Emmerdales Gemma Oaten forced to have ‘all her top teeth removed’ after battling bulimia

Gemma Oaten opens up on her eating disorder struggles

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Gemma Oaten is having “major dental surgery” after her battle with bulimia and anorexia caused serious damage to her teeth. The Emmerdale star said she will be taking a break from social media in order to recover from the procedure, which involves getting “all her top teeth removed”. 

Gemma, 38, has become focused on her health as she bravely opened up about her “devastating mental illness” ahead of getting the teeth extracted. 

Back in April, the actress nearly died after being rushed to hospital with kidney “distress”.

Gemma was diagnosed with milk-alkali syndrome, which can be caused by the excessive intake of calcium or the supplement calcium carbonate.

She bravely appeared on Lorraine earlier this week, where she opened up to Carol Vorderman about her near-death experience. 

Following her chat with Carol, Gemma shared an update with her fans via Instagram. 

She told her 25,500 followers: “Thank you once again for the incredible support today. I’m truly overwhelmed.

“For anyone who didn’t see my interview on #lorraine this morning, here it is.

“I’m at a loss for words as to how grateful I am for the response,” she added.


“I am signing off for a while as I go in for major dental surgery tomorrow morning.

 “Another long term effect of my past catching up on me as I have to have all of my top teeth extracted due to the damage caused by the anorexia and bulimia.”

According to the NHS, one of the many health risks of bulimia is that stomach acid from persistent vomiting can damage tooth enamel.

 Gemma continued: “There is nothing glamorous about this devastating mental health illness, and there must be more done to help support those who desperately need help before it’s too late.

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“Early intervention is key. There is no shame and we must break the stigma.

“I’ll keep fighting for change. But for now please know you are never alone and if you need help please reach out to us @seedsupportuk

“I am in the safest of hands tomorrow with @drharrydavis a dentist who finally has given me the care and understanding I craved and needed all those years ago.

Praising her dentist, she signed off: “Thank you Harry. I pray there will be more and more like you out there.

“Take great care all and see you on the other side.”

Gemma’s condition – milk-alkali syndrome – can be caused by the excessive intake of calcium or the supplement calcium carbonate, which causes heightened levels in the patient’s blood, making its balance become more alkaline. 

The actress, who is famed for playing Rachel Breckle on Emmerdale, admitted on Lorraine that she used to take Rennie tablets for her acid reflux every day when she was recovering from her disorder, which led to the condition. 

Lorraine returns tomorrow at 9am on ITV. 

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