Dental problems after gastric bypass surgery

Question Below Submitted By:  

msannabelle (a patient from Fresno, CA)

In November 2002 I was miserable and in a lot of pain. I weighed 325 lb., 5’6″ with fibromyalgia & chronic fatigue, constant migraines and difficultly sleeping. I decided to have gastric bypass surgery after trying so many other weight loss diets/fads.

Today I weigh 175.

However, I have had some side effects that I am wondering if any other people are having?
My dental “heath” has changed completely since the surgery. My dentist said she can tell exactly from the date of my surgery when my teeth started having problems.

I have been getting more cavities than I ever have in my life time. My teeth are also more “fragile” resulting in cracks and pieces breaking off.

I have had to get several root canals with crowns on my teeth because of the cavity being so large or the tooth breaking apart. I also have had to even have a molar on the top of my mouth pulled because it was so bad it could not be saved.

I am only 52 years old. I have always had good dental care, cleaning two times a year. Brushed and flossed each night before bed.

So this is just a shock to me and my dentist. She also said that she has 2 other patients that have the same results from this surgery!

I am curious to hear from any one else out there regarding this problem. Thank you.


Expert Responses to the Question Above

Surgeon response to "Dental problems after gastric bypass surgery"

by: John Rabkin, MD

I, too, see dental issues in my weight loss surgery (WLS) patients which I believe may be exacerbated by the WLS.  

A dentist presented to our patient support group and did support the concept of pH changes in the saliva as a contributor with the strong recommendation (as the two responding dentists outlined above) for meticulous dental hygiene with immediate post-meal and/or snack teeth brushing (not just AM & PM) and mouth rising with basic pH mouthwash to mitigate the acidic saliva.  

This should be in addition to a focus on mineral supplementation to avoid any deficiencies and to make certain that patients are NOT having significant reflux (or vomiting) of gastric contents (acidic) breaking down their teeth.  

Best regards,
John Rabkin, M.D. Pacific Laparoscopy

(click here for Dr. Rabkin's full bio & contact info)

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the details provided. The above should never replace the advice of your local physicians as they have the ability to evaluate you in person.

Related Pages: - Gastric bypass side effects - Gastric bypass surgery deaths & risks of gastric bypass - Complications of gastric bypass surgery - Gastric bypass revision surgery

Bariatric surgeon at CBGSA , Arcadia , California

by: Dr. Troy LaMar

Hi msanabelle,

Sure sounds like you have done well with your weight loss......

In our practice I can't think of a patient who has had the issues you are describing. However, we don't have 100% compliance with follow-up.

Having severe dental issues might have several causes, but after bariatric surgery, certainly your calcium, vitamin levels and overall nutritional status are key factors. I would recommend you follow-up with your surgeon, your primary doc, a dietician, and make sure all labwork is done.

If you are vomiting chronically, that is not normal and you need to see your surgeon as well.

Good luck,
Troy LaMar MD

los angeles bariatric surgeon

(click here for Dr. LaMar's full bio & contact info)

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the details provided. The above should never replace the advice of your local physicians as they have the ability to evaluate you in person.


Patient Responses to the Question Above

Dental Issue Surprise!

by: CD

I too am having a lot of "new" cavities & thinning enamel even though I'm brushing & flossing more now than before surgery. I didn't like the feeling that protein drinks left on my teeth so I'd brush more & there's more time to floss now that I'm not cooking so much but my teeth have definitely changed since RNY surgery 6/2012.

I love the way I feel & look now but I'm really upset about my teeth. The dentist even accused me of being bulimic, she thinks WLS people purge so they won't gain the weight back & the acid hurts the teeth. Of course, dentists want to "fix" everything for BIG BUCKS...I can't afford that but I don't want my teeth to fall out either. MOST WLS people are not aware of this issue or have no problems, does anyone know a fix? I've upped my protein/supplements plus completely quit gummies & I use every cavity preventative product on the market. I have questions submitted to Dr & nutritionist.

Gastric bypas and decay

by: Fullercountry

I have read these comments and glad I did. I was in the dental field for 19 years and haven't had a cavity in 30 years. My gastric bypass was 6 years ago I'm 44 years old now. I have taken good care of my teeth. I believe having gastric bypass has effected my teeth. I have several cavities and now looking at crowns and root canals and even a crown replacement because of decay under the only crown I had. I had some cavities when I was 15 and one tooth fractured (that's why I have one crown). I am so ashamed of my current dental state. I feel better but also feel doomed because of what I have read today.

Glad to know there might be a reason. But angered that it was never brought up before the bypass. I struggle with putting weight on. I am about 25 lbs under weight. I thank you all for sharing. Other than low iron, all my labs a perfect. I do struggle sometimes wonder if I should have waited and tried a non surgical, medical supervision way for weight loss. But with the family history of being over weight it probably wouldn't have worked. I advise anyone who is thinking about bypass to try a nutritionist and personal trainers. You have to do those things after surgery anyway. Good luck to you all.

Dental and alcohol problems after bariactric surgery

by: Anonymous

I am a dentist and my daughter had gastric bypass surgery. Since then she started getting decay throughout her mouth. She also developed severe alcoholism. I have been in lectures at Stanford by the bariatric surgeon who did research on alcohol intake which revealed great increase in blood alcohol levels with one glass of wine. I am sure that digestion and sugar metabolizatiion are effected with poor nutrient absorption . I think these issues should be investigated by the FDA as if this were a drug adverse reaction.

Dental problems after gastric bypass surgery

by: Tammy

I was so sad but elated to read this! I had gastric bypass surgery 9 1/2 yrs ago, I lost 200 lbs and have kept 175 lbs off since. I've had complications, surgeries etc but nothing prepared me for this... I am 47 years old and my teeth are so bad now after numerous root canals, crowns, extractions (9 teeth so far) and more, my teeth are so brittle they break off!

I was vigilant with my oral care and seeing my dentist twice a year and then this slowly started to happen.My dentist wants to pull the few teeth I have left on the bottom and give me 8 implants!!!! I am devastated. I can't dream of affording that.I have come so far with my weight loss journey and now this!! Anyone else going through this?? It really sucks!


Dental issue after Gastric Bypass

by: Pastor J

msannabella...Approx 1 yr after my surgery, I also experienced dental issues just like you experienced. I am now 3yr after surgery and still having more severe dental issues. I now only have 6 real teeth (need replaced now) 1 upper plate and lower partial. Took anesthesia too long during surgery. This has devastated me being a public figure. Good luck

I understand

by: Tara

Hi! I am now 7 years post op I never had a cavity prior to surgery. Last year I had all four of my wisdom teeth removed and the oral surgeon told me she could tell I was a bypass patient because of my teeth, and not to be surprised if I had to get them all replaced by 35!!! Ugh

Excessive Tooth decay after RNY

by: Lori

My RNY was Sept. 2006. My labs have always been good and I take vitamins and supplements regularly along with B 12 injections.

I too have been accused of having "Meth mouth".

The decay is astronomical.

I went from beautiful, perfect teeth to 10-15 cavities every time I visit the dentist---every 4 months.

He finally suggested that I try IV infusions of vitamins and minerals.

I began in August.

My next visit is Dec. 21, 2015 to the dentist so we will see if it is helping.

I completely agree with the idea of PH imbalance and acidity.

I have thrush almost constantly due to the acidic nature of my mouth.

Yeast lives in an acidic environment.

I truly believe that it is not a lack of calcium, but more so a lack of magnesium and potassium.

