Eating Disorders Linked to Dental Erosion

Eating Disorders Linked to Dental Erosion

An eating disorder is defined as an obsessive pattern of eating that has a negative effect on an individuals health or well-being. The National Association of Anorexia estimates than 8 million Americans are currently suffering from an eating disorder, and as many as 90 percent are women. The two most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. An eating disorder can also affect an individuals dental health due to an increase of the risk of enamel erosion, cavities and root canal treatment.

Bulimia nervosa can be particularly hazardous to teeth. Repeated vomiting causes excessive contact between stomach acids and teeth. The acids wear away the enamel on your teeth, leading to discoloration and an increased risk of cavities. Dry mouth, tooth sensitivity and facial pain may occur. If you struggle with bulimia nervosa, seeking treatment can help you stabilize your physical health.

In the meantime, rinsing your teeth with water after vomiting can reduce the damage your teeth may suffer. Avoid brushing after vomiting since this can damage enamel more severely than brushing alone. Fluoridated toothpaste can strengthen enamel, while sugar-free gum can increase saliva flow, which may make your mouth more comfortable improving your teeth and gum health.

While bulimia nervosa may have the most obvious effect on teeth, those suffering from anorexia nervosa may also have dental problems related to poor nutrition. Certain nutrients, such as vitamins C and D, calcium, and magnesium are all essential to gum health and the remineralization of teeth. If you are not eating a well-balanced diet or you suffer from anorexia nervosa, your dental health may be at risk.

Our Los Angeles dentist can help you learn more about your treatment options. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.