Your Eating Disorder and Teeth Erosion – Can You Lessen the Damage?
At least 10 million people in the United States suffer from eating disorders like binge eating, anorexia, and bulimia. These illnesses can strike at any age, but they are most common in young females. An eating disorder may arise from physical, mental, or emotional problems, and recovery usually requires intensive medical and psychiatric treatment. In addition to affecting your social life, self-image, and productivity, eating disorders lead to serious medical problems including deteriorating oral health. Addressing the underlying cause of your eating disorder is essential for restoring health, but good oral care practices and professional dental treatment can help mitigate erosion of teeth and other damage in the meantime.
Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating
People who suffer from anorexia are preoccupied with gaining weight or being fat. Although they may be dangerously thin, they still see themselves as overweight. Anorexic behaviors include eating only tiny portions of food or making excuses to refuse meals. Chronic malnourishment, emaciation and erosion of teeth are common. Compulsive overeating, also called binge eating, affects men and women equally. Binge eaters consume large amounts of food in a short time, but do not purge through vomiting or other means. Bulimia victims overeat and purge in a cyclical pattern. Like binge eaters, they consume large amounts of unhealthy foods, but they will rid their bodies of it by deliberately vomiting, taking laxatives or enemas, or engaging in excessive activity to burn calories.
Anorexia and Bulimia Effects on Teeth
To help reduce the tooth and mouth damage caused by your eating disorder, your dentist can offer advice, supportive treatments and lifestyle tips. Meticulous oral hygiene is essential. If you have bulimia, rinsing with baking soda after vomiting can neutralize stomach acid and help prevent tooth erosion. Nutritional supplements may be indicated if you’re anorexic. Anorexia and bulimia effects on teeth can often be avoided with prompt intervention and support, so don’t be afraid to ask for the help you need.
How an Eating Disorder and Teeth Problems Affect Your Oral Health
An eating disorder can affect your oral health in several ways. Poor nutrition causes gums and other mouth tissues to bleed easily. Salivary glands may swell and cause dry mouth. If you are bulimic, you have a greatly increased risk of dental decay and tooth loss due to frequent vomiting. Regurgitated stomach acid is a powerful substance that can cause rapid erosion of teeth, so if you’re vomiting regularly, your eating disorder and teeth problems are indeed probably related.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Westminster, call Dental One Associates of Westminster today at (410) 970-0292 or make an appointment.
Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Westminster. With 12 affiliated practices throughout Maryland, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates of Westminster, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Dental One Associates of Westminster.