Erosion of Teeth and Other Signs of Bulimia
Bulimia is an eating disorder defined by abnormal eating behaviors such as binging and then purging through self-induced vomiting. People who suffer from an eating disorder and teeth problems can often keep them a secret from people close to them such as their families, friends and spouses. Early in the course of the disease, even their physicians may not notice any signs of a problem. When a bulimic patient visits the dentist, the secret is harder to keep; an experienced dentist can easily detect telltale changes in the teeth and mouth that suggest the presence of an eating disorder.
Bulimia Effects on Teeth
Surface erosion of teeth is a strong indicator of bulimic behavior, and is caused by exposure to stomach acids during vomiting. The loss of enamel and dentin typically occurs on the inside surfaces of upper front teeth. Affected teeth have a smooth, glass-like appearance and are free from stains. When erosion of teeth includes molars, patients become highly susceptible to decay and nerve infection. These bulimia effects on teeth often become obvious after the patient has been engaging in induced vomiting for at least two years. The degree of tooth erosion and the frequency of vomiting are related. If damage is allowed to progress, patients may experience tooth sensitivity, changes in bite, dry mouth, parotid gland swelling, and gum injuries.
Managing an Eating Disorder and Teeth Damage
Because of the serious nature of eating disorders and their effects on general health and oral health, it is important to treat both the dental manifestations and the underlying condition. The treatments and recommendations listed below may be helpful to bulimic patients during recovery.
- Seek professional medical treatment of bulimia and other eating disorders
- Have routine dental exams
- Get regular professional cleanings
- Practice strict dental hygiene habits
- Use desensitizing toothpaste
- Consider artificial saliva
- Supplement with calcium as needed
- Have treatments to promote re-mineralization
- Rinse with water after vomiting
- Refrain from brushing teeth immediately after vomiting
- Eat a healthy diet
- Undergo cosmetic dental restoration after recovery
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Flint, call Family Dental Group today at (810) 515-8952 or make an appointment.
Family Dental Group offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Flint. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Family Dental Group, 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 Family Dental Group.