Health & FitHere’s Why Gypsy Rose Blanchard Needed To Get All Of Her Teeth Extracted
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- In the second epsiode of Hulu's new show, The Act, based on the true story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard, Gypsy has to get her teeth extracted.
- According to the American Dental Association, dental extractions occur when the teeth are severely decayed, damaged, or diseased.
- It's unclear why Gypsy's teeth decayed, but it's likely a combination of poor dental hygiene, malnutrition, and the many unnecessary medications she was taking.
Hulu's newest show The Act premiered Wednesday night, and people already can't stop talking about it (the show is based on true events, after all).
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There are several psychological factors that could contribute to someone faking a condition as serious as cancer. The Mental Health Disorder That’s Based on Lies © Brownie Harris/Hulu Patricia Arquette and Joey King star as Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose Blanchard in “The Act,” which is based on a true story. Dee Dee Blanchard was thought to have Munchausen by proxy syndrome, a type of factitious disorder. Although uncommon, factitious disorder has been reported around the world. “Factitious disorder itself is estimated to be present in 1 percent of people who are hospitalized in general hospitals,” Feldman said.
The Act follows the story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard and her mother, Dee Dee, who was murdered by Gypsy Rose's boyfriend in 2015. Gypsy Rose suffered from years of physical and mental abuse from Dee Dee, in which Dee Dee raised Gypsy as if she had many serious illnesses, though Gypsy was perfectly healthy.
In the second episode (aptly named "Teeth") of The Act'stwo-episode premiere, Gypsy's dental issues come into play. During a visit with her usual doctor, Dee Dee says Gypsy's teeth are like "swiss cheese," and believes it's because of an underlying condition like acid reflux.
Whatever the case, Gypsy's new doctor, Dr. Lakshmi Chandra, suggests she has her rotting teeth removed-so that's exactly what happens. The issue? Gypsy isn't totally aware of the teeth-removal until the anesthesia for the procedure starts to kick in. That's when (understandably) panic sets in.
Gypsy Rose’s Heartbreaking Story Sheds Light on Munchausen by Proxy
Here’s what you should know about their story and how Hulu’s portrayal sheds light on the heartbreaking consequences of this rare, but very real, form of child abuse. Who are Gypsy Rose and Dee Dee Blanchard? Gypsy Rose seemed to suffer from a range of illnesses, spent her life in a wheelchair, was in and out of hospitals, and took many medications, according to an investigative piece on the family published by Buzzfeed News, which caused their story to go viral. The strangest part? Gypsy Rose was actually healthy. Her mother Dee Dee apparently spent years abusing her.
The show cuts to Gypsy waking up from the procedure, her mouth bloodied and bruised-and completely toothless. To make matters worse, Gypsy must later be honored at a Child Of The Year ceremony (later, Dee Dee surprises Gypsy with a new set of teeth, just moments before she was supposed to go on stage).
Take a step back...why would Gypsy need a teeth extraction?
So, a tooth extraction is essentially just having your tooth pulled. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), teeth will sometimes need to be removed because of decay, disease, or trauma.
In Gypsy's case, her teeth were severely decayed. But, according to a 2016 BuzzFeed investigation on the true story, it's unclear whether Gypsy's teeth were rotting because of poor dental hygiene, malnutrition, or the medications she didn't need-or a combination of all three.
Let's break those reasons down a little more: As far as poor dental hygiene goes, Gypsy's teeth were noticeably decayed. When Dr. Chandra suggested Gypsy's regular dentist should've caught her tooth issues long ago, Dee Dee agrees, but also says she hasn't been able to book an appointment, so we have no idea how long it had been since Gypsy actually saw a dentist.
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As for malnutrition, well, Gypsy spent years being fed through a feeding tube in her stomach-she was still being fed that way in 2009, at the time of her teeth extraction, when Gypsy was 18 years old. When asked by Dr. Chandra if she takes any food orally, Dee Dee says, "barely anything-just enough to get a taste." Gypsy also chimes in and says she actually eats "maybe 20 percent" of her food.
And for medications she didn't need, well, there was a laundry list of them. According to an interview with Dr. Phil in 2017, Gypsy was prescribed a medication called Tegretol for epilepsy, which Gypsy says caused her "teeth to crumble." Along with her incorrectly diagnosed epilepsy, Gypsy was also falsely diagnosed with chromosomal defects, muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, severe asthma, sleep apnea, eye problems, and even leukemia as a toddler.
Clearly, Gypsy went through far more than any person should have to endure-and her teeth extraction only added to the years of pain she went through.
Why Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy Is Having a Moment on TV.
Shows like "The Act" and "Sharp Objects" have turned to this disorder for drama, and one professor says that it coincides with the rise of anxieties surrounding motherhood. The concept of “intensive mothering,” in which the mother, held primarily responsible for child-rearing, adheres to a lifestyle that totally revolves around the child, has taken root even as more and more women join the workforce, she says. Developed by the sociologist Sharon Hays, the “intensive mothering” ideology puts extra pressure on working mothers to maintain unrealistic standards of parenting.
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