Bulimia Effects on Teeth Can Ruin Your Smile
Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are two relatively common eating disorders that affect both your general health and your dental health. Eating disorders affect more women than men, but anyone can become a victim. People with bulimia nervosa eat excessive amounts of food and later purge through self-induced vomiting or laxative use. Those with anorexia nervosa are obsessed with becoming overweight and often believe that they are obese despite being extremely thin. Anorexic individuals starve themselves through restrictive diets and may vomit after eating. Both disorders cause nutritional deficiencies that affect metabolism, major organs, and muscles; dental health problems often manifest even before other obvious signs of disease.
Harmful Anorexia and Bulimia Effects on Teeth
When you vomit frequently, your tooth enamel is consistently exposed to regurgitated stomach acids; these powerful acids cause rapid erosion of teeth. In addition to wearing away your tooth enamel, frequent vomiting can change the color, shape, and length of your teeth. 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.
Dental and Oral Symptoms of Eating Disorders
Anorexia and bulimia effects on teeth include the following signs and symptoms your dentist can recognize easily.
- Progressive erosion of teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
- Cracked, dry lips or dry mouth
- Mouth sores or tenderness
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
Preventing Further Damage During Recovery
It’s important to address both your eating disorder and teeth problems, but it’s best to wait until you have recovered from your anorexia or bulimia before any permanent tooth restorations are performed. However, while you are recovering, you can diminish erosion of teeth and other damage by observing the following suggestions:
- Wait at least an hour after vomiting to brush your teeth. Instead of brushing immediately, rinse your mouth with plain water or a water and baking soda solution to help neutralize stomach acids.
- Ask your dentist about temporary appliances such as mouth guards to prevent excessive wear of weakened teeth.
- Talk to your physician about therapies to improve bone strength and general nutrition.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Mishawaka, call The Dental Center of Mishawaka today at (574) 285-0460 or make an appointment.
The Dental Center offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Mishawaka. With 4 affiliated practices throughout Indiana, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At The Dental Center of Mishawaka, 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 Mishawaka.