Cosmetic Dentistry Blog Cosmetic and General Dentistry Questions Answered

April 12, 2011

What to Do for Acid Reflux

Filed under: Bulimia — Tags: , , — mesasmiles @ 10:34 pm

Dear Dr Hall,
I suffer from heartburn and quite often it makes me throw up, and the acid in my vomit makes my fillings in my back teeth very sensitive to the point i cant chew even the softest of food. Could you explain to me why this is?
thank you,
Derek from Nova Scotia

Derek,
This is a serious problem and could ruin your teeth. I hope you can find a way to get your heartburn solved.

This is called acid reflux. The problem is that when you throw up, that is very acidic, and it dissolves away the enamel on your teeth. So I don’t think it’s your fillings that are sensitive – it’s your teeth. It’s similar to the damage we see from bulimia.

The best treatment is prevention. If you can get the acid reflux solved, then, possibly some fluoride treatments will strengthen your teeth to not be so sensitive and maybe so that they don’t decay.

Otherwise, you may need to have all your back teeth crowned. That will cover them to protect them from the acid. But that’s not a long-term solution, because there’s always a thin strip of the tooth that isn’t covered, and the acid can attack that and undermine the crowns.

Meanwhile, be SURE that everytime you throw up you IMMEDIATELY rinse out your mouth thoroughly with water. If you can catch this in the first few seconds, you can limit the damage from the acid.
Dr. Hall

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About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

October 18, 2010

A Snap-On Smile for a Recovered Bulimic?

Filed under: Bulimia,Snap-On Smile — Tags: , , — mesasmiles @ 7:39 pm

I am a recovered bulimic and as a result I have no enamel on my top teeth and they are worn down greatly. My bottom teeth has very little enamel on them and my teeth are extremely sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks. would a snap on smile work for me because I do not have dental insurance and the expenses would come out of pocket. I really need some help with my teeth and was told i need veneers on all my teeth which came to be almost $20,000. it is very hard for me to chew and I cannot bite down on any foods. please let me know the best direction I am desperate.
– Kelly

Kelly,
You have several problems due to your bulimia. Your top teeth are very worn, so they don’t look attractive. They are very sensitive, and it’s hard to eat with them.

The most a Snap-On Smile would do for you is help with the appearance. It wouldn’t strengthen your teeth any or make them less sensitive. It may cost $1000 or more. If the improvement in your appearance is all you want, then look into that. But I suspect you want more than that.

You’re in kind of a tough spot, because not just any dentist will do for fixing this for you. They need to be very artistic because these are your front teeth. But you also need a dentist who will work with you financially.

It isn’t necessary to do all of this dental work at once. I would hunt around a little bit to see if you can find a dentist who will be sympathetic to your plight. If they present a $20,000 treatment plan to you, just say, “There is no way I can afford that. Is there any other way I can do this?” And then see if they’re willing to suggest some options, or if they’re hard-nosed with you. That will help you select the right dentist.

Check with the dentists we list for your area. I know that their cosmetic dentistry is first rate. I don’t know how sympathetic they would be to your situation. Generally the dentists we list are very good that way, but that’s not a sure thing.

And I’m wondering why your dentist suggested doing porcelain veneers for you. Bulimia affects the back side of your front teeth the most. Porcelain veneers cover the front only. So I’m confused at that treatment plan. What you need is bonded all-porcelain crowns. I’m hesitant to say that, because I’m afraid you’ll go to a dentist and say, “I want you to do bonded all-porcelain crowns.” That would be a mistake. If a dentist doesn’t recommend that general type of crown without any prompting from you, you have the wrong dentist.

And in bulimia, the upper front teeth are affected much more than any other teeth. I did two bulimia cases in my practice, and in both cases I only did upper teeth because the lower teeth were only slightly affected. It’s the insides of the upper front teeth that are the most damaged. Eight or ten crowns could do quite a bit toward resolving your problems.

I wish you well. You’re courageous to confront this head-on, and you deserve to be treated well.
– Dr. Hall

See our page: Bulimia and teeth.

About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

May 2, 2009

Teeth hopelessly damaged from bulimia

Filed under: Bulimia — mesasmiles @ 7:44 am

I suffered from bulimia for nearly twenty years. Counseling has finally helped me overcome this illness, and I’m glad for that, but my teeth have been damaged severely. They are about half of normal size, and in the front, they no longer touch and are chipped because they’ve gotten so paper thin. And where my teeth still touch, they don’t fit well.

And now, the left side of my jaw protrudes out almost an inch every time I open my mouth to bite or chew, which causes headaches.

Is there any hope for me, given the severity of my issues? I’d like to see a cosmetic dentist to improve my smile and the functionality of my bite.
– Ruth in Georgia

Ruth,
You’re smart to think of a cosmetic dentist to help you with your teeth. Bulimia is an appearance issue as far as your teeth are concerned, and any expert cosmetic dentist such as the ones we recommend on this website has the training necessary to treat this well. When there is little tooth structure left, you need to have bonding technology used to restore your smile because conventional cementation techniques may not be strong enough to hold crowns on your teeth.

And yes, your headaches are most likely caused by a TMJ disorder, which comes from your bite discrepancy. One other piece of good news is that most expert cosmetic dentists are also fairly well trained in treating TMJ disorders, which requires restoring your bite to it’s normal state. Brace yourself – you are probably facing needing crowns on most if not all of your teeth. But the end result, if you go to the right dentist, will be a beautiful, radiant smile.

Check our list of cosmetic dentists. They are all carefully screened to be able to do this kind of all-porcelain crown that will bond to your teeth and look lifelike, and they all have the artistic talent necessary to make the work look beautiful.

And congratulations on overcoming your disease. You have made great strides. The worst is behind you, and I anticipate things will just get better for you from this point on.
– Dr. Hall

About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

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