I have begun aggressive self treatments in replenishing minerals, with soaks in Epsom Salts baths with baking soda.

I am rinsing my mouth with baking soda, trying coconut oil pulling, and concentrating on becoming alkaline instead of acidic.Unfortunately, I believe the damage to my teeth is irreversible, and as I have not had to have any pulled yet, that step is in my near future.

My goal is to stop any more bone loss NOW.

I believe that the surgeons doing weight loss procedures must be more diligent in vitamin and mineral replacements, and if this involves a more holistic approach, such as IV infusions, then so be it.

I believe the concentrations MUST be on magnesium replacement and moving the body toward alkaline levels instead of acidic levels, and you can only do that with concentrations of mineral replacement.

You cannot receive enough magnesium from diet, simply because of the soil depletion where food is grown.

Chemical applications compound the problems.

same here

by: Bingo

The stories here are so heart breaking and so close to mine.

I have had numerous health complications since my wls and the severe tooth problems are the last straw for me. Like many others here, facing losing my smile is a devastating marathon of physical and emotional pain.

Thank you to the patients, doctors and dentists who have added comments here.

It can be difficult to find healthcare providers who will truly listen to their patients without judgment or preconceived ideas about their compliance.

No one can imagine how emotionally cripling these teeth issues are unless going through it themselves. I can only hope that discussions like this will lead to better answers and better treatment of those of us going through it. So many of us don't have the resouces to pay for the treatments, which are ridiculously overpriced.

Only the rich can afford implants or even multiple root canals with crowns! I had 2 teeth extracted recently and that alone was almost 1K! Something has to change! Most people don't have good dental coverage any more, if at all.

Medical insurance should include coverage for dental issues if caused by a known medical correlation. Especially knowing the close ties between medical and dental health and how important one is for the other! The depression and social isolation (plus potential medical complications or deaths) that occur from this will cost more for carriers in the long run than if they would have just helped pay for decent treatment.

Scared to death

by: Anonymous

My wife had bypass surgery about 15 yrs ago and had labs done every three months and always came up good with NOTHING even close to an issue but she quit having a menstrual cycle and was always tired. Doctors thought it could be thyroid which came up negative. Also, have excellent dental health her teeth just in the last 4 yrs started rotting daily.

Now she is in such bad shape she is eating antibiotics like candy. I feel so bad for her that she doesn't even drink alcohol and every dentist that has even looked in her mouth the first question is how long have you been doing METH. Now she doesn't smile and mumbles when she talks because every tooth is black and jagged. We can't even afford to get her help and I pray to god every day to place her burden on me because she was much happier being overweight than what she has become now. She worked for HP for 15yrs with excellent benefits and not one doctor could figure out her problem. Now it's too late.

I HAD the most beautiful smile, now it is gone!

by: Anonymous

A few years following my gastric bypass surgery, I went to my dentist for a regular six month check-up. I have NEVER had a cavity prior to this visit. I had 11 cavities! I was devastated and this was just the beginning. I remember sitting in my car outside the dental office crying. My smile had always been the one thing people complemented about me.

At this point, I have had to pay over $4,000 out of pocket to just have fillings, one crown, two extractions and I have dental insurance. Now, the dentist wants to crown two other bad teeth to create a bridge to replace one of the extracted teeth. I don't know what to do because the teeth that are being filled are literally falling apart in my mouth.

I would have NEVER had bypass surgery if I had known all the horrible consequences of this surgery! Dental issues were never mentioned in my pre-surgery discussions. I think this surgery should be stopped until more is known about the life long consequences. This is an extremely expensive, devastating experience. At 35 years old, I don't want dentures, and my dental insurance only covers $1,000 per year. Health insurance won't cover anything. I'm a nurse and there is no way I can pay for implants. It has taken me two years to pay off the first $4,000.

What are we suppose to do? All of you who have posted here are in my thoughts and prayers. I feel your pain. Someone, please HELP US!

Dental problem

by: Alicia Sadler

I'm 12 years out of my gastric bypass and I have awful teeth problems due to it I had a tooth fixed last night and the whole filling came out today having a soft ham salad sandwich I don't what else to do help. Me please.

Severe Bone Loss and Dental Problems

by: Anonymous

This blog is heaven sent! I had RYGB in 2008 and I started noticing dental problems two years ago. I do take care of my teeth by brushing 2-3 times a day and flossing every day. I had dental extraction on my R tooth next to the 2nd molar. It became loose and unstable due to bone loss. Two weeks ago, the molar next to the tooth extracted two yrs ago is now loose, unstable with swollen gum around the area.

I was diagnosed with severe bone loss, periodontal dz and need extraction, bone graft and implant. The OMFS surgeon also identified two other loose teeth on left upper molars. I haven't been taking the vitamins prescribed after 4 yrs post-RYGB, other than regular Multivit and VitC. Should I go to my PCP and request a Bone Density Test? or any other tests? Help!

Saliva pH testing

by: Donald Fregeau Jr. DDS

Thanks for your comments Dr. Rabkin. We are in the process of incorporating Saliva-Check Buffer in-office testing from GC America in our practice for patients who are contemplating WLS so we can establish a baseline for future testing. It is also suitable for patients with rampant and uncontrolled decay issues. I am hoping patients will have access to vital dental information as it relates to WLS. Don

Periodontal Disease and WLS

by: Belinda

Hi, I am 20 years post op SRGB.

Started losing my teeth (breakages, brittle, cracked and then extractions after root canals wouldn't work) around 3 years after the surgery. I eventually lost all of my teeth and now wear full dentures.

I began vomiting 3+ times a week within 18months after the surgery.

On looking back at my notes, there is no mention about periodontal disease, but recently I was told by an implant specialist that I did have periodontal disease and it was more than likely I ended up losing my teeth due to that instability and not due to all of the vomiting. Can anyone tell me whether the constant vomiting/reflux could have caused me to have periodontal disease? Is there a relationship between the two? Thanks.

34 years old...full extraction..dentures

by: Anonymous

I'm a 34 year old male who had RNY bypass done 3 and a half years ago. To begin with I never had what you would call perfect teeth. Had my share of cavities and some root canal work prior. But in the 3 years since the Gastric Bypass the amount of problems has been almost unread. Erosion, pieces falling off. Prior fillings falling out. I have zero self confidence left in myself and cannot even look other people in the eyes anymore over such disgrace at the condition of my teeth.

I had an appt today for a consultation to see what my next step should be. The decay is so bad its affected nearly every tooth but one that had a porcelain crown put on before surgery. Recommendation is to have a full extraction of the remaining teeth with upper and lower dentures. There are other options of course. Further root canal work, and other options...based on the history and the rapidness of decay the dentist does agree with the time period of this rapid destruction directly coinciding with the time since I have had the RNY gastric bypass. even the most strict flossing, brushing, dental hygienist visits are only a temporary fix.

So he sat down with me to discuss spending thousands of dollars to end up in the same seat another year down the road, or look at the reality of what I am faced with. I would not change having the Gastric Bypass. It was the best decision I ever made in terms of getting rid of my Type II diabetes, HTN, Fatty liver disease, high cholesterol. I have lost 110 pounds. That being said it surprises me that in all the education that I went through prior to this surgery not one thing was mentioned about an increased risk of dental problems. I've looked through many websites, and Gastric Bypass patients are talking about this A LOT.

There is still no real research or statistics or anything like that that appear to be looked at. At 34 I can't say I'm exactly thrilled to soon be undergoing extraction of every one of my teeth and being fitted for dentures. But I can't afford the cost of restoration, and the risk of spending all that money if a year or two or three I will be looking at the same fate. I'm in pain on a daily basis, as it rotates from one tooth to another, so I'm hoping soon to have this done.

