Virginia Beach, Va. - A Virginia Beach woman wants her smile back.
Last month, Melinda Roesle lost her dentures and is desperately asking for help in getting them back.
"It would mean the world to her to be able to smile at me or her daughter," says Mike Roesle, Melinda's husband.
Melinda is now 40. She says her teeth were almost completely gone by the time she was 30. A combination of genetics and extreme anxiety are to blame. She says her mother’s teeth were also gone by 30. For 17 years, tooth by tooth, Melinda slowly pulled them out.
"I have panic attacks real bad, so to stop the panic attacks I would pull my own teeth to cause pain,” Roesle says. “I would inflict pain on myself to stop the panic."
Melinda refused to go out in public. She says it put a strain on not only her marriage, but her relationship with her nine-year-old daughter.
"She keeps me going,” Roesle says. “She tells me I’m beautiful and that she doesn't care that I don't have them. She tells me 'mom, I love you. It doesn't matter.' but it does to me."
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Melinda was never able to afford new teeth, but last year things turned around. Her husband, Mike, contacted Affordable Dentures in Suffolk, who found sponsors who paid for the entire procedure.
"It was beautiful,” Mike says. “I mean it was bright and white. It was like you know when you see those things on TV, the Orbit commercial where the girl gets the little ding in her teeth. Yea, it was something like that."
Melinda says she left her new dentures in the glove box of a friend's car. After totaling his vehicle during a crash near Independence Boulevard and Ewell Road January 7, Melinda’s teeth were nowhere to be found.
Mike and Melinda are devastated.
"If there's anybody out there who might have somehow and in some strange possibility come across them, it would be awesome if you could possibly let us know,” Mike says.