with her about and he needs to come with her with the research showing why she needs to take care of herself and because he is worried about her health.
Kind of unrelated, but my hubby had a co-worker (actually his captain) that had a HUGE lump on the side of his neck. His wife mentioned it to him, but he thought nothing of it and just thought it was his wife being a worry-wart. Then, to the shock of all his co-workers, my hubby said something to his captain about the lump on his neck. That was his wake up call and the guy had it checked out. It turned out that he had oral cancer from smoking and neglecting his teeth. He had to have chemo, he had all his teeth removed (not too big of a deal because his teeth were in such poor condition), as well as part of his gums removed, but as of now he’s in much better health. When my hubby visited with him a while after all his surgery and all that he thanked him and said that he was the only friend that was great enough to speak up and because of him it saved his life.
Anyway, have your Fiance talk to her…not out of concern for you and your wedding, but out of concern for her and her life!
Post # 10
Oral health is an indicator and predictor of overall health. However, I think it is also important to consider her feelings, as this can also be a psychological and confidence issue. And yes, dental work is quite expensive too…
Are you offering to pay for dental work? Does she have any dental insurance?
I think it is within the realm of your fiance’s responsibility to share concerns for his mother’s health, and inquire about her insurance status. He should overcome his embarassment of discussing it for her health. He should do it in a gentle and kind way, and not in a way that would make him seem like either of you is embarassed or ashamed of the way she looks for the wedding, but rather for her confidence and health.
Good luck and please let us know what happens.
Post # 11
I had a patient come to me because her daughter was getting married (Penn MBA, marrying another Penn MBA) and she was embrassed that she was missing her front tooth… she didn’t have money… as a resident I quoted her the fees, she couldn’t afford our treatment (which consisted of various other things)…. so never saw her again…
my point? yes dentistry is VERY expensive, thousands of dollars… from the sounds of it, your Mother-In-Law, even if she did have insurance it would only cover a small amount of what she needs (most insurance only covers $1500, which is barely enough for one crown, a year)
Second, teeth are not neccesities… but if she has other issues other than esthetics, those should be taken care of first and formost.
I would recommend that she seek professional care and eliminate the disease first then focus on function then esthetics.
Post # 12
Yes, she should seek care, but is tartar the one who should be telling her to get it (and right before her wedding)? I am not convinced that she has her future MIL’s best interest at heart. I could be completely off base here, but it sounds like she is only concerned because of how Mother-In-Law will look in the pictures, based upon the comment: I want her to get them fixed before the wedding but don’t know what to do. I mean, why stop there? Why not ask her to lose those extra pounds. You know, because it’s bad for her heart? This could go on and on.
Forgive my attitude, I just don’t think you should say anything.
Post # 13
We can all agree to disagree, but maybe she was originally concerned about how her Future Mother-In-Law would look in wedding pictures, but after reading the responses, maybe she’ll think more about how it’s more of a health than a vanity issue. It is up to her Fiance to address this with her mom, if she does I’m sure it will just embarass her.
Maybe tarter can chime back in and tell us a bit more about the situation?
Post # 14
I agree with several of the posters above. Definitely don’t bring it up yourself, but have your fiance talk to her about it if he is comfortable doing so. Yes, major dental work is expensive, but you can get basic dental insurance for about $50/month from Blue Cross, for example. Maybe she won’t be able to get cosmetic dentistry or even crowns without shelling out extra $$, but at least she can begin going for regular cleanings and begin a dialogue with a dentist about oral health. It may not solve everything, but it could keep things from getting worse!
Post # 15
- Wedding: May 2018 - Coyaba Resort, Montego Bay
She should definitely have the potential mouth disease issue assesed first and foremost – wedding or not. Her son should feel comfortable talking to her about her health. I know it might come across like he is saying it for cosmetic reasons, so he must tread lightly…but oral health affects overall health & she needs to have it checked out!
Post # 16
I agree. There are medical conditions which can arise from poor oral hygiene. The focus should be on 1)MOM’s health and well-being and secondly 2)mom looking great in pictures.
I know it is weird. It’s a difficult situation. Problems like this can take months to correct because it could be one oral surgery followed by another or a treatment. I would also want to encourage her to as well quit smoking. That has even more serious effects and I am always getting called in to assess a patient who has a lung problem and 99 percent of the time it’s due to a patient being a smoker.
Please do have her son address this, but put the emphasis on HER and her health, not some arbitrary deadline such as a wedding day so she will cosmetically seem prettier or healthier on the surface. Hopefully you will have a lifelong relationship with your Mother-In-Law, so it’s important to remain on the right track with her and give her unconditional love.