Eating Disorders, Weakened Jaw Bones, and Acid Erosion on Teeth
Eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia are alarmingly common in America. While most people associate these diseases with life-threatening medical problems, the first detectable damage often occurs to the teeth and mouth. Anorexia and bulimia can affect your dental health in various ways. If you’re bulimic, self-induced vomiting frequently exposes your tooth enamel to regurgitated stomach acids, which can cause acid erosion on teeth, sensitivity, cavities, and discoloration. If you have anorexia, the bones that support your teeth eventually weaken due to osteoporosis. When left untreated, both of these eating disorders can result in tooth loss.
Bulimia Effects on Teeth
Dental professionals are often the first people to suspect the presence of an eating disorder, since bulimia effects on teeth develop early in the course of the illness. Bulimic teeth typically feature a worn appearance and yellow discoloration. Acid erosion on teeth may also cause enamel to chip or crack more easily. Anorexia may manifest as dental decay, receding gums, or loose teeth. Other oral symptoms of eating disorders include mouth sores, cracked or dry lips, bleeding gums, chronic dry mouth, enlarged salivary glands, and bad breath.
Anorexic and Bulimic Teeth Problems
The most important step in managing dental problems caused by eating disorders is treating the underlying cause. If you suspect that you have anorexia or bulimia, seek professional help as soon as possible, so you can recover before permanent health damage occurs. During your recovery process, you can minimize damage caused by unhealthy behaviors such as self-induced vomiting. To lessen the risk of acid erosion on teeth, wait at least an hour after vomiting to brush. Instead of brushing immediately, rinse your mouth with a baking soda and water solution to help neutralize acid. If you are not eating enough food to nourish your body, talk to your physician about supplementation or behavioral therapy. Once your eating disorder is stabilized, your dentist can correct anorexic and bulimic teeth damage through cosmetic dentistry.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in St. Clair Shores, call Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores today at (248) 850-1809 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in St. Clair Shores. With 8 affiliated practices throughout Michigan, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores, 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 Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores.