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02/16/2012 02:04 AM

9 years out and losing my teeth

Posts: 85

Well, I recently discovered that one of the long term complications of the Lap RNY procedure for *some* folks is inadequate calcium absorption leading to tooth decay and loss. I've now lost 4 teeth, all molars, in little chunks; one of my lower front teeth broke off in my mouth; I have two broken molars; and man, my mouth reeks. I have Persistent Idiopathic Facial Pain diagnosed in 2005 so I can't go to a regular dentist for cleaning or treatment. I am on my way to see an IV sedation dentist on the 27th of this month to get all my teeth extracted and have dentures put in their place.

I don't want to lose my teeth. I'm not happy. I went for several years when I was younger and uninsured without a cleaning and I had some cavities but nothing like this. I've since spoken with several people more than 5 years out who are also losing their teeth. I take 3 doses of Calcium Citrate daily in addition to a multivitamin with calcium in it. My calcium levels are fine. Somehow, though, the calcium isn't getting from point A to point B and my teeth are paying the price.

Now because of my disability and because hubby will be retiring next year, leaving us unable to pay for an IV sedation cleaning every 6 months in addition to any other necessary work, I'll be getting dentures. I just hope and pray that I will be able to tolerate the pressure from the dentures on my gums.

Is there anyone else out there losing their teeth? I'm just wondering if it's one of those little-talked-about complications they don't want to tell people about - or maybe they just don't know it's happening. I don't know....but it is frustrating to know that at the age of 52 I'm saying goodbye to my pearly whites, now cracking, splitting, chipping and falling off in pieces.



02/16/2012 03:51 AM

To be honest, I haven't heard of any studies or reports of issues of teeth falling out, however, now you mention it this has happened to me too.

Around 6 months after surgery, I did lose a back tooth and 12 months later, I lost a front tooth. So, there could well be something in that.

I also have contacted a dentist as, due to my gender change and life change, I want to get dental implants. However, what I wasn't aware of was the approximate £15,000 to have them done Smile Wow Smile So, my saving regime is now focused on getting those done.

I don't think there are many differences from implants to dentures, only that implants are screwed into your jaw and are there permanently. Although I am quite nervous about the bit where they drill into your jaw and pop in a small threaded bit of titanium or something.

It would be interesting if anyone else has found some dental issues too. Maybe it's something I can sneak into my book before it's published, if it's an issue affecting many post surgery patients.

02/16/2012 10:06 AM
Posts: 85

Hi. I found this on the Web today:

"At my most recent dental checkup my dentist noticed that my new lifestyle is harder on my teeth. I'd had no new cavities for years, and now five are starting; he thinks that's because I eat small amounts of food more frequently, so there's more sugar in my mouth (especially from the dried fruit). So I'm now brushing what seems to me insanely often, and using super-flouridated toothpaste once a day. "

" I had the gastri bypass 12 years ago with a weight of 310. I lost 100 ounds in nine months but experienced anal fissures, tooth loss, explosive poop sessions, hair loss and anemia."

"My teeth are so bad that I have had 6+ root canals and need 5 more. Had 3 teeth pulled because I cant afford $$$$ in dental work. My gums are pulling away from my teeth and I have had oral thrush on my tongue now for over 1 year. Doctors say antibiotics will make it worse and cause additional issues with yeast infections. My teeth are no longer white, but an off yellow color and I do not smoke. Yes, I brush and floss daily. Even rinse with antiseptic mouthwash to no avail. I have been reading alot about teeth issues and gastric bypass. No, I dont vomit or have GERD that would cause erosion."

"I do see the dentist regularly. THey are amazed at how fast my teeth are deteriorating. I actually switched dentists because I thought one of them was pulling my leg about the deterioration with the gastric bypass and figured they were just trying to get money out of me. 2 more dentists later, they are all saying the same thing. Malabsorption and vitamin deficiencies despite the regimine of vitamins I was taking on a daily basis."

"Yep, mine started to literally disintergrate. The filligs all fell out within a month and then they just chipped , like at the base in under the gum or nearer the middle. Ive had 2 out and the dentist is thinking of alot more. trying to save them by doing a slap up job as I cant afford the needed root canals... so im thinking that when the pain gets bad again, there are at least 3 in my smile zone that will have to go, but I will have to get them all gone i think."

Here's a forum discussion on it.

And another:

Google "tooth problems after gastric bypass" and you'll get plenty of information.

That said, I wonder if my nerve condition (persistent idiopathic facial pain) has anything to do with nutritional deficiencies after my surgery....since it came on 2 years post-op.


02/16/2012 11:47 PM

Well, there certainly does seem to be something in this. I am trying to work out why it would happen after bypass, wondering if there is a link between calcium and nutrient absorption or something.

