How Eating Disorders Affect Oral Health

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge eating. All three of these disorders negatively affect the health of the mouth. Bulimia is often associated when overeating or having an overwhelming urge to eat junk food. This binge eating is then followed with self-induced vomiting. The Colgate website reports that 89 percent of bulimics show signs of mouth and teeth damage. And since teeth of someone struggling with bulimia will appear worn and yellow, a dentist is often the first person to notice signs of this eating disorder.

In anorexia, people struggling with it have a fear of getting fat and are often severely underweight. It is an extreme form of body dysmorphia, in which a person has a mental illness involving obsessive focus on a supposed flaw in their appearance. Anorexics will limit their food intake and excessively exercise. This semi-starvation denies the body of nutrients and puts the person at risk of developing osteoporosis, which can affect the bones in the jaw that support the teeth. Call (925) 961-5484 today to schedule a checkup and allow to orthodontists at Foothill Dental Care in Livermore help you maintain a healthy mouth.

All these eating disorders will have negative effects on not only your teeth, but your whole body. The lack of vitamins, minerals and nutrients associated with these disorders can eventually cause the body to shut down and fail to function correctly. This can cause potential health issues, including:

  •        Weight loss
  •        Hair loss
  •        Constipation
  •        Irregular or no menstrual cycle in women
  •        Heart and kidney problems
  •        Death

The negative effects of the mouth being denied vitamins and nutrients, on top of the stomach acid from vomiting damaging the teeth, include the following signs of eating disorders:

  •        Dry mouth
  •        Enlarged salivary glands
  •        Crack, dry lips
  •        Mouth sores
  •        Erosion of the teeth
  •        Teeth sensitivity (to hot and cold)

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with an eating disorder that damaged your teeth, we can certainly help you recover that gorgeous smile of yours. Call Foothill Dental Care in Livermore at (925) 961-5484 to schedule your appointment today. And while eating disorders appear to focus on body image, food and weight, they are rooted in many other issues. Early diagnosis and intervention greatly improve the opportunities for recovery. Call the National Eating Disorder Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237, where you can expect to receive support, information, referrals, and guidance about treatment options for either you or your loved one.