Eating Disorders Affect Dental Health

What are eating disorders?

Eating disorders can consist of a range of conditions that involve an obsession with things such as weight, food, and physical appearance. Being obsessed with these issues can have an adverse impact on physical and emotional health. This obsession can also affect social relationships and everyday life.

Eating disorders are diagnosed when there is a disordered eating pattern and psychological disturbance both. They usually occur during the adolescent years. Ninety percent of cases diagnosed affect girls and women.

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Common eating disorders are bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and binge eating. Treatment makes it possible to return to healthy eating habits again. Serious complications caused by eating disorders can sometimes be reversed with proper treatment in some cases.

Dental Effects

When the body does not consume the proper nutrients and minerals, it can lead to weakened tooth enamel. When the required minerals and nutrients are not present, the enamel is not able to form properly and stay strong. This leads to weak tooth enamel that is more prone to dental decay.

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Certain eating disorders rely on caloric restriction employing limiting food intake, exercising excessively, using laxatives, using weight loss aids, vomiting and more. Vomiting causes stomach acid and food to be expelled through the mouth. When the stomach acid makes its way into the mouth, it hits the back of the teeth before it exits the mouth. Over time, the constant contact with stomach acid against the tooth’s enamel will cause acid wear or erosion of the tooth’s enamel.

Once enough enamel is lost, the underlying dentin is exposed, which leads to sensitivity to foods and hot and cold temperatures. Having the darker dentin material visible also gives the appearance of a dark or discoloured smile.

Treatment options are available to help with the negative dental effects. Less invasive treatment will be required if treatment is sought early. Contact us to discuss treatment options to help restore your smile and dental health.

 

 

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