Following my recent dental appointment, I felt it was important to include a section on this.
I would like to take this opportunity to address something which is important to people at
all stages in the recovery process from an eating disorder. This not only applies to people who are active in their
behaviours, but even to those who have even recovered.
Recently I went through a stressful time. It felt as if the history of having had an
eating disorder was catching up on me, despite the fact that I have been symptom free for quite some time now. I know
that the eating disorder isn't the only cause for the problems I have faced this past week. Grinding my teeth in my
sleep hasn't helped either.
Anyhow, I faced one of my greatest fears. I (finally) made an appointment to go to
the dentist, and actually kept it too. I really had no choice, considering that a tooth was half way out anyway.
The dentist I chose was very nice, and I felt really comfortable with him - I even told him about my history. I am glad
that I did - never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would tell a dentist of all people that part of myself. Anyhow,
after years of teeth grinding, I am finally going to get a gum shield, to try and protect, insofar as possible, any further
wearing down of my teeth, due to grinding.
Sadly, the tooth had to be pulled - not very pleasant, but it was what needed to be done.
I kind of knew that this was probably going to be case - my teeth, or so I thought, had been one area where I thought I had
gotten off lightly, considering what could have been. It seems that it is only now that I am paying for the years of
I would urge everyone to at least get a regular check-up, because as the saying goes "a stitch
in time, saves nine". If I had kept up with having regular check-ups, chances are that my tooth, which is now gone,
could have been saved. Also, I might have got a gum shield sooner, Yes, better late than never, but as always,
prevention is better than cure.
I know that facing the dentist fears is never easy, I don't know anyone who likes going to
the dentist. The dentist I found, I have to thank Marino for, because the number was in a newsletter from when I first
started attending Marino. Something possessed me to keep those newsletters, and as it turned out - there was a reason.
I can't recommend the dental clinic I attended highly enough. The dentist explained very clearly what he was doing all
the way through, and the dental hygienist was very sympathetic too - during the more invasive work, she would place her hand
over mine etc. The dentist thought I was brave, but I think it was more the fact that during the time I was waiting
for the appointment, I had accepted that the chances that the tooth was going to have to go was more than probable.
I feel sad that I am still paying for years of self abuse, and know that more damage could
happen if I do not get that gum shield. Despite the financial implications, it will be worth it in the long run!
Don't fear the dentist, as his goal is to save your teeth, where possible. If you can,
try and be honest about your symptoms. It is in your interest to be honest, as the more informed he is, the more care
he can give you. Granted, chances are that any dentist can guess the reasons surrounding the damage, but it is always
better to be upfront about it. My experience has shown me, that there are caring, kind dentists out there, and who will
do their best to make you feel at ease. If this was my experience, why should it be any different for you!?!