#1. So the pain stops, #2 I came so far to improve my health and become more confident with my weight, # 3, I want to be able to look people in the eye again when I talk to them and not hide my face because I am so ashamed of the condition of my teeth. So I have to give in to this battle. It's a condition I wish I was aware of before I had the surgery. I am again positive I still would have went through with it, but maybe in the near future bariatric surgeons will start looking at these comments a little closer and realize that the near same thing cannot be happening coincidentally to so many people who have had a procedure of this type done.

Maybe something in the future can be done as a preventative measure to slow what this acidity change is doing to peoples teeth. If even the slightest thing can be done in terms of aftercare of surgery or something the dental association can get on board with to begin a plan for patients as I noticed the doctor who commented did earlier with the fluoride. Then maybe there is hope. I just think what bothers me most is my age. Too young to actually have fake teeth, but not having them is ruining my life so I have to hold on tight and get through it and maybe gaining some confidence back in terms of being able to smile again will do wonders for me.

Good luck to all of you.

I have read my story in each one of the others

by: Anonymous

I had surgery almost 8 yrs ago, and along with everyone else I have problems with my teeth, that I never had before, but I have so much more, I cannot hold food down, I in a never ending circle at the moment, I don't live where I had my surgery and so the Bariatric Dr's don't want to see me, the Dr that did my surgery won't call me back, I am throwing everything up, my levels are completely off, (barely registering) my primary Dr is helping the best he can, My liver is working way to hard and so is my Kidney, I I am losing 4 lbs a week due to the throwing up and feel like nobody cares, I am not dumping cause nothing is getting into my system.

I track what I try to eat and yesterday kept less than 100 calories in my body (no joke) I am a 45 yr old woman.

I try smoothies but throw them up immediately don't know if it is the thickness of it so I made it thin and still threw it up.

I know the acid don't help my teeth but I have to keep trying, I am injecting B-12 weekly and taking prescription Vd weekly along with numerous vitamins but get throw up, I just don't know where to turn or where to go.

It is there

by: Dr Barry Lejeune

I am a dentist and have been practicing for over 25 years. Around 15 years ago, I began to notice that my patients who had gastric bypass surgery began to have tooth problems about 3 years after surgery. It would start out as carries on a few teeth and then proceed to rampant caries over a year to two years. Some of these patients had never had a cavity before the surgery.

I have seen approximately 25 patients over the last 15 years with this problem. Six of them no longer have teeth, ten of them have most of their teeth gone, and nine of them are missing a few teeth with many fillings. I spoke to the staff of the local surgeon and they would not listen to me that there was a problem. They believed that it was the patients not telling the truth about getting their blood work done and their vitamin levels were not being controlled. I know that vitamins have nothing to do with getting cavities and is not part of the cavity process. There is something going on that has not been addressed.

I have begun to make Fluoride trays for all of my gastric bypass patients and I have seen a great reduction in these problems. I have not seen a lot of new gastric bypass patients in the last couple of years, but none of the gastric bypass patients that I have made Fluoride trays has lost a tooth or had rampant cavities.

lost all my teeth

by: Danielle

I had the bypass done in 2009. I have beautiful teeth and took good care of them. I even went to dental assisting school. Around 2011/2012 I started having dental problems getting a lot of cavities, brown stains along the gum line which was erosion, fillings were falling out, and my teeth were chipping.

So I went to another dentist for a second opinion, he told me all of my teeth are falling apart and that I needed to have them all removed and get full dentures so in January of 2013 I had all of my teeth removed and got full dentures at the age of 33 it was horrible and affected me very badly and I'm extremely insecure about it.

The dentist told me it was because my stomach being removed that the acid changed in my mouth causing rapid erosion and deterioration. I miss my teeth and hate having these dentures it was a huge regret for me

teeth splitting apart 3 years after surgery

by: Anonymous

I had gastric bypass surgery in 2011 and yes - my front teeth are all splitting apart. I was never told of this side effect. Plus I did not want this surgery and my gastric surgeon sold it to me so hard that I finally just gave up and said okay. So I am really pissed. What's next? My bones crumbling away?

Increased Dental Problems followed by Gastric Bypass Surgery

by: Anonymous

I had gastric bypass 10 years ago. About 6 years ago I started having significant dental problems. increased rate of cavities, 4-5 root canals and 3 teeth extractions. I have been told that I need I need another crown and 2 bridges. My head is spinning from the money I have spent and have yet to spend.

6 years ago I commented to my dentist tat that time that time of a possible connection between gastric bypass and the decline in my dental health. He denied that.

I've always taken care of my teeth and followed up with the dentist regularly. I am frustrated and tired of spending so much money.

bad teeth after bypass surgery

by: Anonymous

I had the bypass surgery 7 years ago and I have had 3 root canals just this year 2014 I have never had so many problems with my teeth I always have had great check ups what is going on does anyone know?

Bad teeth!

by: Anonymous

I, too, have had horrible dental problems. I had my roux en y in 2002. Since about 2003 I've had lots of problems. Before that, I had a couple of cavities in the early 90's, and nothing after that. I've lost almost all of my molars at the gum line. I'm now starting to lose my front teeth.

It's not just about taking your vitamins. Part of the stomach that absorbs those vitamins has been inactivated, as has part of the intestine that absorbs other vitamins. It's also about the type of vitamins that you take.

Vomiting, dry mouth, mal-absorption... these are all very common problems. If I'd known this would happen, I wouldn't have had the surgery. The surgery has caused more health problems than the weight ever did.

Dental Concerns

by: Dr. Donald Fregeau Jr. DDS

It is good to see people sharing their experiences with dental problems after various types of gastric bypass surgery.

I am a dentist with 35 years clinical experience. I distinctly remember the first patient I saw post surgery whose oral condition alerted me to the coincidental oral problems post surgery.

I just looked and it was eleven years ago.

In the years since I have performed many yearly internet searches for information on what might be happening and written several letters to surgeons asking for their thoughts on what I have personally observed.

In 2003 I found nothing.

It is only within the past few years I have found more and more anecdotal information. This blog is by far the most interesting and it confirms my observations.

I am waiting to see some peer-reviewed studies done in a university setting.A surgeon from Stanford suggested it may be due to dehydration but my experience has not shown that. Dehydration can lead to similar oral findings but the bulk of my patients do not exhibit classic dehydration symptoms.

Another physician suggested that there is some sort of chemical imbalance affecting salivary chemistry.

I tend to think that is more the case.A member of my staff who had surgery 5 years ago has had no problems but I think it may be because we have been vigilant and aware of the possibility of problems.

Not all my patients who have had gastric bypass surgery have destructive dental problems but enough do and that leads me to warn every patient of mine who is either contemplating or planning surgery that they need to be vigilant with their mouth.

The destructive processes I read about on this blog are precisely what I see.We suggest that our patients be seen regularly every 3-6 months based on need and regular (or more frequent) targeted x-rays to look between the teeth for beginning decay.

A lot of the decay I see is the destructive type which attacks any exposed root between the teeth – difficult to treat if left untreated for any length of time.

That is why we try to find it early. I also dispense a prescription strength fluoride toothpaste, which I ask my patients to use.

I like them to brush well with it after flossing and before bedtime and then expectorate well without rinsing with water.

Oral hygiene must be impeccable and done daily. Office applied fluoride varnishes which seal the teeth and roots may be helpful, but my experience with these has been questionable. Xylitol gum may also be helpful as it seems to protect the teeth.

