An eating disorder can affect nearly anyone with damaging effects across the entire body. From anorexia to bulimia, these diseases create unique problems with your teeth in particular. Many sufferers try to hide their eating disorder, but it’s quite obvious as a dentist performs his or her work. It’s important to understand how an eating disorder affects your dental health and encourages tooth loss.
Your teeth and gums depend on your nutrition so that they can remain healthy and strong. When someone has an eating disorder they’re typically not eating a healthy balanced diet. Their daily intake of food is diminished significantly which robs nutrition from the teeth and gums in order to better support other critical organs. As a result the teeth and gums of someone with an eating disorder are vulnerable to decline and possible loss when that disorder takes over their life.
Carbohydrates or sugars are important parts of a normal diet. People suffering from eating disorders, however, may limit their dietary intake to more carbs than any other substance. These sugars adhere to the teeth, and they start eating away at the enamel. Although everyone eats sugars on a daily basis, those with eating disorders may see a higher rate of tooth decline because of the unusual dietary habits.
Meanwhile, those with bulimia often go through several vomiting periods throughout the day. When people force themselves to vomit, stomach acids rise up through their esophagus and enter the oral cavity. These acids are not meant to come into contact with the teeth, and as a result they begin to break down from the increased acidity.
If you or someone that you care about has experienced tooth loss from an eating disorder, seek help from a dental professional as soon as possible. Although fighting a disorder is an often an individual’s lifelong commitment, your trusted dentist can help you in other ways such as recommending crowns and bridges. With these teeth in place, you can concentrate on getting better with good oral health as a major side effect.
Eating Disorders And Oral Health Problems, colgate.com
Dental Complications of Eating Disorders, nationaleatingdisorders.org