Dentist left horrified at patient who admitted using bleach as toothpaste


A dentist was left horrified after learning one of his patients had been using was disgusted to find a patient had been using bleach as toothpaste.

Dr Bernard Lester told how he was left alarmed when one of his patients came for a check-up with gleaming white teeth but shockingly eroded gums.

He shared the most shocking and hilarious tales from his decades of experience as a dentist in a new book.

The 74-year-old professional, who retired last year, dealt with multiple generations of families at his practices across Manchester.

And he was particularly aghast when a new patient with eroded gums and sensitive teeth visited his surgery.

Dr Lester said: “I commenced my examination but could not believe what I saw. The teeth were brilliant white in colour, but the gums were eroded and completely worn away, exposing the roots of the teeth. No wonder they were sensitive. I thought.”

The man told Dr Lester had been using Vim, a brand of scouring powder, as toothpaste but this contains concentrated bleach.

The dentist recalled asking: “May I suggest you stop using it, because it has corroded your gums as well as bleaching the teeth beyond belief.”

“No way,” the patient replied.

Dr Lester said this happened in the days before camera phones but wished it was a recent occurrence so he could document the damage.

Scouring powder cleans hard surfaces like stove tops, counters, porcelain and is dangerous to put on or in your body.

But Dr Lester concedes he has experienced many bizarre dental cases during his long career.

In his memoirs “Open Wide! Fifty Glorious Years as a Dentist”, the pensioner also says he has encountered people demanding full dentures when they’re teeth have been perfectly healthy.

One mother of a bride begged her daughter get them just for the benefit of the wedding photographs. Dr Lester refused.

But Dr Lester, who lives with 74-year-old wife Sue in Prestwich, Greater Manchester, feels denistry can make huge differences to people’s lives.

“I feel flattered and honoured that I’ve been able to touch so many people’s lives.

“That I have had more triumphs than disasters is so important to me as I look at the thank you cards and letters of appreciation from grateful patients.”