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Almost off the steroid but it's too late for my teeth. Anyone else w/ dental problems due to...

Lynda D.
on 3/2/11 7:44 pm
Hi all,

I dropped down to 2.5 mgs. of my hydrocortisone today and all I want to do is sleep. Makes driving a challenge, to put it mildly. Today I gave my son a ride to a friend's house and I kept mindlessly taking the wrong streets. I ended up taking him to a totally different friend's house. All I wanted to do was lay my head on the steering wheel. So... sleepy...

In other news, I went to my dentist yesterday. The hydrocortisone has done terrible things to my teeth. So far I've had eight root canals and two extractions. I still have cavities in every single tooth.

Well, one tooth has a huge hole in the back and a week ago it started to ache continuously (It needs a root canal). So I saw my dentist and he found that every tooth that had a filling now need crowns, and every tooth that needed crowns are broken and won't hold crowns. He referred me to a prosthodontist (??) to see if it's even worth trying to save my teeth!

He brought up a dirty word: Dentures. Dentures! This is depressing. I'm only 43 years old.

As I've weaned off the steroid, and I've increased my calcium and vitamin D, my tooth decay has slowed significantly, but the damage is done. If I have to have dentures, my hope is that I can keep at least some of my teeth and just do partials.

Has anyone else had dental problems with WLS? I think, at least in my case, it was a combination of my surgery and the hydrocortisone. Maybe if I hadn't been on the steroid, I would have been ok.

Well, I can't undo the past, but I can certainly learn from it and hopefully others can learn from this as well.

Lynda

First Surgery Date: November 5, 2005
Surgery Type: RNY--Proximal
Height: 5' 3"
Beginning Weight: 250 lbs.
Lowest Weight: 125 lbs.
Current Weight: 230 lbs. Seeking Revision to DS

Kathleen F.
on 3/3/11 12:16 am
Lynda D.
on 3/5/11 2:23 am, edited 3/5/11 2:27 am
On March 3, 2011 at 12:16 AM Pacific Time, Kathleen F. wrote:

I have a friend who is a dental technician and his advise has always been to hang on to as many teeth as you can and get partials. Insist that they save as many teeth as possible.
 

Have you ever had a dexa scan? Usually teeth problems due to WLS come from not having enough calcium. When the PTH glands pull calcium from your bones to maintain your calcium levels, they are also pulling calcium from your teeth causing them to demineralize. I know because that has been happening to my teeth. If I hadn't been so lax for so long with my supplements, my teeth would be in better shape. My dentist did say that they will improve as long as I keep up with the supplements and she has also prescribed a prescription strength flouride toothpaste for me to use. Flouride will help to remineralize your teeth as well as prevent further decay. Apparently there is also a prescription toothpaste with calcium in it that can help. She is waiting to see how the flouride does before going to the other one.

Sounds like you're in the same boat as I am. I was given a prescription fluoride toothpaste as well. I noticed that I did have some enamel build back up after I improved my calcium situation, but not enough enamel has come back. And my teeth problems were happening so fast, I couldn't keep up with it financially. So I wasn't able to get the crowns I needed for some of my teeth, and those teeth have broken.

I literally had $10,000 worth of repair needed!!

Lynda

Edit: I haven't had a scan of my bones yet. My reason? I'm too scared of what they'll find!

First Surgery Date: November 5, 2005
Surgery Type: RNY--Proximal
Height: 5' 3"
Beginning Weight: 250 lbs.
Lowest Weight: 125 lbs.
Current Weight: 230 lbs. Seeking Revision to DS

Kathleen F.
on 3/5/11 8:49 am, edited 2/12/12 3:32 pm

Get the dexa scan. Knowledge is power. Better to know exactly where you stand and go from there. [edited to remove personal information] How are your labs for calcium, PTH and D3? Maximizing what you can do can go far in preserving what you do have and hopefully reversing some of the damage. 

How much calcium are you taking? Have you considered taking calcium hydroxyapatite? If you do, be sure to take it with meals with protein to maximize absorption. Might want to consider taking strontium. [edited to remove personal information]


Zee Starrlite
on 3/3/11 7:48 am
VSG on 06/06/11 with
Oh Lynda, sorry about your teeth.

