Eating Disorders and Oral Health
Posted on 4/10/2023 by Shiv Sharma, DDS
|Eating disorders are a significant issue in the US, with over 10 million people affected, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. These disorders, including anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating, are most prevalent among teenage girls and young adult women.
Not only do they impact physical health, but also self-esteem, relationships, and work or school performance. If you suspect you have an eating disorder, it is essential to seek help from a healthcare professional.
How Eating Disorders Affect Our Dental Health
Eating disorders can also harm our oral health. A lack of proper nutrition can result in bleeding gums, swollen saliva glands, dry mouth, and tooth damage from repeated vomiting. The acid in vomit erodes the enamel, causing teeth to change color, shape, and length, making them brittle and sensitive.
Preventing eating disorders requires addressing the multiple physical, emotional, and social factors contributing to their development. Family and friends can play a role by setting good examples and offering supportive comments about healthy eating. Eating disorders often stem from deeper issues, so early treatment by a healthcare professional is crucial for maximizing recovery prospects.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder, it is crucial to be mindful of its impact on your oral health. Maintaining good oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing and flossing, is recommended. After vomiting, it is best to rinse your mouth with baking soda instead of brushing to neutralize the effects of stomach acid. It is also advised to consult with your dentist about your specific treatment needs and to schedule regular dental check-ups.
Reach Us Today
If you or someone you know needs support for an eating disorder, help is available. Eating disorders are treatable, and individuals can recover and lead healthy, fulfilling lives with the proper support and resources. Do not suffer in silence. Reach out for help today and take the first step toward recovery.