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Can Good Dental Care Mitigate Bulimia Effects on Teeth?

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Millions of Americans face the silent misery caused by hidden eating disorders such as binge eating, bulimia, and anorexia. While more common in teens and young women, they can affect anyone. Emotional, social, and physical factors can contribute to the development of disordered eating behaviors, and recovery requires intensive medical and psychiatric care. In addition to diminishing self-image, damaging relationships, and affecting work or school performance, they often lead to serious medical consequences including organ damage, wasting, osteoporosis, and tooth loss. If you have an eating disorder, you must receive timely treatment to prevent complications. In the case of erosion of teeth and other damage to teeth and gums, professional dental care and advice can help improve your outcome.

Types of Eating Disorders

Individuals with anorexia are obsessed with their weight, appearance, and food intake. They may see themselves as overweight even when they are dangerously thin. Anorexic behaviors include eating only tiny portions of food or making excuses to refuse meals. Chronic malnourishment, emaciation and erosion of teeth are common. Compulsive overeating, also called binge eating, affects men and women equally. Binge eaters consume large amounts of food in a short time, but do not purge through vomiting or other means. Bulimia victims overeat and purge in a cyclical pattern. Like binge eaters, they consume large amounts of unhealthy foods, but they will rid their bodies of it by deliberately vomiting, taking laxatives or enemas, or engaging in excessive activity to burn calories.

The Relationship Between an Eating Disorder and Teeth Problems

Poor nutrition causes gums and other mouth tissues to bleed easily, so eating disorders can affect your oral health in several ways. Salivary glands may swell and cause dry mouth. If you are bulimic, you have a greatly increased risk of dental decay and tooth loss due to frequent vomiting. Regurgitated stomach acid is a powerful substance that can cause rapid erosion of teeth, so if you’re vomiting regularly, your eating disorder and teeth problems are probably related.

Avoid Anorexia and Bulimia Effects on Teeth

Anorexia and bulimia effects on teeth can often be avoided with prompt intervention and support, so don’t be afraid to ask for the help you need. Your dentist can provide treatments, tips, and information to help reduce tooth damage caused by your eating disorder. Meticulous oral hygiene is essential. If you have bulimia, rinsing with baking soda after vomiting can neutralize stomach acid and help prevent erosion of teeth. Nutritional supplements may be indicated if you’re anorexic.

To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Capitol Heights, call Dental One Associates at Steeplechase today at (240) 392-3983 or make an appointment.

Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Capitol Heights. With 12 affiliated practices throughout Maryland, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates at Steeplechase, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Dental One Associates at Steeplechase.

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