Weigh-Ins are on MONDAYS - Updated July 3, 2017

Surgery Date: October 20, 2009:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Are You Bulimic?

"No." I responded.

"Hmmm...you have a lot of enamel erosion on your front teeth...are you sure you're not vomiting a lot?" the dental hygenist asked.

"Yes, I'm sure." I said.

"Do you suck on lemons or have acid reflux?" She asked.

"Nope, neither" I said.

She has a look on her face like she didn't believe me.

I welcome you to the conversation that started off my recent dentist appointment.

After the excitement that was my teeth getting cleaned, the dentist came into the room. I opened my mouth wide for her to do the annual exam.

Now it was her turn to ask:

"Are you bulimic?" She questioned.

"No, I'm not.  You guys are kinda freaking me out now.  Are my teeth really that bad?  You just saw me about a year ago and there was no mention of this.  What do you think could be causing the enamel erosion?" I asked.

She rambles off all kinds of things...acid reflux, rinsing my mouth with vinegar (ewww...who does that?), chewing on lemons/limes, excessive vomitting, etc.

WTF. I don't do/have ANY of those things. I thought quietly in my head.

Then I thought about what is something that is pretty much ALWAYS in my mouth and with me pretty much 24/7.

Sugar-free drinks!

It's no secret that I am a Powerade Zero and Crystal Light junkie.

I have six to eight packets of that powdered stuff and two 32 oz Powerades Zeroes EVERY DAY.

And what is the main ingredient (other than water) in all of those beverages?



I asked the dentist whether she thought it could be the citric acid and she said she wasn't sure, but that could maybe be the cause. Thank you Dr. Helpful.

So I left the dentist office with my prescription flouride toothpaste, drove home, and immediately Googled the crap outta the topic of "Dental erosion and Crystal Light." 

And guess what?  This topic is ALL OVER the interwebs. 

I even found bunches of forum posts on LapBandTalk.com and Obesityhelp.com about others who have had the same issues with sugar free beverages rotting their teeth.

I went to my kitchen cupboards and started reading the labels on my Propel, Crystal Light, and beloved Powerade Zero: citric acid....EVERYWHERE.

So, guess what I've been drinking for about four days now?  Yep, plain water.

And let me tell ya, detoxing off of those sugar free drinks is NO JOKE.  The headaches remind me of when I gave up coffee for awhile. Craptastic. I've been pretty grouchy too.

But I still wonder...could I have severe acid reflux (enough to rot my teeth) and not even know it?

If you work in the dental field, please let me know your thoughts on excessive amounts of citric acid from sugar free drinks.  Pretty please?


  1. Crazy! It will be interesting to see what you find out.

  2. When I went in for a dental cleaning last year, I had the same question asked of me. I'm not bulimic, by any stretch of the imagination, but my frequent teeth whitening treatments (both Zoom and fitted at home treatments with dentist issued cleaning agents, have helped to erode the enamel of my teeth. Sort of a catch 22. I'm a smoker and a tea drinker, so I have to whiten, yet whitening wears away at my enamel. Damned if I do, damned if I don't. I didn't take offense when they asked, because bulimia is the #1 cause of enamel loss, though.

  3. If you had acid reflux you WOULD know it for sure. Ever burped up in your mouth before...that nasty stomach acid flavor, THAT'S Acid reflux and if it's enough to bother your teeth you would know it! I bet you're right on with the SF drinks thing. That will be a big bummer for you. I can't take the flavor of them anyway, but I drink a lot of coffee, a lot of water (plain) and a lot of iced tea (plain). My other thought was if you are getting enough vitamins to keep the teeth healthy, I don't know if that has anything to do with it, but I know bariatric patients have a hard time getting enough vitamins and minerals.

  4. Oh and let me say that in NORMAL use, whitening agents do not simply wear away enamel. Over use of whiteners (because I wanted to have a white, white smile, was what led to my problems with enamel wear.

  5. oh goodness, I am sorry to hear that about your teeth, I will limit the amount of crystal light I drink I dont wanna be a toothless skinny person , is there anything they can do to help you?, I think once enamal is gone its gone but maybe they can seal them or something? oh hey and check out my new blog, I have never blogged b-4 so if you can give me any tips that would be a help, you know what, goodness you must get soooo tired of people asking you for tips on things so forget it no tips needed lol but feel free to check it out lol http://bsbandedmama.blogspot.com/

  6. Wow, it's amazing you think you are being healthy and doing the right thing then BAM! It's hard to trust anything anymore! I'm trying my hardest to just drink good ole fashioned water !

  7. I think the skydiving episode caused it----lol!

  8. As a Dental Hygienist I am amazed at how misled folks are about Sugar Free beverages. Dental professionals have spent so much time preaching about how terrible sugar is that many have forgotten to explain that the alternatives aren't much better (at least as it relates to oral health). You have inspired me to write a post on ways to minimize acid erosion!!

  9. That's scary, if that stuff can eat the enamel off your teeth, what must it do to your insides? Wow! I just drink water, coffee and wine of course!

  10. Wow! Super interesting! Thats crazy batshit stuff tho! Way to go on the water tho!

  11. Damnit. I love my Crystal Lite... and now I'm scared to drink it! :(

  12. Yikes-- did the dentist give you a solution to improve the enamel? I used a toothpaste called "Pronamel" to protect my teeth (I have cold/ hot sensitivity.)
    Glad you found my blog, you're my continual band hero- so am I am glad you are reading my progress and glad to have you as a friend.

  13. Wow that's insane. When I stopped drinking coke I used "sassy" water (fresh lemon, ginger, cucumber and peppermint leaves) to help curb my craving for something other than plan water.

  14. I don't know, but all of that citric acid based stuff hurts my stomach if I use too much of it. I use a tiny squirt of Mio or 1/2 packet of the Crystal Light natural (the one without aspartame) in my water...it still has citric acid in it but I don't use much and it doesn't seem to make me have heartburn. I like the peach tea and the lemonade flavors of Mio...knowing your tastes, you'd probably love the berry pomegranate.

  15. Although I don't do it too often, I do love me some Crystal Light fruit punch (The Great Value brand at Walmart is even better than C. Light). What I noticed is that I add more water to it because it is too strong for me. It lasts longer ... best choice? nah. but I try to make the best of it when I do drink it.

  16. I have acid reflux and I am pretty sure you would know if you have it too! It hurts! I worry about my enamel erosion because it has always been bad! Now i need to worry more cos i am a soft food junkie too!

  17. I gave up the Crystal Light about 6 months ago, but this is making me re-think those "few" SF sodas I have

  18. who knew? but seriously...who starts out with "are you bulimic" why not lead off with the lemon drinks first?

  19. It might be against band rules, but wouldn't drinking it with a straw help? Then it wouldn't have as much contact with your teeth. Maybe? Maybe?

    I drink a lot too, and have never been asked that. Although, I think they could look at me and clearly tell I'm not bulimic!

  20. WOW...are you bulimic? That's kinda personal isn't it? People now days....I go to the dentist and tell them I have "bulimia teeth" upfront though and then explain that I had Lap Band and my Acid Reflux is off the charts.....but I still think that was a bit uncalled for....They could have asked if you had any medical conditions that could contribute to the erosion of your teeth? BUT not everyone thinks before they speak!
    I prob would have had to be a smarty pants and say, why yes, you want to see my projectile vomiting skills!! LOL