Xylitol must be the first and primary sweetener. I would like to say we have been able to control the dental problems you are discussing here but the truth is it seems to be a continuing problem for many.

I look forward to finding a suitable treatment that will reverse the cause of the damage we see. I so wish I had an answer to the concerns I see here and hope people experiencing dental problems post surgery get some answers soon.

Want to Cry Loosing my teeth to Gastric Bypass

by: Anonymous

If I only knew in 2008 what I know now, I would not have went through with gastric bypass. As a result my health has been down the toilet and my teeth have cracked and broken off, the smile teeth on the bottom are down to broken nubs and my molars decapitated. Feel so ugly.

The only thing that is keeping most of my top teeth in place is porcelain crowns done several years prior to gastric bypass. My bottom jaw is raw with exposed bone and is collapsing because my body can't absorb the nutritients and calcium. The nerve pain is horendice and I don't have the money for the dental work. Have been unemployed due to illness since 2008 from gastric bypass and don't qualify for disability.

If it were not for my parents, I would be homeless and they live on a fixed retirement income.

Dental cavities

by: Anonymous

I too have had an increase in dental cavities since my Lap Band surgery. I now have 14 surface cavities. I think it's because I eat just a few bites of food, every hour, throughout the day. Therefore I always have food in my mouth. I'm a nurse and it is usually impossible to brush my teeth all the time.

Major tooth decay after gastric bypass

by: Christina

Had gastric bypass in 2002. I went from 335 to my current 150 which I maintain. About 5 years post surgery, my teeth began to decay faster than I could keep up with dental bills.

I had always had great strong teeth. Now, I've had too many root canals and crowns to count. Two molars pulled because they broke apart down at the gum level . I am only 37.

So here is what I have concluded on my own. It has nothing to do with your labs and vitamins. Mine have always been fine.

After surgery, my Ph level became more acidic.

I questioned it when my sterling silver earrings I always wore turned brown where my skin touched them.

My skin also tarnishes any gold less than 14 kt.

So my doctor told me my chemical make up must have changed as a result of my surgery.

This also means that my saliva is more acidic. Have you ever seen that kids science experiment where they soak a lost tooth in a cup of soda to show how the acid in it basically dissolves the tooth? This is the same thing.

The thing is, the enamel of your teeth is the strongest substance in your entire body.

The issue seems to only be with teeth that have previously had dental work. Even a small filling or an undetectable crack in the surface.

The acidic saliva gets in there and destroys the tooth from the inside out. That's why the tooth looks fine on the outside but one day just breaks apart.

Even crowns I've had put on, the crowns won't stay on. Even when cement is used. But saliva gets down under crowns as we'll.

all my front teeth are fine.

They are beautiful, my dentist told me.

But that's because they've never had dental work. I told my dentist this theory of mine and he thought about it and said it all made sense. He has two other patients that have the same decay problems. Neither had gastric bypass. But both had had major strokes. The medication they were both on had a highly acidic base. So my fight begins now to try and get my MEDICAL insurance to pay for some dental implants since I feel it is caused by a medical issue.

Dental problems

by: Michael

I am 37 yrs old and in 2008 I had gastric bypass..In the last 5 years I have lost 6 teeth and I I have two abscessed teeth right now..I hardly had any dental problems until after my surgery

Tooth Decay

by: Anonymous

I had gastric bypass in 02/2005 and have noticed that my teeth are decaying very fast. I didn't know that this would occur and my Doctor and Nutritionist never told me that. I wonder if my insurance carrier new this. I have heard that some patients inquired of their insurance on this matter and they were told its cosmetic and they would not pay for dental care. I think it's ridiculous, I wonder what can we do?


by: Anonymous


Bad & Loss of Teeth after Gastric ByPass!

by: Nicole

Hi, I'm Nicole I had my Surgery done March of 2005. I had a Unfortuante thing happen... They stapled me completely OFF I (Or They) didn't notice til I was released from the hospital. I couldn't even get water down!

So I had an Endoscopy done & they wanted to open me up again BUT that's another Major Surgery I chose against! When I had the WLs in 2005 I was at 260 & got down to 145, I've gained about on average 15/20 since BUT I continue to have food get stuck CUZ that staple gets irritated & the normal thing happens is throwing up just to get it unstuck!

BUT the sad & MOST frustrating thing is I had the MOST GORGEOUS teeth & NOW I have NONE CUZ it was like they ALL just were crumbling away! Well NOW I'm SOOO embarrassed CUZ I DON'T want people OR the Dentist to look at me like a meth addict SO I haven't even been to my Dentist!!

It's nice to know it is from WLs & I'm NOT the ONLY one out there! Thanks for starting this post!!

EXTREME dental problems

by: April - Texas

Good afternoon. I am 29 years old and in 2003 I had the Lap Band put in. Due to serious issues I have had the band taken out, a new one put in, my port re-positioned on the opposite side of my stomach and then I had to have my port permanently sutured to stay right-side-up. Prior to my initial surgery at age 18 my dental health was top-notch. I have taken supplements along with protein shakes when needed. I didn't start having major dental problems until my last surgery 6 years ago.

My dental health has drastically declined the last 4 years due to ongoing issues with my band. I have broke at least 3 teeth down to the gums, numerous others are half gone and the rest are cracking, chipping, breaking, splitting in some sort. I have always had problems with my band and have thrown up at least 1 time a day for over 10 years.

Another issue that has became a major issue in the past few years in EXTREME teeth grinding, waking up with bits of teeth in my mouth in the morning. I catch myself biting down all day long.

The problem I am facing is a vicious cycle. My teeth are getting worse thus chewing my food has become increasingly difficult, which is becoming harder and harder to get it down thus throwing up more and the more I throw up all the acid the worse my teeth are getting.

I have great health insurance with my job and decent dental insurance with a limit of $2500 a year. I'm in a catch 22 as to fix my stomach first yet I still won't be able to chew or try to fix my teeth which could take years.

Has anyone experienced this issue? And does anyone know if there is a way with TMJ, teeth grinding.. etc... to have all of my teeth pulled and some kind of replacement (dentures {at age 29 make me very very depressed}, implants?) covered on my health insurance? I constantly have an abscess, swollen cheek, sinusitis, infection in 1 or 2 quadrants of my mouth and CRAZY INTENSE pain.... there has to be a solution.

Thank you all in advance for any opinions or input...I am almost to the point I can't smile and my speech is getting worse with my front teeth breaking off.... I'm getting desperate.

teeth issues

by: alison schilling

I have had the Same Exact Problems, Teeth Breaking off and having to be pulled and getting a top denture, I can't get implants because of severe bone loss in my mouth. I was NEVER told of this complication and my Mouth has been Ruined because of all the Major Problems following my Gastric Bypass

issues with dental problems

by: Anonymous

I had the Roux en Y surgery in December 2010. In 2012 my dentist said my mouth looked bad with lots of gum issues and teeth breaking and cavities. This continues to be a problem. So far I have not gotten an answer. My blood work looks good. Puzzled in Ohio

issues with dental problems

by: Anonymous

I had the Roux en Y surgery in December 2010. In 2012 my dentist said my mouth looked bad with lots of gum issues and teeth breaking and cavities. This continues to be a problem. So far I have not gotten an answer. My blood work looks good. Puzzled in Ohio

teeth lost after gastric bypass.

by: Louann

I had a gastric bypass in 1985.. started having problems with closings my teeth, and also dumping problems. I have no social life because of these problems. I try not to let it get me down, but just two days ago I was driving and my front upper tooth fell apart. Dentist have told me it's from the gastric bypass.I have had vitamin D issues also. I would have never had this if I would of known I would be losing teeth.

dental problems

by: Yvonne McCarthy

First I'd like to thank Dr. LaMar for taking time out of his day to provide support for the many people in need. For the person who had WLS in 1998, I'm not sure they knew a lot about vitamins then. My surgery was in 2001 and it wasn't particularly addressed and I don't know if this was the norm but I never heard much at all regarding follow up at all.

