Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Effect of Eating Disorders on Your Oral Health

Bulimia and Anorexia are eating disorders that can lead to many physical problems, including dental pain, discomfort and erosion of the teeth and gums. It is estimated that nearly 90% of Bulimic patients have signs of tooth erosion due to purging (vomiting). 
Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder that harms your overall health and can be particularly destructive to teeth. The digestive system contains strong acids that break down food. When vomiting is used to purge food from the body, these acids attack tooth enamel, leaving them vulnerable to pain and sensitivity, cavities and cracks.. Vomiting often can severely erode tooth enamel and over time, teeth will become sensitive to hot or cold, and become worn and translucent.
Anorexia Nervosa is a disorder in the same category as Bulimia.  It also causes overall deterioration of the body and adversely effects the mouth and teeth due to malnutrition and vitamin deficiency. This can cause lesions to form on the surface of the teeth, periodontal disease, mouth sores, enlargement of the salivary glands, dry mouth and redness or dryness of the lips. 
If you or a loved one shows signs of poor oral health because of an eating disorder, contact a dentist as soon as possible and seek help for the condition.  The sooner one begins treatment, the better.  When it comes to your oral health, prevention can go a long way toward preserving the teeth and gums until your eating disorder is under control.
Keep Smiling! 


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