Eating Disorders: A Dental Health Hazard

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The damaging effects of eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are many. While it is true that the most serious issues come from malnourishment and unhealthy body weight, there are serious complications of dental health.

The problem is a sensitive one, and we intend to treat it seriously in this blog. So, if you or someone you know suffers from an eating disorder, absorb the information below and relay it if possible. A sufferer has a skewed idea of body image, and many cannot see the damage they inflict upon themselves. This topic needs to be approached with some delicacy, but should be discussed boldly nonetheless.

Did you know that, many times, the dentist is the first doctor to discover and diagnose an eating disorder? There are oral signs in a patient during routine dental exams. Dentists detect physical changes to the mouth, teeth, and gums as signs of malnutrition, and the appearance of several other oral health issues that inevitably accompany them.

A major sign commonly found among those with eating disorders is the erosion of tooth enamel from frequent regurgitation. Consistent vomiting of strong stomach acids will quickly eat through the protective enamel coating of the teeth, removing beneficial shielding and exposing the tooth to bacteria and decay. It can also cause the teeth to become yellowed and be the source of bad breath.

As you or a loved one cope with an eating disorder, know that there are steps you can take to reduce the damage it can cause to your teeth. As your dentist, we want you to know that we are here for you. Confide in us. We will never judge you, and will always maintain full doctor-patient confidentiality.

If you’d like more education about eating disorder and your dental health, call our helpful team at Broomfield Dental. Phone: 303-953-2520, or come by our office in Broomfield, Colorado.