My Dentist Doesn’t Blame Tooth Problems On My Fat

She doesn’t blame my fat for my grinding my teeth at night.  She just ordered a custom bite guard

Or for my needing crowns (she blamed them on my grinding my teeth at night!)  

Or for my 20-year-old fillings needing replacement (they’re old!)

Or even for my coffee-dulled teeth!  (She offered to “whiten” them.) 

I’m not sure if dentistry as a whole is behind the times in not blaming things on fat or if it’s this particular (thin, blond) dentist.   But I’m not complaining, either ;)

25 thoughts on “My Dentist Doesn’t Blame Tooth Problems On My Fat

  1. Funny you say this….mine doesn’t either. In fact, my teeth are great compared to my (avg sized) husband….who’s had multiple cavities, root canals, and crowns while in his 30s.

    As for the grinding….I’m in the same boat as you are. The dentist is *this* close to ordering one for me. The back right molars are wearing down from all the gnashing I do during the night.

    Every single time I go to the dentist (every six months), he tells me I have great teeth. On the other hand, when hubby visits the dentist, I think he sees dollar signs on his bicuspids $$$$

    You would think, since I’m an out of control fatty who eats nothing but sweets…. ALL DAY LONG….AND can’t POSSIBLY be HEALTHY….my teeth would be rotting right out of my head.

    • “Funny you say this….mine doesn’t either. In fact, my teeth are great compared to my (avg sized) husband….who’s had multiple cavities, root canals, and crowns while in his 30s.”

      This!!!

      My husband had the cavities, root canals, etc. while in his 20s (Coke addiction – by which I mean Coca Cola!). I haven’t had a cavity (knock on wood) since high school.

  2. I’m thin and I’ve ground my teeth since I was an infant. So does my brother. And my mother and my grandfather.

    I love my bite-guard. It’s an amazing difference.

  3. It seems that “bad” teeth, like fat, are a matter of genetics. After seeing so many examples of people with the teeth-protecting type of saliva have perfect teeth despite poor oral hygiene and people without the helpful brand of saliva have cavities despite careful oral hygiene, I’ve come to the conclusion that the condition of one’s teeth is as much under one’s control as height/weight.

    JMO ;)

    • I have heard this too…from a dentist years ago. He said that if a person drools during the night, they are less likely to have cavities. So maybe it’s not so much the TYPE of saliva, but the AMOUNT of it? Logically, it’s makes sense that if you have more saliva you will wash away the plaque more frequently than someone with a dry mouth. Just thinkin here…

      • I think more saliva is better LOL
        I don’t know the proper terminology but the “good saliva” actually has enzymes or some such that protect the teeth from decay. I should really look it up so I don’t sound like a babbling fool ;)

        Drooling=sleeping with the mouth open, right? Which I’ve heard means the mouth will be drier and more welcoming for bacteria.

  4. Wait, are there dentists who DO blame tooth problems on fat? Even pre-FA, I would have found that pretty ridiculous…

    Flossing is good for your heart, though! <3

    • Wait, are there dentists who DO blame tooth problems on fat?

      When I was a kid, the dentist I saw then would make jokes about how I had few cavities for the amount of sugar/sweets I “must be eating”.

  5. Thanks for the laugh! My hairdresser hasn’t caught on that she’s supposed to blame my dry hair on my obviously bad eating habits either. Oh, and my car mechanic failed to blame the flat tire on the added stress I put on the poor thing.

    And these people consider themselves professionals! When will they catch up to the times?

  6. I’m thin and I’ve ground my teeth since I was an infant. So does my brother. And my mother and my grandfather.

    I love my bite-guard. It’s an amazing difference.
    Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one!

  7. Y’know, my dentist doesn’t blame my tooth problems on my fat, but sometimes my internalized oppression does. I think: “If I didn’t have this danged sweet tooth, my teeth would be better and I’d be less fat.” And I wonder if my dentist is thinking it too.

    • My sister and I both have a sweet tooth. She’s had tons of cavities and a bunch of dental problems while I’ve gone 31 years without a cavity and have never had a dental issue.

      I’ve read that the make-up of your saliva, which we have no control over, is more responsible for the condition of our teeth than anything else. That makes sense to me, because I’ve known people (like my husband) who eat sugary foods and guzzle sodas and coffee and have never had a cavity, while other people who eat very few sweets and don’t drink soda seem to always be having problems with their teeth.

