One frugal British woman used superglue to repair her broken teeth. Although Angie Barlow saved money on dental visits, there’s another reason why she chose super-strong glue to mend a cracked tooth or one that broke off: she had a fear of dentists because her mom received shocking news of terminal cancer during an extraction years ago, this according to a New York Daily News report.
Barlow, 34, is the subject in the first episode of The Truth About Your Teeth, a documentary hosted by the BBC. It chronicles the lives of Brits with chronic dental issues and the impacts on their personal lives.
Barlow’s mother passed away from throat cancer at the age of 34. She learned of the grim diagnosis during a routine tooth extraction. From that point on, her death haunted Barlow. The fear soon led to her using superglue to fix broken teeth in her mouth. The cheap form of DIY dentistry went on for 10 years.
However, the superglue eventually caused more harm than good. Eventually, over 90 percent of the woman’s bone in her upper jaw eroded from long-term exposure to the toxic chemicals from the glue. As a consequence, her teeth looked deformed and caused her to become self-conscious about her appearance.
When Barlow was in public, she got a lot of unwanted attention — the effects from fixing her broken teeth with superglue were immense. People gawked at her, and she found herself covering her mouth constantly during conversations. But the last straw came when she began to feel uncomfortable around her own son.
“Even in front of my son I’m embarrassed to sit and have a conversation with him so I just turn my head away when I talk to him.”
Faced with her growing concerns about the damage done to her teeth, the woman reasoned she had to do something. However, it would require two monumental things: her life savings to get her smile back and the facing of her biggest fear with a dental visit.
Eventually, she gave in and agreed to have cosmetic oral surgery to reverse what the superglue had done to her teeth. It was major work that involved the drilling of metal screws into her skull and insertions of 12 false teeth. Today, she is beaming and has more confidence.
“It’s wonderful, isn’t it. I feel amazing and there’s no hands over my mouth or embarrassment.”
Oddly enough, it’s not uncommon for Brits to take to such extremes and use superglue as a means to fix teeth that may have broken accidentally, through lack or care or from disease. The documentary is set to air on June 4. Check your local listings for times.
[Photo: BBC via Twitter screenshot]