Dr. LaMar brought up the point about how that much vomiting is not normal and I'm sure it took a toll on the enamel of your teeth. Anyone with problems should definitely see their surgeon. He also made a great point about compliance.

I remember a post-op that never took vitamins, ate poorly, and never got labs done.

She had really bad problems with her teeth yet she blamed the surgery and her doctor which wasn't entirely fair since she didn't take proper care of herself (Please understand I'm not saying this is the case with everyone here).

I know after suffering from obesity and finally having the surgery that it seems pretty unfair to have to deal with problems with your teeth now.

Please make sure you are taking the right kind of supplements and verify this with your surgeon.

Best of luck to you all,

wls 2009

by: lynn

I have also been having dental problems with my teeth breaking chipping and I have 1 crown I had before my WLS, but it won't even stay in my mouth, I told dentist to put cement under it and he did put very strong glue but it still pops out.

But also all my labs are on point, so I don't know, but I also have been hurting more in my joints hips, shoulders, even my hands now and I do not like that I have to have the use of my hands. Then I was diagnosed with RA. Ugh, some times I wonder if it was all worth it??? I know most everyone out there that has had WLS has thought about that, but most of us would say after having bad days and good days, YES it was worth it.

tooth loss after wls in 1998

by: Anonymous

my teeth started breaking off and crumbling at the gum, though there was little if any 'hard' food placed in my mouth (as a result of dental pain from exposed nerves, etc)after WLS in 1998.

I was in so much pain, and unable to eat much of anything, that I just gave up and had 23 teeth extracted (or what was LEFT of the remaining 23 teeth)and got full dentures.

This was unnerving to me as I had always had straight healthy teeth with only an occasional cavity.

Now I have been dealing with the irritating circumstance of dentures for the past four years, and was never advised when I had WLS all those years ago as to HOW IMPORTANT taking your vitamins/supplements really is

Very Frustrated and broke

by: Anonymous

I have had a lot of issues with my teeth since my gastric by-pass. I know have 8 crowns and I need three more put in. If someone tells me it isn't from the surgery, I will not believe them. I have had three absessed teeth in the past two years and I have never had that kind of dental pain in my life (49 years of it).

I did have a lot of issues with throwing up after surgery. It has gotten better mainly because I know how to eat and what to eat. I had my surgery 9 years ago and the past three years is when I have noticed the decline in my teeth. I take my B12 injections and I take vitamines and calcium like I was told to.......I brush and floss like I should etc...... If I knew it would keep getting worse every year I don't think I would have put so much money into root canals and crowns and just had them pulled.

I have also had cavities develope under crowns.... Frustrating!!!


by: Lap Band Groupie

Lab work is important, and if yours comes back all good it might just be an age thing (it's what our dentist attributes it to).

My DH and I just turned 53 and we're both experiencing more dental issues (and we've both had good dental health): I just had a large partial crown put in because an old filled cavity had weakened the side of a molar and DH just had a full crown put in after a big piece of his molar (that had a filled cavity) broke off.

I have the Lap Band (so no malabsorbtion and I take vitamins and calcium anyway) and DH has had no surgery (he's Jack Sprat).

Best wishes! -LBG

dental health

by: Yvonne McCarthy

Let me start by saying I am not a doctor. Have you had your labs checked? It sounds very much to me like you are not getting enough calcium. Are you taking vitamins EVERY DAY?? That's super important. You should check with your bariatric surgeon as well. I hope that gives you somewhere to start.

Hugs, Y

Denatures at 35

by: Tm

I had rnybs before my surgery i was constantly asked about how i kept my teeth so white and complimented on my smile on a regular basis. About 2years after my surgery my tooth color began to dullen, still white but with brown streaks near the gum line...Now at 35 after several dozens of attempts to save my teeth that have decayed from the gum down i have 9 of my own severly decayed teeth a partial on top and bottom my dentist said its time to pull the rest of my teeth and get full dentures on top and bottom.

Im so embarrassed at the way i look i hardly smile anymore and having conversation with someone other then my family is limited to hello and goodbye. The only positive i see in getting dentures is being able to smile again but im so humiliated and noone has said it aloud to me but im sure people think im Meth addict.

Me too...only I'm angry about it...

by: Daidalos

I had RNYBS about eight or nine years ago now. Lost over 400 lbs and thank the Lord have kept it off.

While I do admit, the surgery probably saved my life, given I'd had two heart attacks (related to extreme weight) and type ii diabetes, along with High blood pressure. Which did clear up post surgery. Heart problems mitigated themselves, high bp got under control without meds, even had my diabetes go into remission.

But, yep having the same sorts of dental problems chipping teeth, breaking teeth, fragile teeth, teeth that had to be yanked etc.... And here's the part where/why I am so mad about it.

I've gone to three different dentists/oral surgeons, who have told me the problem is from something called pernicious anemia said I got that, also, as a result of the surgery.

Now as most who've had the surgery will know. Prior to it, surgeons/programs often times require classes before the surgery.

In ours, pernicious anemia, was NOT one of the potential side effects anyone ever told me about.

No one ever said to me, that post surgery you might lose your teeth! No one said, the surgery can affect your nutrition which might cause you to lose your teeth.

They were really sure to tell us how you can wind up "stroke like" if the vitamin b gets too low.

They were really sure to tell us all about "dumping". But losing your teeth? Nope not one word about dental health/complications.

Yes it's a patients responsibility to get the information to make an informed decision. However, it's up to the doctor to give you all the info in the first place so you can.

Hence why I'm mad about it.

Losing one's teeth, is a serious potential side effect people should be told about when deciding to have the surgery or not.

While it may very well be, as my surgeon told me, a "rare side effect".

ALL the potential side effects, whether common or not so common, even if it's so rare only one other instance has ever been recorded.

Disclosure of all the potential side effects, is an area where the entire field could use some improvement I think. Patients should not have to rely on what they can find for themselves on google. :)

Sad gastric bypass patient

by: Denisse

Yes the decay is very much bad. I had my gastric bypass in 2007 and my teeth are almost all gone and the ones that are left are in horrible decay. Saw my prothodontist last week and couldn't believe the decay in my mouth at only 39. Heart broken. I went from 250 to 125 pds but I have had sad side effects. Between teeth and hair it's a steep price

Bad teeth after bariatric surgery

by: Karen Blanche

I noticed my dental hygiene deteriorating after my surgery. My teeth also started chipping away and breaking, even eating soft foods like cheese puffs. Now I have only nine pieces of teeth In my mouth. I can't afford dentures and the dental work is not covered under my insurance. Do you have any suggestions? I think our teeth should be fixed by the American Medical Association, because we should have been told of these complications before the fact.

Tooth Loss after Gastrectomy

by: Liz

Hi, all. First, I am so sorry so many people are having serious tooth decay/loss after their surgeries. However, I thank you all so much for telling your stories. I had thought my hygiene was poor because I could find no correlation via the Internet between my surgery and tooth loss. I feel better knowing it isn't me.

