7 Dentists Share the Most Horrifying Things They’ve Ever Seen at Work

It’s no secret that out of all the medical professions, dentistry tends to get a bad rap. But who was there when you spit out a piece of molar along with your chewing gum and even fixed you up when your tongue piercing chipped your front tooth? Yeah, your dentist. And while we all have our own dental-related horror stories, it’s pretty much guaranteed that your dentist has seen way worse.

Here, seven dentists share the gnarliest things they’ve witnessed when leaning over the dental chair. You may want to have your toothbrush handy.

When You Thought You’d Be In and Out of the Office 

“When I was doing a routine extraction, my patient’s jaw freakishly broke in half. She had to have her mouth wired shut for two months.” —Anonymous 

When You Don’t Want To Explain What’s Spilling Into Your Patient’s Mouth 

“One patient of mine had an abscess so big that it spanned the entire half of his jaw. Another patient had one that needed to be drained, and his mouth was flooded with pus when I poked it. It was one of the grossest experiences ever.” —Dr. Stephanie, D.D.S. (last name withheld) 

When You’re Not Sure How It Got This Bad

“A patient opened her mouth and all that was left of her teeth were black nubs.” —Dr. Stephanie 

When You Hope This Person Never Gets A Cold

“I’ve seen a lot in my 20-plus years as a dentist, but the worst case of periodontal disease I’ve ever seen involved a woman who’s teeth were being held in place by her calculus bridge. Once I removed the tartar and plaque, her teeth were practically dangling and literally moved when she breathed. One good sneeze and her front teeth would’ve been history.” —Anonymous

When Facial Hair Gets In the Way

“During my first gig as a dental assistant, I was helping with a filling when I spotted an ant in our patient’s mouth. The dentist and I soon realized that the patient’s beard was full of bugs. It took everything we had to play it cool and act like everything was normal.” —Anonymous

This article originally appeared on Women’s Health.

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