      • Is your sister younger or older? I didn’t have big problems with my teeth until last year. It was like I turned 30 and my teeth went bad all of a sudden. I’d had only a couple of cavities before that.

      • My dental hygenist says the same thing about the saliva and tooth condition. I have a GIGANTIC sweet tooth, and my husband less so. I’ve had one cavity my entire life (after not going to the dentist for 2 years), and the hubby lost count around 40 or so.

        His sweat also eats through shoes and clothes at an absolutely ridiculous rate, so we believe he’s just more acidic in general.

      • This is absolutely true. My dentist informed me that the combination of having a small jaw and overly acidic saliva makes it a losing battle on my part. Which is why I have a filling in basically every one of my molars. Not fun.

  8. Y’know, my dentist doesn’t blame my tooth problems on my fat, but sometimes my internalized oppression does.

    Yes! I was at the dentist yesterday getting a temporary crown, because one of my 20-year-old fillings fell apart. (Which the dentist warned me about when I saw him in January, but he said I could probably go 6 months before replacing the filling with a crown, and I decided I’d push that to the last minute. Oops.) I’ve never had a crown before — and will apparently need another for the same reason (ancient, deteriorating filling that’s too big to just replace with another one) — and I immediately started beating myself up. For me, it was more about running tapes about how lazy and irresponsible I am than how fat I am — if I’d only flossed more and taken my dental health more seriously in elementary school, I wouldn’t have needed the fillings that are now crumbling! — but of course thinking about taking care of my teeth in general leads to thinking about all the sugared pop I used to drink, etc., so I started to go down that road, too. And I had a moment as I was lying in the chair of wondering if he thought about my fat/made assumptions about how well I take care of myself, even though he gave no indication that he did.

    It is absurd and infuriating that I’m so trained to expect any medical professional to blame me and/or my fat for any problem that arises, I don’t even need them to actually do it — I just automatically start blaming myself. Sigh.

    • Kate, I had a very similar issue this summer, only it was even harder to construe it as being my fault.

      About 6 months after my front adult teeth came in (I was 6 or 7) I wound up smashing my face into my bike handlebars, which chipped my tooth about in half. We got a temporary crown put on that should have been replaced when I was a teen, but wasn’t. It started chipping last summer (at 24), and I panicked to get a crown put on asap. Because no one wants half of one of their big front teeth missing.

      I felt horribly guilty that I needed to blow $500+ on a crown and I’d justify this to semi-random people (friends, etc.) that my crown was because of a childhood injury, and not because I’m lazy or have bad hygiene. Which I realize makes me sound like an asshole, but was my way of externalizing the inner blaming crap.

      And now I have a pretty fake tooth and no one can tell :)

  9. I had to giggle at this – because my eye doctor DID blame my near-sightedness on my fat. I told him that was funny – I used to weigh a hundred pounds less and I was damn near blind. Thanks, LASIK!! Now I’m nearsighted because (a) the LASIK was never supposed to make me 20/20 but it did….for four years…and (b) I’m getting old, and everyone in my family has crap eyes. But to him, it was OMG TEH FAT.

    • I had an optometrist who pushed me to get tested for diabetes because “he could smell acetone” and was all put out when I said a) my blood sugar readings were fine at my annual and b) I’d used acetone nail polish remover that afternoon. Then he regaled me how many fat people he’d seen who turned out to have undiagnosed diabetes – which became diagnosed after he found they had abnormal eye pressure, or cataracts, or he smelled acetone…

      When this repeated at the next yearly exam I switched optometrists.

    • Wow, that is insane. I’ve never heard nearsightedness blamed on fat, but I suppose there are doctors who will blame anything on fat.

  10. I’ve never had problems with a dentist, but recently I had to go to a podiatrist because the skin on my feet was turning into getting dry, hard callous that cracked and bled so much it was painful to walk. I had braced myself for a “how dare you let your feet get into this condition!” lecture, but he just said, “you know, some people’s feet just do this, it’s genetic and nothing you can help.” And it struck me that that was the first time a doctor had said something like that to me.

  11. Pingback: Healthcare Disparities « Living ~400lbs

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