Eating Disorders, Tooth Loss, and Erosion of Teeth
If you’re one of the millions of women and men who struggle with an eating disorder, you face serious medical and dental risks. Anorexia and bulimia, two common and dangerous eating disorders, can rob you of your health, your social life, and even your smile. When you have bulimia, you typically binge on large amounts of food and later purge by vomiting. If you’re anorexic, you live on a severely restricted diet that never provides the appropriate nutrients needed to ensure health. You may have a distorted perception of your own body; you may believe that you’re fat despite being thin. Both anorexia and bulimia deprive you of essential nutrients; they damage practically every part of your body, including your teeth.
Anorexia and Bulimia Effects on Teeth
Your tooth enamel is consistently exposed to regurgitated stomach acids if you vomit frequently, causing rapid erosion of teeth. Consistent vomiting can also alter tooth length color, and shape. Nutritional deficiencies associated with anorexia can cause osteoporosis, which weakens the bones that support your teeth and causes tooth loss. Eating disorders also cause swelling of salivary glands and mouth tenderness. If these symptoms occurred soon after the onset of your illness, your eating disorder and teeth problems are likely related.
An Eating Disorder and Teeth: Symptoms and Signs
Anorexia and bulimia effects on teeth include the following telltale signs and symptoms that your dentist can easily detect:
- Sore throat
- Erosion of teeth
- Dry mouth or dry, cracked lips
- Mouth sores or tenderness
- Sensitive teeth
Dealing with both your eating disorder and teeth problems is essential, but it’s better to wait until you have recovered from your anorexia or bulimia before getting any permanent tooth restorations. While you are recovering, you can diminish tooth damage and further erosion of teeth by following these recommendations:
- Never brush your teeth immediately after vomiting. Instead, rinse your mouth with plain water or a water and baking soda solution to help neutralize stomach acids and minimize erosion of teeth.
- If your teeth are already in a weakened state, ask your dentist about temporary protective appliances such as mouth guards.
- Discuss with your doctor ways to improve bone strength and nutrition.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in South Bend, call The Dental Center of South Bend today at (574) 367-7000 or make an appointment.
The Dental Center offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in South Bend. With 4 affiliated practices throughout Indiana, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At The Dental Center of South Bend, 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 The Dental Center of South Bend.