Eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, can be just as devastating to your oral health as they are to the rest of your body. Regardless of whether or not you are seeking help for the eating disorder, it is important you take measures to protect your oral health. If you are struggling with an eating disorder, here is what you need to know.
How Does an Eating Disorder Impact Oral Health?
The impact an eating disorder has on oral health depends on the type of disorder you have. For instance, if you have bulimia, the cycle of binge eating and vomiting can lead to dental erosion, cavities, and tooth loss. The acid from the vomit constantly passing over the enamel of the tooth weakens it and leaves you vulnerable to dental problems.
By contrast, if you have anorexia, failing to eat can lead to your teeth and jawbone not getting the nutrients they need. As a result, your bones can begin to weaken, which weakens the jawbone's ability to support your teeth. Eventually, you could lose your teeth.
You can even experience pain in the joint found in the lower jaw. The pain can make it difficult to chew. Chronic headaches related to the joint pain can also occur.
What Can You Do?
In addition to working with a therapist and your family doctor, you also need to ensure that your dentist, someone from a place like HC Dentistry, is included as part of your medical treatment team if you have an eating disorder.
Due to the eating disorder, your dentist might require you to have checkups more often. He or she will want to carefully monitor the impact of the disorder on your teeth and take measures to treat any problems as early as possible. Early detection is key to effectively treating oral health problems related to the eating disorder.
If you are bulimic, rinse your mouth with water after vomiting. The acid from the vomit softens the enamel and if you use a toothbrush and toothpaste on them, you could inadvertently hurt the enamel more. Talk to your dentist about how long he or she wants you to wait before you can safely brush your teeth again.
Your dentist might also recommend the use of fluoride rinses to help strengthen your teeth's enamel. A supplement might also be recommended if you are suffering from anorexia. The supplement might be enough to help compensate for the nutrients you are missing from not eating.Share
29 June 2016
When the bottled water craze began, I jumped on the bandwagon with everyone else who was drinking water from bottles instead of from the tap. I wasn't sure why bottled water was healthier, but I liked the taste. When I went for my next dental check-up, I had my first cavity in a while, so I had it filled and didn't think much of it. Well, I had two more during my next check-up after that, and I began trying to think of why my teeth were suddenly going bad. The only change in my habits was the switch to bottled water, so I made the switch back to tap water and my teeth began to improve. I created this blog to encourage others who have begun getting cavities suddenly to look into their changes in habits. They may find they made a change similar to mine.