I go see my consultant soon, will ask him about it

02/19/2012 08:05 AM

OMG I have nightmares about losing my teeth in such away (the crumbling way). Literally, I have nightmares! Sad I am so sorry to hear about that!!

I'm a year and a half out from surgery and get regular cleanings every 6 months. I haven't had any problems with my teeth and dentist said they look great. I take 500 mg of Calcium Citrate a day. And drink a glass of milk each morning. Remember to wait 2 hours after an iron supplement before taking the calcium as the iron messes up the absorption of the calcium.

Since there are treatments for osteoporosis, would getting that sort of treatment help with the calcium deficiency?

Bailey, instead of implants have you looked into veneers? They are similar to caps they put over your own teeth. The grind your real teeth down a bit to make them fit properly. That would seem less invasive and probably less expensive. Why do they make it so expensive to be more beautiful? Smile

02/20/2012 02:26 AM
Posts: 85

The problem seems to be with acid. Since you no longer have the whole tummy for the acid to swish around in, you end up with more of it in your mouth, thereby intensifying tooth decay. I'm on my way to edentulous right now. And with implants running about a grand apiece, we won't be heading down that road. We can't afford that cost. I'll just be sticking with the dentures.

The reason it's so expensive to be "beautiful" is because it's a perceived notion pushed on us by the media; they know they can charge what they want and people will come up with the money so they can try to look like the airbrushed models in the magazines. Think of the women - and men - who have put out tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars improving on what nature gave them, though for most of them there wasn't a darn thing wrong with what they had to begin with....with the exception of surgery to correct birth defects or deformities caused by accidents or the like, most cosmetic surgery doesn't improve our function or efficiency. It's all icing. The reason these folks keep going is because they aren't happy with who they are inside. If they were, they would accept who they are outside without blinking.

Just my none-too-tactful opinion, mind you.....Laughing

02/20/2012 03:11 AM

I think it's a shame when people feel they need to spend so much money on 'improving' their looks where really, there is little wrong in the first place.

I think everyone is unique, they have their good bits and bad bits. If you become too self obsessed with looks, then surely everything is fake. Nothing is real.

I agree the media have a lot to answer to. They put these idea's and thoughts into people's minds that if you look a certain way, you're amazing, if not, you must be ugly.

I do feel sorry for those who listen, because a lot of it must be down to low self confidence

02/20/2012 05:06 PM
Posts: 85

I have to agree. I love to people-watch. It's one of my favorite hobbies. I absolutely am fascinated by how God put us together. Short, tall, thin, round, long legs, long torso, limping, in a wheelchair, blind, hard of hearing, prosthetics-assisted mobility, blue eyes, green eyes, brown eyes, long hair, short hair, no hair, dresses, jeans, skirts, t-shirts, dress shirts, no shoes, sandals, wingtips, tennies....

It's just amazing to sit, for instance, in an airport or at the mall and watch the people walk by. There is such an immense variety of stride, gait, attitude, people walk is so varied....some shuffle, some stride, some almost tiptoe, some come close to running....and it goes on and on and on.

Then, if you think of how it would be if we all looked the boring. If we all had "the perfect figure..." well, first off, who decides what's perfect? A D cup is what some women want....others want a reduction. Some want full lips; others want them thinner. Some live in jeans; some of us only wear dresses and/or skirts.

....and we look at TV at some couple or individual whose image is being touted as "perfect," and we have next to no idea how much they criticize themselves, or how very, very little their outside image reflects who they are inside....

It's all a big cover-up. It's a way to hide the so-called warts, the differences we see as imperfections that in reality make us individuals and unique among the few billion others on the planet....

And it's sad that so many people think that changing who they are outside will change who they are inside. It doesn't work like that. Sometimes I think this thing called life is a chance for each of us to make peace with who we are inside and our uniqueness; a way to become who we were meant to be without trying to be someone else either personality-wise or physically.

Yikes!! Blink

Rant over.....

02/21/2012 06:31 AM
Posts: 5
New Member

I am curious how common it is to loose teeth. Are you the minority or will this happen to most people. Does anyone know of any studies that speak to the statistics of loosing teeth after surgery?

02/22/2012 12:34 AM
Posts: 85

There hasn't really been any research done on the subject. Nobody wants to admit that the two are connected. However, it is happening, and it is significant enough that there are discussions in several online forums about it. decay-gastric-pass.htm

Here is a medical journal article I just found posted on the subject... script=sci_arttext

SO they know it's happening, but it's still a relatively new issue due to the recent (<20 years) increase in gastric bypass surgery. I think they'll find it more common as time goes on.


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