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Eating Disorders and Your Teeth

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders may be easy to hide from your friends and family. But hiding them from your dentist will not be so easy due to the many adverse effects they have on your teeth. Whether it be anorexia, bulimia, or a poor diet, you can be sure your teeth will be affected.

Many Eating Disorders Leave Signs on Your Teeth

Anorexia is not going to do your smile any favors. As your body needs nutrition, so do your teeth and gums. A healthy smile requires more than just brushing and flossing. They require nutrients, such as calcium, potassium, and vitamin C, just to name a few. If your body is not given the proper type of food or the time to absorb and make use of these nutrients, you will feel the effects in your mouth. Lack of nutrients in your teeth can lead to soft bleeding gums, loose teeth, and infection. This, in turn, could lead to gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

The act of eating and ridding yourself of the food is known as bulimia. Some people will vomit or even take laxatives to get the food out as quickly as possible. The body is not given the time to absorb the nutrients in your food and can lead to the same problems as someone not eating at all. But there are other issues too as well. Your stomach acid breaks down food rapidly and efficiently. When vomiting, your tooth-protective enamel coating is weakened. The acid can make you sensitive to hot and cold beverages. Your teeth can be scratched just by brushing shortly after vomiting. Brittleness or a translucent-like appearance is another result.

Your teeth are important to your overall well-being. If you have an eating disorder, you should do your best to take care of your teeth. Rinsing your mouth with tap water after vomiting and waiting at least an hour to brush can prevent further damage to your enamel. The best thing to do would be to visit a local dental office for more help or speak to your physician about getting help for your eating disorder.

Turn to Crossroads Family Dentistry for Help with Eating Disorders

If you are worried about visiting the dentist because you have an eating disorder, you should do what is best for your smile and allow a dental professional to help. Dentists like ours want you to have a healthy, confident smile and will help you with the best course of action for your situation.

The dental professionals at Crossroads Family Dentistry in Colorado Springs, Colorado, would be happy to help. If you want to find out more information on eating disorders and their effects, please ask us at your next visit.