I have 2 friends - 1 has Lupus and the other has a condition from birth in which she has no sodium in her body.  So both have used "steroids" long-term"  The one with the sodium issue almost since birth.  Both these women have the most beautiful teeth - I mean beautiful teeth with minimal restoration.  And I have not read anywhere that steroids cause tooth decay, cracking or breaking.

How have your labs been through the years?

I am sure hoping it is not due to the steroids because I may need them one day.

Many Blessings,
Leila


3/30/2005 Lap Band installed  12/20/2010  Lap Band REMOVED  
6/6/2011 Vertical SLEEVE Gastrectomy

Lynda D.
on 3/5/11 2:15 am
On March 3, 2011 at 7:48 AM Pacific Time, zee starrlite wrote:
Oh Lynda, sorry about your teeth.

I have 2 friends - 1 has Lupus and the other has a condition from birth in which she has no sodium in her body.  So both have used "steroids" long-term"  The one with the sodium issue almost since birth.  Both these women have the most beautiful teeth - I mean beautiful teeth with minimal restoration.  And I have not read anywhere that steroids cause tooth decay, cracking or breaking.

How have your labs been through the years?

I am sure hoping it is not due to the steroids because I may need them one day.

Many Blessings,
Leila
Leila,

If it was steroids by itself, or my RNY by itself, I probably wouldn't be having the problems I'm having. It's the combination of the two.

Steroids can also lower potassium, just so you are aware.

Lynda

First Surgery Date: November 5, 2005
Surgery Type: RNY--Proximal
Height: 5' 3"
Beginning Weight: 250 lbs.
Lowest Weight: 125 lbs.
Current Weight: 230 lbs. Seeking Revision to DS

(deactivated member)
on 3/3/11 8:39 am
I'm sorry for your teeth troubles.  As mentioned, I believe that calcium deficiency has played a lot of havoc with your condition.  Another thing that can be a problem is reflux associated with the small RnY pouch.  Constant reflux not only causes esophogeal lesions, but can destroy teeth.  Ask any older bulemic how their teeth are.  The dentist is usually the first to notice bulemia (due to acid etching, erosion and decay).

Much luck with your restoration, keep all that you can!

Hugs,
Ratkity
~ Mar ~
on 3/3/11 9:14 am - San Antonio, TX
Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that with the RNY you don't get any acid in the pouch that is why some people with bad GERD tend to chose it instead of the DS. I know that before when I used to vomit all that came out of my pouch was what I put in, no acid whatsoever.

I am putting my money on calcium deficiency. Which if that is the case then she really needs to work on ASAP before she gets the DS revision she wants, otherwise dentures will be the least of her worries.

~Mar~



 

(deactivated member)
on 3/3/11 10:19 am, edited 3/3/11 10:19 am
The stomach lining makes the acidic environment, no matter how small the pouch.

Hugs,
Ratkity

edited for hitting enter too quick! ugh.

Lynda D.
on 3/5/11 2:13 am
Yes, it's because of low calcium. My doctor said my body was pulling it from my bones and teeth to fuel my body. I'm not sure how, but hydrocortisone interferes with calcium levels. Combine that with the fact that I don't absorb calcium due to my RNY, and you have a recipe for trouble.

I haven't noticed much acid if I throw up and I rarely throw up nowadays anyway. Acid isn't the cause of my teeth problems. It's calcium depletion.

I've increased my calcium, make sure I only take calcium citrate, I split the dose, and I've increased my vitamin D intake. This has helped, but it's just too late for some of my teeth.

I'm hoping to save most of my teeth. The idea of partial dentures don't bother me as much as the idea of full dentures do. If partials are the worst I have to deal with, no problem.

I'll know more on the 14th after I see the specialist.

Lynda

First Surgery Date: November 5, 2005
Surgery Type: RNY--Proximal
Height: 5' 3"
Beginning Weight: 250 lbs.
Lowest Weight: 125 lbs.
Current Weight: 230 lbs. Seeking Revision to DS