My story is a bit different. I had gastric cancer and a total gastrectomy in 2012. One of the chemo drugs they gave me is called 'red death'. Huge stringe with pretty red stuff. When they gave it to me, they told me to chew ice or drink ice water because it could infiltrate the lining of my mouth and cause ulcers, etc. Chewing ice was supposed to constrict the vessels in my mouth so the red stuff couldn't get in. Did that, and now I'm four years in remission.

However, last year I started getting terrible cavities and tooth breakage. My teeth were fine before. I've lost several, including one that had a crown! They don't fall out all at once, they break into jagged pieces, and eventually they all break apart. I certainly can't afford crowns or implants for each tooth, and the jagged ends in my mouth cut up the lining and tongue. When I look at pieces that fell out, I notice that the roots are black.

Imagine a rose in a vase. As the stem gets deader and deader, the rose loses its petals and dies. I think that chemo drug killed my roots, causing the decay and breakage. My insurance won't cover implants, so sooner or later I'm going to be toothless. I try not to be bitter because I'm currently cancer free and I'm blessed. However, if someone had warned me about this possibility, I would have picked a different drug. Maybe, if enough people go through this, insurance will cover implants or reconstruction.

Again, thank you for sharing your stories. I wish the best for all of you.

Dental Distraction

by: CDH

I seriously had major doubts about my oral hygiene until I stumbled upon this "share session." Six years out and 92 pounds down, my teeth are decaying at an alarming rate. Yes, I have TMJ. Yes, I have horrible halitosis (bad breath) and chronic thrush. Yes, I have an increase in cavities; four in the last 4 years. Yes, two of my teeth broke off clean to the gum line. Yes, I have thinning enamel. And, yes, one of my porcelain crowns keeps popping off.

I have invested a "retirement fund" in preserving my teeth. I don't vomit very much, but believe acidic saliva is a very plausible cause to the destruction of my teeth. I have also developed Candidas, an overgrowth of yeast in my bloodstream due to the acidic pH levels in my body now. This "info share" is the FIRST information that has made any real sense of my condition. I have another DDM appointment next week and am planning to educate my dentist (and address my many concerns).

If this is such a huge problem, why wasn't this discussed in any of our pre-surgery information? I am hugely distraught by the condition of my teeth and oral health. I deal with the public daily and, yes, I notice their reaction to my breath and teeth. How embarrassing!!

I Just Never Knew

by: Diana

I am so glad to find this forum on bariatric surgery and dental problems.

I had bariatric surgery 11 years ago.

This week, I went to the dentist for my annual checkup.

After the cleaning, the dentist came in and started counting the cavities and the other problems.

In total, I was told I had 9 cavities and needed 2 crowns for 2 teeth that were started to crumble somewhat.

I left the office in shock and felt that I must be doing something wrong with my dental hygiene.

I also wondered what the dentist thought of me.

I just felt so bad about myself.

I'm not happy to hear that so many other people are having these kinds of problems, but I at least feel that I am not alone and that I did nothing wrong.

As many of you have stated, this side effect was never discussed.

I wonder if it is even discussed now.

How many people would agree to surgery if they knew that this might be one of the long-term side effects.

It is going to cost me thousands of dollars to get everything fixed for now, but who knows what will happen in the future.

Only time will tell if I will have my teeth in a few years.

I hope so, but at least I know I may not be in control of what happens even if I do everything right.

That is something I never signed up for!!

Severe dental issues

by: Christie

I had Gastric bypass surgery in 2006.

I have not been faithful about taking my vitamins like I should.

About a year ago I went to a new dentist. I was shocked at what they found.

Multiple cavities, receding gums, some teeth pain.

I lost my insurance so didn't go to the dentist for several months.

I have a broken tooth with exposed nerves, terrible pain, and after going to the dentist 2 weeks ago I sobbed with devastating news.

I needed to have my teeth pulled and dentures.

I've always had beautiful teeth and now this...

Bad Teeth after Bypass

by: Carrie

I went in the other day for my biannual dental cleaning. My teeth have always been in really good condition - only had a few cavities in my life. I had surgery a little over a year ago and when I went in for my cleaning I found out that I have severe bone loss - my teeth are basically hanging from a thread.

I had x-rays taken a few months ago before my bypass surgery and my bones were good, my gums were in good condition also. Also, I'm speaking as a dental professional - I was an assistant and then a dental office manager for 14 years. I'm only 49 and now in a few weeks I have to go in and have all my teeth extracted and get full upper and lower dentures. Needless to say I'm absolutely devastated.

I weighed 211lbs when I had my surgery and within 7 months I weighed 98lbs. 15 months since my surgery and I still weigh 98lbs. I vomited after everything I ate for almost a year. I can no longer drink dairy or eat any dairy products - I immediately throw it up. I have lost about 60% of my hair and it still continues to fall out on a daily basis. My gallbladder hasn't functioned since 3 months after my surgery and my surgeon doesn't seem to give a crap. My nails have changed too; they are very brittle now.

If you would have told me all these things were going to happen to me after surgery, I would have continued to deal with the pain and the 19 prescription medications a day. I didn't lose weight immediately I was hoping to go on insulin so I thought bypass surgery was the best way to go. I was so, so wrong!!!

Bad teeth

by: Genevieve lamoureux

Since my bypass I have lost 3 of my back teeth because they cracked and my gums are very soft... which sucks! I went from perfect teeth to cavities...they don't get you ready for all the nifty things this surgery can bring you.

Teeth go bye bye

by: Mercy means

OMG, I thought it was just me. My teeth are cracking. I even had to have my front tooth pulled. Dentist said it was dead . So now I'm missing several teeth. I am so embarrassed to to smile. Ugh thanks for confirming what I was thinking.

calcium maybe

by: Susan Millar

It could be a nutritional thing, some vitamin that she's low in (calcium maybe?) that is causing her teeth to decay. People who vomit a lot are bringing that acid into their mouth and that can cause teeth to decay, but post surgery when you regurgitate you are just bringing up what you ate, there are no stomach acids in it to cause that for us.

Bad teeth.

by: Alexandra Taratuchin

My teeth weren't the greatest before surgery, which I had Roux-En-Y 15 years ago. I lost a great deal of weight, though was never able to loose all the weight and over time gained about 60lb back.

Anyway, my teeth are currently in bad shape, most of my bottom molars are gone a year ago (one tooth on each side) so I am unable to properly chew my food. I had an endoscopy back in April due to chest pain where cardiac issues were ruled out. The surgery site looks great but turned out I have 2 ulcers in my stomach, a small hiatal hernia, acid reflux, narrowing of the lower esophagus and esophageal spasms (feels like what I imagine a heart attack feels like). Been on Omeprazole to try to heal the ulcers and I have a repeat endoscopy coming up in Feb. to check on progress. Now I'm having severe painful intestinal gas bloating, frequent nausea, along with the reflux and spasms I had already been having. So, I will also be having a colonoscopy at the same time to see about the intestinal troubles, which my sister says sounds like IBS; I pray it's not cancer or anything.

Back to the teeth, I had been using the back of my top front teeth to try to "chew" my food or try to position my food on the one molar to chew (pretty futile), but now those front teeth are decaying so badly with one tooth in really bad shape and pain when I bite (I am now avoiding using my incisors as a result). Now that I can't use my incisors to chew, just that one molar, I'm swallowing poorly chewed food. I wonder if this is the cause of my painful gas and bloating.

