Dental Problems Indicating Eating Disorders

Dental Problems Indicating Eating Disorders

Common oral symptoms of eating disorders can include:

• Abnormal wear patterns on the teeth

• Enlarged parotid glands• Dry mouth• Sensitive teeth• Dental erosion• Redness, ulcerations and lesions in the mouth• Irritation at the corners of the mouth

Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other types of eating disorders can have oral symptoms associated with binging, purging, calorie restriction and vomiting. Malnutrition can lead to inflammation, oral fungal infections, burning mouth, oral injuries, a loss in taste and dry mouth. Without treatment, dry mouth and other symptoms can increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, as well as tooth loss.

Eating disorders can require intensive therapy and medical treatment to overcome. In the meantime, those seeking treatment for eating disorders can protect their dental health by taking extra care during their dental routine. Rinse with plain water after vomiting, and do not brush your teeth until an hour after you have thrown up. This will decrease the risk of further eroding your acid-softened teeth, because it will give your saliva an opportunity to dilute the acid and start to re-mineralize the teeth. Use prescription-strength fluoride treatment if needed to decrease tooth sensitivity and the risk of cavities. Take a multivitamin to ensure your teeth and gums are getting the nutrients they need, and schedule frequent checkups and cleanings to monitor the state of your smile. Call us today to schedule your next dental exam.