People make it seem so glamorous. Eating disorders are so marvelous. You lose weight and get attention. That’s how it works right? That’s what the media shows.
I am still that lifer. I still actively fight every. Damn. Day.
But here is what they never tell you.
Anorexia destroys your teeth.
You always here about how bulimia destroys teeth. How the purging and that acid decays the teeth. No one mentions the anorexia.
I’ll tell you. Settle in.
That’s how long since I’ve been to the dentist. Because I was so agitated that they kept finding cavities. I stopped.
Well that and because I had full blown lost it and was drowning in a massive anorexia battle in 2013.
If I brush my teeth, that means I ate something. If I ate something, I will gain weight. I am fearful of fat. Therefore, I don’t eat and don’t have to brush my teeth.
And since I’m not eating, I can’t get cavities so I don’t need to go to the dentist. [Ed’s voice: or she will see it and bust you]. Done.
Six years pass. Time flies when you are anorexic.
But guess what? I still have cavities. Why?
Well my enamel is weak. Because of malnutrition. And because of malnutrition, my gums and teeth are not so hot. I’m on a medication for treatment that has a side effect of dry mouth [and it’s baaaad]. This leaves my mouth cracked and susceptible to infection and more decay.
I have horrible reflux from all the time I starve and restrict. That acid goes somewhere folks!!! Yup bulimia may have more acknowledged vomiting destruction but GERD and reflux has it too.
And the anxiety and stress from anorexia [as well as my toxic job] causes even more reflux and periods of vomiting sooo there’s that.
Add in my lack of brushing thanks to the lovely Ed’s voice and here are my consequences.
I was brutally honest with my dentist because I have been seeing her since I was a kid. I told her how I was in care for anorexia for the past 6 years and my string of toxic jobs.
She was amazing and supportive. She was just as surprised as I was that my mouth and teeth didn’t sustain more damage. Only 6 cavities?! I mean that’s actually great!
She’s creating a treatment plan for me. I’m coming back every other week for some more hygiene and the fillings. I hate it but maybe I can get back into good health again.
No one talks about eating disorders and oral care. Or anxiety!
I had severe anxiety while there but thanks to alllllll my therapy I was able to get there, stay there, and go through the 1.5 hour cleaning. Yesssss that long.
I hate not being perfect. I hate not being in control.
I hate even more that my teeth now hurt and I am on a liquid diet because the pain is bad. I hear Ed’s voice creeping in telling me to not eat. I remember the days where I didn’t eat for 2 days after the dentist because I loved that clean feeling.
Battling this is so tiring. Fighting my own thoughts. People don’t get it. They don’t get the stress. How easy it is to slip back into not eating again. Into counting calories and restriction. Any excuse to segway back in.
It’s scary. It’s frightening.
For now I stick with my sea salt rinses and liquid diet praying I can overcome this. Not slip. I’m already slipping. It’s been a long long few months.
And to think, anorexia is supposedly without any issues and is soooo wonderful! At least, that’s what the movies say.