Can Dentists Spot Early Anorexic or Bulimic Teeth Problems?
Approximately 10 million females and one million males in the United States suffer from anorexia or bulimia, and many other battle binge-eating disorders. These psychiatric illnesses are characterized by obsession with weight and food consumption; they are often caused by deep-rooted emotional, social, and physical issues. People with anorexia become dangerously thin by restricting their caloric intake to extremely low levels. Those with bulimia eat large amounts of food and then purge by self-induced vomiting, excessive exercise, or laxative use. Eating disorders can cause acid erosion on teeth and other dental problems, and dentists are often the first to detect anorexia and bulimia effects on teeth.
Common Bulimia Effects on Teeth
Eating disorders often start early in life. Parents may not recognize signs of anorexia or bulimia if behaviors are hidden, but signs of an eating disorder become apparent during a routine dental appointment. When a dentist can spot warning signs early, there is a better chance for parents to get help for their children before serious medical problems develop. Signs of anorexic or bulimic teeth include the following:
- Bad breath
- Tooth sensitivity
- Acid erosion on teeth caused by frequent vomiting
- Chipped or thinning enamel
- Worn teeth
- Teeth that appear translucent
- Mouth sores
- Dry mouth
- Cracked lips
- Bleeding gums
- Tender or enlarged salivary glands
Reducing Bulimia Effects on Teeth During Recovery
Dentists who discover an eating disorder usually recommend medical follow-up or behavioral therapy to address the illness. They can also teach the patient how to minimize the effects of unhealthy behaviors. For example, patients who induce vomiting should immediately rinse with club soda or a sugarless mouth rinse to neutralize the stomach acid in their mouths. Unfortunately, sometimes eating disorders remain hidden until permanent damage to teeth has occurred. At this point, implants or cosmetic dentistry may be the only options for restoring the structure and function of anorexic or bulimic teeth.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Thorndale, call Gentle Dental of Thorndale today at (610) 590-1798 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Thorndale. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Thorndale, 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 Gentle Dental of Thorndale.