Teeth. Yet again.

Starting at the top right. Filled hole at the top. Filled hole at the top. Reconstructed biting surface. Interior gum swelling. Gum lesion. Porcelain veneers. Filled hole at the top. Reconstructed biting surface. Reconstructed biting surface.

Bottom left. Extraction. Root-canal filled Crown. Chronic recession (back and front). Gum graft. Fractured tooth. Lower interior filling.

I can’t stop thinking about my teeth. Sometimes I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and check that the fracture has not fractured, or that the teeth are still there.

They are inescapable, as is the damage. It has already been done, although it is now being compounded; one sugar coated acid blast at a time.

If they crumble I do not know what I will do –

And yet the fear is as strong a trigger as it is a disincentive, which is how an eating disorder maintains its hold. That, and the sense that you can not share what’s really going on in your head.

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7 Responses to “Teeth. Yet again.”

  1. Icedgem27 says:

    Hiya, I don’t think I’ve commented on your blog before but follow always from your Twitter feed. Anyway, I wanted to say I totally understand what you mean about disintentives and triggers being one and the same sometimes. I have something similar in my ED with regards osteoporosis. I’ve started having a couple of breaks now and that freaks me out which triggers me, and the longer I stay trapped by ED the worse the osteoporosis will get. And it’s all a result of ED. Like you, I’m long term sufferer some 16 yrs now not that I realized that until last yr when I decided to do whatever it takes to recover. It’s far from plain sailing and I love your blog for your openness and honestly that it ain’t always a bed of roses. And yet, you always get back up, stronger for your experience. Take care.

  2. Harriet says:

    ^

    I agree. Sometimes I get angry with myself for causing myself damage and think I don’t deserve physical health. Other times I think, “It’s too late now. You may as well continue the way you’re going.” I think it’s partly a coping mechanism. If my bones/organs/teeth/hair/anything suffer because of my eating disorder, I can kid myself that I had a choice and that I control it. If they suffer despite my best attempts to recover, it will just make me feel powerless. Like so many mentally ill people, I want to believe that I have power over this thing.

  3. Jo says:

    I read this, and my first thought was about dreams. They say, whoever They are, that if you dream about your teeth falling out, it is closely linked to your self-esteem, like your self-esteem is low or crumbling. It seems here that you are living the reality of that dream. There is a conclusion to that, but it evades me. I can’t quite put my finger on it.

    I wish I had the answers, Issa. But I don’t think physical health is ever the whole reason that pushes us towards recovery. Anxiety just triggers, I was the same about my stomach and throat and oesophagus. Oh My God I am killing myself, and then three minutes later, right back there. This consequence is a reason, but not enough on it’s own. It is a consequence and a cause, but not The Cause. It doesn’t surprise me that it is not enough on it’s own, it is just another reminder of what this robs you of, and has robbed you of. You deserve better for all of you, emotional health and physical health. Sending hugs, and can’t wait to see you Sunshine.

    Jo x

  4. *thousands of hugs*

  5. Melissa says:

    Hi there Icedgem27 and thanks so much for commenting. It is a total catch 22 – and I guess the thing that your comment reminded me was that even minor improvements are better than the alternative. Even if full physical recovery is not possible, it is better than going back. As Jo says, it’s not quite enought alone – but it at least reduces the lack of hope. I don’t know where you’re based and am not a doctor, but I was put on drugs for osteoperosis about 4 years ago and the bone scans demonstrate that I am moving towards osteopenia (and the near average end) now. I never thought that could happen.

    Hi Harriet – realising you’re not in control is one of the scariest things in all this, I think; particularly when it hinges on the illusion. I think we are always worth health. Always. I have to remind myself – but I think it’s a case of trying to treat ourselves as we would treat others. Which includes basic stuff like permission to eat. xx

    Jo – the dream thing is really interesting and my teeth experiences have really blurred the line between reality and nightmare. I guess there’s something about how tangled the issues and the self esteem stuff has become. I don’t know. You’re totally right about the cause/Cause/consequence thing and spot on with this – “Anxiety just triggers” – it’s hard to separate out the emotional response which is triggering and the physical response which is motivating. Or something. And yes, I feel robbed, even though it’s entirely self-induced. I am devastated that it can’t be undone or repaired, and that I will have to live with the consequences for the remainder of my life….and yet, if the teeth hadn’t necessitated the surgery which necessitated the weight gain and the end of the purgeing, I probably wouldn’t be here today.

    Thanks sanibituranima – and will do that. I forgot that post – and that the body has an amazing capacity to heal generally, so there’s lots of other stuff I have to be grateful for. xx

  6. It’s okay to sometimes just be upset, or angry, or generally frustrated with the world ansd the way things are. Eating disorders rob us of so much, and it’s okay to just feel that a bit.

    For me, it’s the self-confidence and self-assurance and positive body image stuff that I now feel the absence of. And it really does feel shit sometimes. I broke down on my boyfriend, desperate for him to make me feel good inside, and whilst he loves me it frustrates me that I have to make that bit get better all on my own. I saw a belly dancer today with absolutely no cares in the world for what we thought of her body – just love for her dance – and I was jealous and sad that she had that thing I’ve lost. And yet, I know I can try and rebuild some of that and hopefully come out stronger for it.

    Maybe some things are lost forever. Maybe I can’t get that carefree, inhibition back that I once had. And maybe I can build some other, wonderful forms of confidence that comes from having lost something, built it again and truly appreciating it.

    I know it’s not the same as teeth, with teeth being physical and finite, but you can perhaps slow down the process and have chance to make the best of what you have in other ways. x x x