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Dental issues and bulimia

by Nicole

Hey Shaye,

First of all, thank you for making this website. It has been a huge comfort and inspiration to me and I’m sure to many others out there.

My question is about teeth. How many years of bulimia did it take before you actually started getting cavities?

Here’s why: I’ve been bulimic for four years now, with the last year being on-and-off (one month of ‘recovery’ followed by a couple of months of relapse…repeat cycle.) I have been to dentists regularly for the past two years and been open about it with them. Surprisingly, the dentist says that everything still looks fine…no cavities, and there is some even erosion of enamel on the back of my two front teeth but I still have about half of it left. Every time I go to the dentist, I expect the worst and am overjoyed to hear that everything is still okay. However, I know that this won’t be the case forever and am determined to recover before it gets too far. My body and mouth have been so forgiving and I owe it to them! Nonetheless, I would like to know from your experience when you started to notice severe effects on your dental health. I know it depends a lot on the frequency/degree/etc. For reference, I have probably had on average one b/p per day and usually try to rinse with baking soda afterwards.

Thank you in advance!

Shaye Says

Hi there!

I am so glad that you get comfort from my site - getting message like that inspires me to keep working on it!

I first started noticing problems with my teeth when I was 17 years old. I'd been bulimic on and off since I was 8 but it had been severe since I was in my early teens. My teeth really did go downhill fast... It was as if there was not much wrong with them and then BANG... I needed thousands of dollars worth of work done. At 17, I spend 6 months in absolute agony from dental infections and abysses under my teeth. It really was hell - I couldn't even eat noodles without suffering extreme pain (although somehow with the help of strong painkillers I still managed to binge!)...

Then at the age of 20, after I recovered, I needed some more work done... Since then the decay in my teeth has more or less stopped. I still go to the dentist expecting the worst - but am always relieved these days to hear that there's nothing really that needs to be done!

My mouth is full of fake teeth, veneers and fillings now... But thankfully, they all look real and you would never know!

I hope you never have to go through bulimia teeth like these! If you work on your recovery now - there is no reason why you should :) Keep putting one foot in front of the other and you will get there!

Bye for now!

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Article by Shaye Boddington
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and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community

The Bulimia Recovery Program