Dental Erosion as a Result of Eating Disorders
Eating disorders can affect all areas of the body, including the mouth and teeth. Inadequate nutrition and unhealthy eating behaviors, such as binge eating and purging, can lead to many negative oral health issues, including periodontal disease, tooth sensitivity, dry mouth, and erosion of teeth.
Those with eating disorders often do not get enough nutrients in their restrictive diets for proper health, including oral health. When those individuals do not get enough nutrients, such as calcium and Vitamin D, teeth become weak and are more prone to decay and erosion of the protective enamel covering of the teeth. Inadequate nutrition also decreases saliva flow in the mouth. Saliva is beneficial to keeping harmful substances from clinging to the teeth as easily.
One of the most destructive habits of some eating disorders involves purging, that is, forced vomiting of food, typically done after a binge. This self-inflicted vomiting brings harmful stomach acids into the mouth which weakens the enamel of the teeth. It is important to rinse the mouth thoroughly with water after vomiting. However, do not brush the teeth immediately after since the stomach acid makes the enamel soft and brushing may remove this softened enamel easily.
Those who suffer from eating disorders should see their dentist on a regular basis. Our North Hollywood dentist can give recommendations on the best care and nutrition information for a healthy mouth and to reduce the risk of dental problems associated with eating disorders.
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