Periodontal Dental Assistance

Suffering From Advanced Periodontal Disease (A.K.A.Periodontitis):

Hello Everyone,                                         

My name is Sheila Martin, and I am a 53 year old  former mental health professional, suffering from Periodontitis (also known as Advanced Periodontal Disease). I  have struggled with periodontal disease as far back as I can remember,  of my early adult life. What is Periodontal disease, you may ask? Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a set of inflammatory conditions affecting the tissues surrounding the teeth. In its early stage, it is called gingivitis, where the gums become swollen, red, and may bleed. In its more serious form, it is called periodontitis, where the gums can pull away from the tooth,  bone can be lost from the jaw-bone, and the teeth may loosen from their original position and may even fall out of the gum. Yes, this disease takes no prisoners, and it is an absolutely dreadful disease to have.  I remember all too well my experience with Gingivitis starting out around the age of 12 years old. I was clueless of what was going on.  Although my gums would often  bleed and were very tender to the touch, my fear of going to the dentist,  preceded everything, and I would not go to the dentist unless I had an unbearable toothache and was forced to go by my parents. So,  as time progressed and I was around the age of 23, I began to see the progressive symptoms of my  gum disease starting with the slight shifting of my back molars, bloody gums, coupled with a sticky  plaque build up around many of my back teeth.  I was forced to have multiple bottom molar extractions that were needed as the gums around them were showing on and off signs of bleeding and looseness. (Swollen and bleeding gums are early signs that your gums are infected with bacteria. If nothing is done, the infection can spread and destroy the structures that support your teeth in your jawbone. Eventually, your teeth can become so loose that they have to be extracted.) As 4 years passed and I finally entered into corporate America in the mental health industry, I  was able to get  my own dental health coverage . Because of all that I was going through with losing my teeth  I knew I needed to spend money on getting my teeth stabilized and I chose a  PPO insurance coverage so that I could get the cosmetic dentist of my choice, and spend more money getting treatment. I began to see this cosmetic dentist regularly, and it was then that I learned that I had advanced periodontal disease a.k.a periodontitis, and that it was possible that it ran in my family. I didn’t even realize that this kind of thing happened in families, and all I wanted to do is stop it in its tracks. I learned unfortunately much too late, that I had needed a periodontist to deal with my gum disease and bone loss. And that all my cosmetic dentist could do is correct cosmetic problems and tell me when I was going to lose a tooth. In 2016, I left my company and with that my dental insurance ended, but my periodontal disease continued to wreak havoc on my teeth and gums, and so my teeth became less and less stable and thus less and less attractive. As I dealt with multiple tooth loss around my mouth,  I began to feel more and more anxiety being around friends and others. But I kept pushing myself to not isolate too much, or go into a depression. It was during this time that I used art to help me with my anxiety and depression about my dental and career situation. I chose to focus on becoming an artist full-time and I love it.  Although I am able to spend less time working in the public eye,  I would truly love to interact with people and share my artwork with people publicly.  I would love to grow as an artist and have registered booths at Art Expos, cultural events, and swap meets, to expose my art to the masses. I want to be able to talk to people, and I know I would be really good at it if, my teeth weren’t in such horrible condition.  The bottom line is my inability to feel comfortable going into these social settings and conduct business the way I need to, and this is what makes this so devastating to me both personally and financially.

Last but not least, what I want  to say about this disease is that  periodontal disease or periodontitis,  is not just aesthetically unpleasing to the eye, but it is pervasive and negatively impacts various areas of  a sufferer's life. My ability to eat food alone or in front of others has proven to be very anxiety provoking. My loose teeth in the front of my mouth impact my pronunciation of words, so talking to others is difficult, And even sleeping soundly at night, has been altered tremendously, due to my fear of losing my loose teeth in my sleep. I experience anxiety, fear, and dread everyday whether I look in the mirror or not, because I know what is coming next.

The urgency of getting funds is so important in my treatment right now, as  my periodontal disease is extremely advanced and I have not only loss all of the upper left side of  my teeth an back molars, but I am currently readying myself for the loss of my left front tooth which is infected and has now started to descend from my front gum and is on it’s way out, any day now. The urgency of funds also is important because  researchers also are learning more about how an infection in your gums can affect your overall health.

In recent years, gum disease has been linked to a number of other health problems. This is a new and exciting area of research, but it remains controversial. Studies have produced varying answers about the extent of the connection between gum disease and other medical problems, and more research is needed.

Researchers are studying possible connections between gum disease and:

Atherosclerosis and heart disease — Gum disease may increase the risk of clogged arteries and heart disease, although the extent of this connection is unclear. Gum disease also is believed to worsen existing heart disease.
Stroke — Gum disease may increase the risk of the type of stroke that is caused by blocked arteries.
Diabetes — People with diabetes and periodontal disease may be more likely to have trouble controlling their blood sugar than diabetics with healthy gums.
Respiratory disease— Gum disease may cause lung infections and worsen existing lung conditions when bacteria from the mouth reach the lungs.

I know I can’t allow this dreaded disease to be victorious over my life, and therefore I must act. I must reach out to others in hopes that others will hear my story and understand my pain and fear. It is very humbling to say the least, and so now I am ready to do this in the hopes, that I will get what I need from compassionate and caring hearts like yourselves, and I will also one day be able to pay it forward and help somebody else in need.  So the main question to all of this is, how can I be helped?

Like most of you, I don't have the kind of money needed for treatment, just lying around. I therefore must find a way to afford the procedure. So my remaining teeth can be safely extracted before they become loose and infection sets in.

So, I am "swallowing my pride and setting up this website to get funds" ,ASAP!!! I know that I am going into uncharted territory with this crowd funding, and I don’t know how lucky or blessed I am going to be with reaching my goal of $42,000, but I am going to move forward anyways!

I have done my research and have found multiple options that I can take advantage of, where they have decent dental prices.

So, here I am asking you to make a difference in my life! 

I don't know if this campaign will work, but, I do hold out hope that all of you will come together and help me out of a very difficult situation. I will reach my goal, I am claiming it, because I have faith in humanity and in the good will of man!!! Every little bit will help, if we pull together! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I appreciate your financial contributions and sharing my story with others who may help!  If for whatever reason you are unable to help, God bless you for reading this, and please share this with others who maybe able to assist me with funding. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read this!
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Sheila Martin
Hawthorne, CA

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