Britain’s Got Talent star Amanda Holden opens up to Amy Packer about tooth extraction, tension headaches and time out
(Image: INSTAGRAM)ByAmy Packer
- 20:16, 13 Sep 2021
Five minutes into our chat, Amanda Holden takes one perfectly manicured fingernail and starts flicking herself in the face.
“I can’t feel anything!” she exclaims.
The numbness, however, isn’t the result of too much rosé wine with lunch or botched cosmetic surgery.
Two years ago the Britain’s Got Talent star, 50, had all four wisdom teeth removed and ever since then the left side of her bottom lip and part of her jaw have lost all sensation.
“I can’t feel a thing from here to here,” she says, gesturing along her lower lip and the side of her chin while thwacking the area with an inch-long, coral pink nail extension.
The Heart radio star hasn't yet recovered from her extraction
According to the NHS, injury to sections of the trigeminal nerve can be a rare complication of wisdom tooth removal. It may cause pain, a tingling sensation and numbness in the tongue, lower lip, chin and gums.
The damage is usually temporary, lasting for a few weeks or months.
However, some experts suggest that for around one in 200 patients the issue can be permanent.
Amanda’s dentist isn’t entirely sure why the Heart Radio host hasn’t recovered from her extraction yet.
“The numbness is on the side with the tooth that flipped out really easily,” says the presenter with a shrug.
The radio presenter has got 'used' to the condition
“I’ve had scans of it and they showed that the nerve wasn’t damaged, so they think the feeling may return. But it has been over 18 months now, so I’m not sure it will to be honest.
“It’s bizarre but you get used to it” she adds matter of factly.
The numbness is just one of two “random health things” currently bugging Amanda, though she is less breezy about the second.
“I have TMJ,” she says, sighing. “I don’t even know what it stands for, but it’s something to do with your jaw and I’ve got it.
“Most people who have it grind their teeth, but I don’t. Instead I have a habit of doing a thing which means I unconsciously tense a muscle in my neck and it causes me headaches at least once a week. It’s why I’m touching my neck now,” she says.
“It’s become like breathing and blinking – it is a reflex and I do it automatically, without even thinking about it. I even do it when I’m having a massage.”
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders affect the chewing muscles and joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull.
“It may have started as a place to hold stress, but now it’s definitely just a habit,” says Amanda.
“I was doing absolutely nothing on holiday and I was still tensing it.”
Amanda admitted to suffering even while relaxing on holiday
The star recently enjoyed a staycation in Dorest
The problem doesn’t look like it will be going away any time soon, either.
“Oh God, I’ve tried everything to stop it, but nothing works,” says Amanda.
“Acupuncture had no effect. I found that mouth guards were pointless because I don’t grind like other people who have it do, I’m tensing up.
“I even gave hypnotism a go in an attempt to fix it, but that didn’t work either. I’ve tried everything – it’s really irritating but I just have to live with it.”
Despite the tense muscles, Amanda isn’t someone who struggles to relax.
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“Mentally, I’ve always been in a pretty good, positive place,” she says. “I go running to clear my head. It’s when I think and get some time on my own, which is rare, and that’s when I check in. I’ll do four or five miles a few times a week while listening to show tunes and that works for me.
“My best friend lives in Los Angeles and is really into mindfulness and because I’m always on the go she keeps saying, ‘Amanda, you need to find 10 minutes to meditate’.
“But the minute I lie down I start thinking about a light bulb that needs changing or a crack that needs fixing. I’m just not very good at sitting still.”
That’s certainly evident from the fact that Amanda was back on the Britain’s Got Talent judging panel just three weeks after giving birth to her youngest daughter, Hollie, now nine.
It’s made even more incredible when you know that during the delivery her heart stopping beating for 40 seconds due to a haemorrhage that sent her into a coma and left her in intensive care.
Amanda Holden and her husband Chris Hughes with their daughters Lexi (right) and Hollie.
The TV beauty has recently reaped the benefits of a new skincare supplement routine
“That’s just how I get on with life, I just keep going,” says Amanda, who also has a second daughter, Alexa, 15, with her husband Chris Hughes.
“It’s like falling off your bike – I wouldn’t sit in the lay-by and watch the wheels carry on spinning. I’d pick up my bike and get back on it and cycle off. I’d rather just move on and get on.”
You won’t ever find Amanda daydreaming over a cup of tea.
“I have to be busy,” she says.
“On holiday this summer I was constantly finding stuff to do. I was even tidying other people’s villas up – my mum thought it was hysterical.
“In the end, whenever I had that impulse I would start to read, which was perfect.”
Such drive has certainly helped when it comes to Amanda’s multi-channel career.
As well as releasing her debut album, Songs From My Heart, during lockdown and making new E4 mockumentary The Holden Girls: Mandy & Myrtle, Amanda has become a brand ambassador for Revive Collagen Enhanced Plus, a daily skincare supplement for the over-40s.
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“I’ve been taking it since March and it is amazing,” she says of the marine collagen sachet, which also contains retinol, hydrolysed keratin and vitamins B6, B12, C and D.
“The other vitamins included in the sachet mean it’s just one shot and you’re done – the B vitamins are particularly good for me as I’ve been a vegetarian since I was a teenager.
“My hair has definitely got thicker since I started taking it – my eyelashes, my nails, my skin is plumper – it has just made everything bloom.”
Despite turning 50 in February, Amanda is certain there is no sign of the perimenopause just yet.
Not even brain fog, which can kick in from the age of 45?
“Oh, I’ve had that all my life,” she laughs. “I walk into rooms and walk back out and with no idea why I went in. I’ve been like that for about 10 years.
“The other day I said, ‘I need to recharge my cucumber’. I’d meant my computer. It wasn’t even a euphemism.”
Age is clearly just a number to Amanda, having had two grandmothers who lived until they were 97.
“My nan used to say ‘don’t deny yourself anything’ and I’ve continued that with my girls.
We don’t have diets in our house – I don’t cut out sugar or fat or anything like that. The girls will definitely see me with a glass of wine and have fish and chips on a Friday.
“I think that because of the last 18 months, when we’ve all been told what we can and cannot do, that we really shouldn’t tell ourselves what we can and cannot do. I think that’s the best way to clear your headspace and to live happily ever after.”
Revive Collagen Enhanced Plus (£67.98 for 28; revivecollagen.com)
Comment MORE ON Amanda HoldenE4Cosmetic surgeryPlastic surgeryHypnotismTeeth
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