Health: Bereavement for lost teeth

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The Independent Online
The loss of someone's teeth can hit them harder than the death of a close friend, a study revealed yesterday.

Dental patients described the loss of their teeth as the end of the world or on a par with having a hysterectomy or losing a limb, according to a report in the British Dental Journal.

One woman told researchers how she kept bursting into tears after having some of her lower teeth taken out. And one of those interviewed said: "I could have spoken openly to someone about the death of a friend but not the death of my teeth. People that have died, that I have loved... you can get over it. But this grief is inside me and it's private and it's very personal and that's why, even after all these years, I feel cheated."

One of the authors of the report, Dr Janice Fiske, said: "We sympathise if somebody loses an arm or leg but don't think `poor person' if they lose their teeth. But of course they are upset."