Eating Disorders and Their Effects on Your Teeth
A topic that isn’t discussed much but is extremely harmful to oral health, is eating disorders. Bulimia Nervosa and Anorexia Nervosa are two eating disorders that cause serious affects to teeth. Often the mouth is the first part of the body to have symptoms resulting from the disorder, such as:
– Bad breath
– Highly sensitive teeth
– Tenderness in the mouth, throat and salivary glands
– Mouth sores
– Dry, cracked lips
– Dry mouth
– Erosion of tooth enamel
When a person with bulimia purges, the powerful digestive acids that break down food come in contact with the teeth and wear away tooth enamel. It can also change the color, shape and length of teeth. Anorexia sufferers may experience weakening of the jawbone due to osteoporosis, which also weakens teeth and leads to tooth loss.The more obvious side affects of these disorders is that the body becomes deprived of vitamins, minerals, proteins and other nutrients that are essential for maintaining good health. In the long run, lacking vitamins and other nutrients the body needs could lead to serious injuries affecting the major organs, muscles and bones.
When a person has made the decision to become healthy and has gotten professional help to overcome an eating disorder, a dentist can be the next step in rebuilding self-esteem. An open, honest flow of communication with your dentist can help you get on the right track to a healthy mouth and bright smile. Your dentist can restore your smile with crowns, composite or veneers, but only after a full recovery from the eating disorder has been accomplished.