Help - my daughter with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) has pulled out 9 teeth in 3 months...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Stacie, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. Stacie

    Stacie New Member

    I saw an older thread on this but wondered if there was new information or treatment options. My dev delayed daughter has what appears to be Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). When she was younger this seemed to manifest in repetition - things that were a pattern had to remain a pattern (always sitting in the same chair or car seat, getting out of the bathtub in the same order, etc.). She also began some picking behaviors that we attributed to sensory processing disorder (SPD) - she couldn't and still can't stand to have skin sticking up, any fingernails growing past her fingers, scabs, etc. She has picked at eyebrows, bit her fingernails to bleeding and pulled out uneven toe nails (I mean completely exposing the nail bed). She was diagnosed at 5 with seizure disorder, went on Lamictal and had immense relief from these behaviors, although not completely gone.

    Fast forward to 9 1/2... she is at the very beginning of hormone stuff, the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is back in full force, she is pulling out hair in nether regions, and now is also pulling her teeth out. So far these are baby teeth, but she has yanked 9 of them that were not loose to the touch, 3 of which had roots on them (dentist confirms they likely would have been a year or more from now). We think she feels the pressure of the adult tooth much earlier than other kids and then hyperfocuses on getting it out of her mouth quick. She also has incredibly high pain tolerance and seems to be phased out while this is occurring. They bleed a ton, but she doesn't care. Psychiatrist started her on Luvox at the beginning of the summer with poor processing speeds as a result, so we changed to Prozac in July - 6 weeks later the dosage has been stair stepped up. We are aren't seeing much if any improvement and just in the last two days she pulled 2 more of the teeth. I have no idea how she even gets a grip on the teeth - she has no finger nails because of how she has them all bitten down. I have no idea what will happen when she runs out of baby teeth...

    She was focused on the tooth fairy but the pediatrician wrote a note to the TF today telling her she wasn't allowed to leave presents or money anymore if my daughter pulls her own teeth out...

    Any thoughts?
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Stacie, wow. While my son does have anxiety issues and some ritualistic thinking, I've absolutely no experience or suggestions for you. Sounds like the doctor is trying different things so I imagine you all are on the road -- I know that CBtherapy along with medications often makes a positive difference for adults, but I've not heard of a child that pulls their teeth out - root and all.

    I welcome you here and hope someone others come along with words of wisdom/suggestions. You've come to the right place.

    Welcome to

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm not going to try to guess all that is going on, but I would tell her the truth about the Tooth Fairy and that she won't get money if she pulled her tooth. I know she does it because she is ill, but maybe she won't do it as often.

    I'm so sorry you are going through this or that we can't be of more help. It does sound like she has sensory issues and probably some spectrum form in there, but the other stuff...never dealt with it. ((((Hugs)))).
  4. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I would take her to a place that specializes in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) treatment and get their opinion. There is a place in my city that does intensive CBT/ERP therapy on an outpatient basis. Sometimes people come from out of town to do it. I took my daughter there and got good results. She was not doing anything like pulling her teeth out though. I would look in your area for a similar place and then think about going out of town if you have to.

    The place I went to involves the family. I think that is appropriate at that age and I was definitely more comfortable with it being outpatient. My daughter had it for 3 long days and then did a few hours a few times a week. People who come from out of town probably stay longer and do it 5 days a week for a few weeks, then go home and do it on their own.
  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and welcome!

    My daughter had some of these same behaviors (including the teeth pulling - also eyelashes, eyebrows, hair, nail-biting). I notice that when difficult child has no other "outlet" - these behaviors compound and increase.

    My advice would be to get her involved with a high-energy (but non-competitive) type of activity. Kickboxing, for example, or spin classes. She needs some major stimulation to help relieve stress and get the endomorphines cranking in her brain. This should help relieve the need to pick and pull.

    I also second the recommendation to find a specialist who deals with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and compulsive picking/pulling.
  6. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    difficult child 2 pulls hisnown teeth out. He gets a loose tooth and that falls out. Then he just keeps wiggling teeth until he gets more out. He also picks at his skin until he has open sores and he won't let them heal.

    The psychiatrist put him on Risperdal and it stopped it. The autism therapist also had the idea of getting him to focus on something else, so she made him a sensory vest. It fits snuggly and has different things attached to it that he can play with to keep his hands busy. The vest worked about 2 days. Its the medications that stopped it.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I second the advice for intense help with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) including plucking/pulling (trichotillomania and similar issues). I also question the use of prozac. I am totally NOT against it, in fact it is the only antidepressant that works for me. The problem is that luvox is a more powerful cousin of prozac and if luvox created problems, maybe another ssri/snri antidepressant would be a better choice.

    Is she still on lamictal? If not, is she on another similar medication? many antiseizure medications are also mood stabilizers and can be crucial to treating those with bipolar. I don't know if your daughter is bipolar, but I would not want her without a seizure medication that works as a mood stabilizer if it is possible for it to help. Given how much lamictal helped, I owuld seek out another similar md to use with the antidepressant if it were my child. I firmly believe that if one medication causes problems, you don't go get a cousin to try. You choose a medication of the same class that is not closely related to the one that caused the problems. Yes, docs have argued, but when you get down the the basic chemistry, I make sense and they end up agreeing. Some are just smart enough to do it sooner.I would not argue this with-o a solid knowledge of the chemistry that is gained from research AND speaking with people I know who are either chemists or pharmacists with phd level educations in how medications are synthesized and used by the body. Luckily I know some very good people in this field and have been able to absorb and understand a lot of this stuff.

    I also strongly suggest finding an occupational therapist to start brushing therapy and some intensive sensory diet activities. You may find help with the books The Out of Sync Child and The Out of Sync Child Has Fun. Activities like spin classes etc... are also probably crucial. A pediatric dentist is also likely going to be crucial.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Great ideas here.
    I am so sorry you and she are going through this.
    I like the way your pediatrician thinks! That note is a good idea.
    I don't think the Prozac is working. I agree, I'd try an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) specialist, and work with-a psychiatrist, and get a different medication.
    And exercise/sports are a good idea.
    My son doesn't scrub his nails with-a nailbrush; he cuts then to the quick, and digs with-the other end of the clippers to get any dirt out. By the time he finishes, he's actually fishing out dried blood. :( I have a sense of how you feel, but your daughter is more deeply affected.
    Best of luck.