It’s widely known that adopting unhealthy eating habits in an attempt to prevent weight gain is not recommended. In the United States, there is a growing awareness of the prevalence of eating disorders, and their incidence continues to rise. Research indicates that approximately 0.5-2.0% of adolescents and young adult women may experience various forms of anorexia nervosa or bulimia. These disorders can have harmful effects on physical health, including: digestive issues, cardiac complications, nutritional deficiencies, and dental problems.
Anorexics and bulimics are prone to widespread cavities over a short period of time. Those who binge on high-calorie, high-carb foods, and then purge run the greatest risk of decay. The sugar in the foods set up an acid-attack on the enamel, while the act of purging bathes the teeth in hydrochloric acid from the stomach, contributing to decay, as well as eroding teeth and fillings. A chronic bulimic will need numerous fillings on a regular basis and will have eroded enamel on the tongue-side of the teeth.
Soft tissue damage
Due to repeated vomiting, anorexics and bulimics may have severely swollen tonsils or soft palate. Some people may suffer a swelling and redness of the tongue and the palate may have lacerations from fingernails used to induce vomiting.
First and foremost, if you suffer from an eating disorder, seek professional help immediately. Eating disorders can have fatal consequences. Secondly, let your dental hygienist know about your eating disorder in order to insure proper treatment.
Anorexics and bulimics MUST use scrupulous homecare in order to keep their teeth. Extra brushing, flossing, and possible at-home fluoride treatments may be necessary, plus you may also require additional cleaning visits throughout the year.
If you have further concerns about eating disorders damaging teeth, schedule an appointment at The Dental Center at Easton Town Center (in Columbus OH) to get the answers you need!