The Effects of Eating Disorders on Teeth

Eating disorder
Eating disorder

Eating disorders are an epidemic that plague over 10 million Americans. While they’re typically more common in teenagers and adult women, eating disorders can affect anyone despite age or gender. They’re particularly dangerous for the body and for mental health, but they can also negatively affect your mouth.

Types of Eating Disorders

There are several different types of eating disorders, and each one has its own set of symptoms and characteristics. Some disorders include:

  • Anorexia
  • Bulimia
  • Binge Eating

How Teeth Are Affected

One of the main concerns associated with all types of eating disorder is the lack of necessary nutrients typically received from a balanced diet. Without proper nutrition, gums bleed more easily, salivary glands decrease production, resulting in dry mouth, and if vomiting occurs often, enamel weakens.

Signs and Symptoms

Many times a dentist in Long Island may be the first person on a healthcare team to suspect an eating disorder. This is because there are many telltale signs that show in the mouth including:

  • Sensitivity
  • Brittle, translucent teeth
  • Enlarged salivary glands
  • Tooth decay

How to Limit Damage

Those with an eating disorder should seek help from a trusted medical professional as soon as possible to help begin the healing process. In terms of dental health, our Long Island dental offices have some advice.

  • Do not brush teeth immediately after vomiting. Rinse with water instead to limit damage.
  • Continue to brush twice a day and floss once a day, every day.
  • Maintain regular visits.

If you’re suffering from an eating disorder, we encourage you to find a treatment that works. Not only is your oral health affected, but an eating disorder can cause major whole-body concerns. At our dental offices in Long Island, we’re here to help keep your mouth healthy during recovery, and for a lifetime. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Accepting patients from Long Island, Great Neck, and Hicksville.