I understand that many of you are ashamed and disappointed to be getting dentures; I'm kind of ashamed myself. But honestly, because of my severe dental phobia and all the teeth problems I've been having, I just want to be done with it and get dentures (partial since some teeth are in OK shape) so I can chew my food again.

So this is my story. I don't regret my surgery as I would have never been able to have my 4 kids due to infertility before surgery. But if the surgery somehow did something bad to my body that will shorten my life and I might now dying and don't know it yet. I've also developed hypochondria, no joke. ?

WLS and teeth

by: Janice Scott

Gastric band op 2010 - six years later lost six stone and nearly as many teeth - never missed taking multivitamins and have always followed a high protein diet - my dentist said "what the hell have you done to your teeth?" - so relieved to find others suffering - never miss an appt and have always been proud of my smile - looks like I'll have to be thin with no teeth ...

So. Now What?

by: WA

My husband (age 49) is having the same exact experience 7 years post-surgery. Perfect teeth before. It wasn't until the last 2-3 years his teeth started to change dramatically. (He's been taking a full regimen of vitamins daily since surgery so that's not the issue.) It wasn't until his dentist recommended a treatment plan of crowns, root canals, etc., costing up to $20k! That is what prompted him to go online and research tooth decay related to gastric bypass surgery which brought him to this forum!! We were amazed at how many others are experiencing the same "side-effects".

Even if we had $20k, who's to say after having all that work done and wearing fluoride trays at night, that this will prevent further decay/problems? He went for a second opinion today.

This dentist told him that having dentures or dental implants was too drastic a move; that his bone was still good.

He basically recommended the same form of treatment as his regular dentist - crowns, root canals and sleep with fluoride trays in at night. $20k! So the big question is - what to do?! Dental insurance is a joke.

Has anyone had their teeth fixed (ie: dental implants, dentures) by going through their medical insurance? Would appreciate any feedback from those who have had their teeth fixed and by what meaures. Thank you.

Dental care after bariatric surgery

by: Libby

I thought I was a freak of nature or something cause I tried to get some answers from one of the bariatric sites that I'm on and I was told that it has nothing to do with the have no idea how relieved I felt when I saw your post....

You're story is exactly what I am living through too...


Aloha... Your story is exactly what I am living through too...

I am 52 years old. I had GB surgery approx. 7 years ago. It seems like the last 2 years my teeth have been getting weak & chipping. Lost 5 teeth. Broke my front tooth in half recently. It's so embarrassing that I haven't worked in 2 years as a licensed nurse. I'm on workers comp. right now so I don't have dental or medical insurance right now.

I am also noticing problems with my back. Now I have:

--- "low calcium" reading in my blood test
--- "arthritis" in my upper back
--- "Mild scoliosis"
--- I heard a loud "pop" in my lower back while at my nursing job (just by bending forward) and have had lower back pain daily ever since (2 years). Ranges between moderate to severe.

I am sitting at my computer right now to investigate my theory of the GB surgery that may be responsible for these recent problems.

Thank you for listening,

Marcia Dela Pena

Tooth Decay after VSG

by: Victoria L.

I had the Vertical Sleeve back in 2014 and as of last month I had 20 cavities, and was told I needed 1 root canal, 1 crown & 1 molar extracted. I am so stressed out! I am 37 years old and never thought I would be dealing with this! I have had 7 fillings done so far. My insurance already maxed for the year so everything is now out of pocket. I'm a single mother with very limited income. My front tooth has a huge brown hole on the back of it & I can see a new hole appearing on one of my bottom teeth. I'm getting labs done & my vitamin levels have been perfect. My Dentist thinks it is acid in my saliva.

I'm using prescription PreviDent toothpaste & another paste to sleep with on my teeth at night to try and build enamel.

I have so much anxiety about my teeth that I can't even deal with anything else. I specifically chose the VSG over Gastric Bypass because I didn't want issues with my teeth!! It should have been disclosed to me.

I just pray every night I can prevent further decay, I would rather keep my teeth than have lost the 125lbs I lost.

Loosing one after another

by: Diana Lingenfelter

I had gastric stapling when I weighed 502. I'm now 140 and 5'3". I had very pretty teeth, I did everything right. Then all of a sudden my teeth started crumbling. I was flossing and a part of my tooth came out.

Now at age 50 I am about to go get dentures with 12 teeth left. I’m so ashamed. It used to be my weight I was ashamed of now, I don’t smile. I sure hope there is a rainbow on the other side.

Never Warned About Tooth Loss As A Side Effect

by: Kristi

I had RYGB in December of 2008 and lost 200 pounds total. I was extremely vigilant about taking my vitamins, following the strict diet and getting my blood tested, and going to all follow-up appointments. All of the tests were good and my surgeon and primary care physician were happy with my results.

Two years after the surgery, I had to have my Gallbladder removed which came as a huge shock, shortly followed by an emergency exploratory surgery due to 6 blockages in my intestines found on a CT Scan.

Four years after surgery I got my first ever cavity that was quickly followed by my first ever root canal. I have used a prescription fluoride toothpaste three times a day with fluoride mouthwash at night every day for the past five years with to no avail. I just had ten extractions and have to go back at the end of the month to have the top front six teeth removed and receive a full upper denture. After that heals, I will have to have five more molars removed from the bottom and get a partial lower denture, leaving me with my front lower seven teeth.

This has been so completely devastating. I have a two-year-old son who starts preschool in a couple of months and I am so embarrassed by the state of my mouth. I barely smile anymore without using my hand to cover my mouth and I am in the habit of not speaking clearly just to ensure that my lips cover my teeth at all times.

I did so much research before deciding to have bypass surgery because I was only 24 at the time and this was never listed as a side effect and now I am 33 getting ready to have dentures. The new dentist I am seeing at least believes me and didn’t ask me to tell the truth and just admit to being a drug abuser with poor dental care routines but at this point, it was too late to save my teeth.

Since it is way past too late for me I just want to make sure others don’t go through the same ordeal. For most people, their teeth are just as important as any other prominent facial feature and it can be extremely damaging to your self-esteem and sense of self-worth.

Dental care after surgery

by: Angie

I have had all but 8 of my teeth pulled and had no choice but to go to the "affordable dentures" where I live. It is somewhat affordable but the entire process is oral exam, xrays, remove teeth and temporary dentures to wear while your gums are healing. Finally you are fitted for your permanent dentures and if you need an adjustment you are allowed one.

Mine haven't ever fit correctly, so, I am stuck with them because my insurance does not help much with this problem. I would like to see post surgery dental care be covered with the surgery because the the gastric bypass operations cause your dental problems.

Yes I have dental problems now too

by: Elizabeth

I agree I started having dental problems after I got my lapband surgery 7 years ago. I did not have perfect teeth but none were gone at that point.

Now I have 4 top back teeth gone and 2 back bottom gone. I do not have dental insurance. It is terrible.

RNY in 2001, looking at dentures soon

by: Angie

I had RNY 16 yrs ago.

I was taken to the DDS as a kid always.

Decent teeth.

In my young adult years I couldn't always afford what I should have had done.

I had a bridge replaced 3 times!! All my molars now are crowns.

All had root canals.

In the last 2 yrs my teeth have begun to "crumble" before my eyes.

They Crack and split and fall apart overnight.


I'm currently having horrendous jaw pain which I believe is a septic infection after 2 crowns were done.

I'm back on antibiotics but not helping yet.

Can't get in for another 2 days.

I've also been taking methadone for 4 yrs for chronic pain.

I think that is adding to my teeth issues.

I'm so afraid of having dentures.

I could never afford implants.

My self esteem is so bad...ugh.

