Can Eating Disorders Affect Your Teeth?

Can Eating Disorders Affect Your Teeth?

People that are battling with eating disorders, expose themselves to many potential dental problems with devastating effects. Such effects could include loosing of your teeth, gum problems and erosion of the enamel as a result of teeth being bathed in stomach acid. Another effect is your enamel will be worn out and in some cases your teeth will even appear black. In addition, people with eating disorders lack necessary nutrients which can result in osteoporosis, weakening of the bones in the jaw that support your teeth and can lead to tooth loss. More so, they will have jagged edges on the top teeth surfaces, causing lower teeth to hit wrong “places” because of altered biting direction. Many people suffer from bleeding gums and burning of the tongue, dry mouth due to decrease in saliva flow and swollen glands. All these problems are caused by a variety of eating disorders.

At the same time, there are also effects on the mouth, throat and gums as well. These unsightly manifestations of unhealthy oral condition should be helped immediately by treating the eating disorder. More so, a dentist’s intervention should take place to save the damaged areas of the mouth. Professional help is given when the dentist knows the person’s background, particularly with eating disorders, so it’s important to be honest about it. Pretty soon, the dentist will recommend proper treatments and preventative measures to be taken.

Constantly brushing your teeth from vomiting with harsh toothpastes will cause more damage as it accelerates the erosion of the surface of the enamel. Rinsing the mouth thoroughly with milk or water is advisable before drinking or eating anything acidic. This will enable the saliva to have a neutralizing effect on the stomach acid.

Eating disorders are on the rise nowadays. There are two main kinds of eating disorders, anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Attributed to arise for fear of gaining weight or taking in food in general, people with anorexia nervosa are easily identified with sunken body mass. They usually look very pale, have loose skin and, yes, bad dental condition. Not only do they deprive their body of nutrients, doing so contributes to the reduction of saliva production, an essential process which cleans our teeth. With dry mouth, cracked lips and bad teeth, people with anorexia nervosa need the best intervention to save their body and oral health. With bulimia, a person with this disorder usually goes on a food binge before using various methods to purge the food that has been eaten. Bulimics sufferers are at risk for tooth decay, tooth loss and gum disease that result from frequent vomiting due to gastric acid which corrodes the enamel of the teeth. Tooth erosion is hastened if there is frequent vomiting.

Changes in the mouth are often the physical signs of eating disorders. Thus dentist can often tell if a patient is suffering from an eating disorder, from the condition of the teeth. Regular visit to the dentists would help to prevent further damaged to eroded teeth. Some solutions such as crowns, composite bonding or veneers might be recommended to protect the enamel of the teeth from further wear and tear.

Although it may be embarrassing going to the dentist regularly it is very important that you do so. Try to be honest with them so they can help you save your teeth. Plan to go for a checkup at least every six months and more often if you are bingeing and vomiting vey frequent or have bleeding gums.


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