Eating Disorders Affecting Oral Health
Do you or does someone close to you have an eating disorder? If so, chances are it’s effecting their oral health in many ways, not to mention other health consequences of eating disorders. Contrary to the popular stigma of eating disorder’s being only a “lady’s problem” that’s far from the truth! Both men and women can suffer from eating disorders of various varieties, and some can be severe or life-threatening. Eating disorders should be reported to professionals to seek help, and your dentist can help improve your oral health if someone you know or love is looking to overcome an eating disorder of their own.
Dental Complications of Eating Disorders:
While it’s no secret that eating disorders can have many complications, many eating disorders are first diagnosed when a patient visits the dentists’ office for a routine visit. Changes in the mouth can be the first present signs of an eating disorder.
A nutritious diet is vital for optimal oral health for both the teeth and gums. People with disorders like anorexia and bulimia often experience severe malnutrition, which can affect their oral health as well as their health as a whole. Poor nutrition can leave the person with mouth sores, swollen salivary glands, and periodontal diseases from a lack of nutrition. Gums and others soft tissues can be bleed more easily. People suffering from eating disorders oftentimes also experience bad breath and dry mouth.
The most dangerous thing about an eating disorder is the constant vomiting that comes with binging and purging food when one suffers from bulimia
. The constant exposure of the teeth and gums to the very strong acid from the stomach can cause tooth discoloration, and after long enough even tooth decay. Once the enamel is worn through cavities can become a persistent problem, and the shape and length of the teeth can also be effected. Teeth may also become more brittle from not having vital nutrients they need and break off or chip more easily as well.
Reducing the Damage to Your Teeth:
As someone you know or love seeks treatment for an eating disorder, there are several things you can do to help lessen the damage to their teeth and oral health during recovery:
Continue to encourage regular brushing (2x+ times per day according to dentists’ instructions) and flossing at least once per day.
Instead of brushing the teeth immediately after purging (vomiting) rinse your mouth with water mixed with a tablespoon of baking soda to help neutralize the acids instead of teeth brushing.
Be open and honest with the dentist and see them on a regular basis.
Your information is private and your dentist cannot talk to anyone about your dental health without your explicit consent according to HIPPA.
Ramona Dental is Here for You:
As your oral healthcare provider Ramona Dental of Chino, California is here for you and your family as you work through your eating disorder. We are here to provide premium dental care for all of your needs. We want to help! No doctor within our practice will pass judgement on you for what you are going through, but will rather extend sympathy and a helping hand to ensure you get through the condition as easily as possible while maintaining your oral health along the way!
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about us visit us here
or call us 909-465-1016.
The Ramona Dentistry Team
“Where Family Comes First”