I wish I never had this dang surgery

Me, too!

by: Susan

I just had my upper teeth removed and will be getting implanted supported teeth. I will have to have my bottom teeth out as well. I was shocked to see that so many people have had the same problems that I have!!

I've lost almost 100 pounds and I'm thrilled with that, but no one mentioned this to me at all. On top of it, I have Sjogren syndrome, which is dry mouth, and that has contributed to my teeth simply sheering off at the gum line.

I'm sure most of the problem is from the Gastric Bypass, though. I'm fortunate to have dental insurance, but it doesn't cover more than $1,000, so I'm spending my upcoming retirement money trying to fix my teeth. It's very discouraging, very expensive, and very depressing, but I am very glad I had the bypass anyway.

Me too...

by: Randa Slater

I have a total of 12 teeth left and at least 2 of them are already causing me problems. In April 2018 when my 2 front teeth broke I showed the dentist the pic from the year before and tearfully asked how this could happen in 1 year? He said the osteoporosis I was diagnosed with last fall is a big problem, as is my vitamin D deficiency. His solution is bone graft so I can get 2 implants and be fitted for dentures. Beyond the expense of the bone graftS and dentures he said my jaw bone won't support implants at this time.

I'm seeing an endocrinologist in July to discuss treatment and life with osteoporosis at 42. I'm hoping I'll be able to get my medical insurance to pay for the grafts, implants, and possibly the dentures as its medically necessary for my health/ability to eat. Plus, at least the necessity of the bone grafts is directly related to the osteoporosis.

I had duodenal switch in March 2004,so I'm 14 years post op. My weight at surgery was 245lbs (5'2) and today I'm stable for 6+ years at 120lbs. So it is nice being skinny. Yes, I avoided some very real and serious health problems by losing the weight at a young age. However, I'm now embarrassingly tooth less, with 80 year old bones, and who knows what else beneath the surface. I will admit I was very lax with my supplements because I felt great, so it wasn't a big deal... Until it SO IS A HUGE DEAL.

I commented on this post because until 3 or 4 months ago I didn't attribute my dental problems to the surgery. I wish this is talked about more.

Oh my... I’m so glad I found this

by: Paul

So, I’ve always had good teeth. Even when my diet was bad and I weighed 370 pounds, my teeth were fine and I’d only had 2 wisdom teeth removed in my life. Fast forward 2 and a half years since I had.

Gastric sleevectomy and wow, my teeth are absolutely shocking. There’s nothing worse than going to the dentist and him telling you “well you mustn’t be brushing them as well” I’m sorry are people really that stupid not to understand that PH, vital minerals and nutrition has drastically changed and as a result my teeth are falling out??

I’ve had 7 teeth removed, went to the dentist in October last year... and this past month I’ve requiree 17 different fillings on my teeth, with up to 3 on one tooth! That’s 17 cavities in the space of 8 months! And that’s normal is it??

Tonight I was eating a biscuit and bits broke off two of my teeth. It’s embarrassing and I used to have a lovely smile, now I struggle to chew stuff in fear of them falling apart. Anyone found a solution to this problem? It’s getting me down :/

Dental health

by: Dena

I had my gastric bypass in 2001 and I Only have 2 back teeth. One of which is an implant. My front teeth are very fragile and breaking as well.

Before my surgery I only had 1 tiny filling in a rear tooth that I’ve had since I got my braces off when I was 17 years old. I had beautiful teeth and now I hate my smile.

A possible answer

by: Liz FS

Hi guys. I hope this finds everyone as well as can be.

I had thought my sudden dental problems were due to the chemo they used (“Red Death”), but my new doctors think the excess reflux caused by losing my entire stomach to cancer may be the answer. I wake up coughing several times a night because my mouth is full of digestive acids, and they think my teeth are essentially bathing in it overnight. They think it dissolved the enamel, and weakend the teeth to the point of breaking and tooth loss.

It might be something to mention to your dentist, if you have reflux problems.

Also, if you need help rebuilding the mouth, it’s much more affordable at a dental college. USC has a dental school that’s taking out what’s left of my natural teeth, restructuring the bone and putting in implants (top and bottom) for a good $20k less than I’d pay retail. I know, I went to three other places first to get estimates.

Good luck all.


Bad teeth here too

by: Sussie Sutton

I too have had a many and worse issues with my teeth since my weight loss surgery. My teeth were never good but my goodness... now I have way too many cavities.

Seven at one time! My teeth crack, flake off, or break off entirely. It's just crazy. Just the same I still would have had the surgery; better alive with no teeth then dead with a set of pearly whites. I just wish my doctor had informed me about this side effect.

I'm more than vindicated but sadly sceptical...

by: Gleeta Austin

I had the Gastric bypass surgery in June of 2005 at 25 years old. I was over 350 & counting.

I haven't been the heavy kid growing up. I'd say I had developed faster than most in the right places. Till I got to high school 9th grade I wore a size 18 by the 12Th I'd gotten to a staggering 28 dress size and was devastated. I deleted and dished doctors gyms, clinics, pills, hydroxycut, Dexitrim hit the market and nothing but death happened around the world.

Lost 2sizes for prom and gained it back in my mind the next day! Lol! But it was more like in a month I'd gained back so I is what 5 months of work too to lose and in more than the half the time.

Skipping ahead 3 years I'm 20 married and pregnant 2 more years I'm a divorced single mom in a New State and as depressed as it gets!
I had the LAPAROSCOPIC Surgery Gastric bypass (RXY) in Richmond VA 2005. Within Skippy 2 years I'm confidently comfy at a size 12!!!

And get diagnosed with thyroid cancer. And that's when I feel like Gleeta Austin Passed away. My Life has never been the same.

It's now 2018 I have about approximately 9 total teeth in my mouth and can't get a dentist to understand this is more than cosmetic for me! If I can't chew food with the one bottom tooth that only has two cracked teeth over it I'm in more than baby food trouble! I can't pull all my teeth and live having this bypass at 38! I'm so sorry to say I'm desperately trying to live! I'm a Virginia State Cosmetology Licensed Beautician, in the beauty world I can't even land a job in my field with no teeth. So many opportunities I've been passed up and looked at crazy because of my teeth.

The industry of beauty toothless didn't fit that image at all; its a requirement. So think about it I am already going thru it all now what......

I can only say I hope God Lead me to this page this website with all of these people who are just like me for a reason. I'm out of options and trying to hold on by 9 teeth or I'll most likely die unheard of.

GLEETA AUSTIN (804)312-4588 my direct cellphone number please I hope someone can help my situation that can relate and or care.

Major dental problems.

by: Naomi

I had RNY surgery in 2008. Pre-surgery I had one cavity my entire life.

I took great pride in my oral care. About three years ago I had gone in for a routine exam and the x-rays showed 27 cavities! This started a two year stent of aggressive treatments of root canals, caps, crowns all to no avail. My dentist said she had never seen oral deterioration like it before.

She stated that the erosion resembles that of a bulimic but all throughout the mouth instead of concentrated to the front teeth. I dealt with brittle and broken teeth and about a year ago I started the process of extracting all the remaining teeth in preparation for dentures. I will be getting the remaining front teeth removed and my temporary dentures in exactly 11 days.

I am 42 years old and am looking forward to smiling again. For all the others out there going through the same thing, please always remember there is nothing you did wrong in your dental care. This is a great unfortunate long term side effect of our life saving procedure. I have never regretted having the WLS and never will. And if anyone is reading this who is considering the surgery do not let this deter you. Teeth can be replaced, you cannot be.

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