Eating Disorders And Your Oral Health
There’s nothing wrong with watching what you eat in order to maintain a healthy and trim body, but sometimes dieting can take an ugly turn and develop into an eating disorder. The most commonly diagnosed ones are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa; and not only do they have a negative impact on your oral health, they can even be life threatening.
Common warning signs of eating disorders include:
- Inadequate food intake
- Intense fear of weight gain and persistent behavior to prevent it.
- Self esteem overly tied to body image
- Excessive exercise
- Thinner than usual appearance
- Withdrawing socially
- Downy hair present all over the body (lanugo)
- Menstrual irregularities or complete loss of menstruation
- Dry skin
- Going to the bathroom immediately after or during meals
If you suspect that you or someone you love may have an eating disorder, the first step is to seek help from your family physician or a qualified counselor. Once they have made a diagnosis and a treatment plan, it’s time to address the other issues the disorder has caused in your mouth.
Bulimics are especially susceptible to both chemical and mechanical damage to their teeth. When stomach acid repeatedly washes over tooth enamel, it is continually stripped away until the tooth is left completely unprotected. This weakened state allows for teeth to wear down faster when they grind together during normal chewing. Eventually the teeth will begin to crack and make it difficult for you to eat.
At Anthem Periodontics, we understand that eating disorders are a very real medical condition and not something to be ashamed of. Even if you have not sought treatment yet, it’s important to take of your teeth before they are damaged or lost. We offer many treatments to halt the damage that is occurring and even reverse it if possible. We are here to help, not judge. Call to schedule an appointment for a full periodontic evaluation today.