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Bulimia: How It Affects Your Teeth

Does bulimia have an effect onto our teeth? It sure does! As you know, our stomach uses acid in order to dissolve and digest food. So you may now have an idea just why it would be harmful to our teeth.

In this article, we shall be addressing this topic lightly. We will talk about bulimia, its effect on our mouth, and the procedures you can attempt at the office.


What is bulimia

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder where the person binge eats, and then make use of compensatory behaviors in order to make up for the amount of food consumed.

We have mentioned two key words for someone that has bulimia : binge eating and compensatory behaviors. Binge eating refers to consuming large quantities of food in little time. This is also accompanied with the lack of self-control to stop eating while the episode happens. Then we have compensatory behaviors which is their way to get rid of all the food in their system. These can range from vomiting, fasting, exercising and misuse of laxatives and drugs.

The reason someone could suffer from bulimia varies from person to person. Some of the common reasons are genetic predisposition as well as social, cultural and environmental factors. A person with bulimia feels like their own worth and self-esteem is linked to their weight and appearance.

Since stomach acid erodes tooth enamel, Los Algodones dentists do not recommend brushing right away. The acid weakens the enamel so it is easier to break away by brushing.


Dental problems caused by this disorder

There are a lot of problems linked to bulimia, mainly if the compensatory behavior is vomiting. Frequent vomiting erodes the tooth enamel, and irritates your salivary glands. As you know, acidic foods are known to wear down our tooth enamel, and this same happens with the acid produced by our stomachs.

The teeth, being exposed to stomach acid, have an increased the chance to develop tooth decay and cavities. Not only that, but severe cases report a change in bite as well. There are also good chances tooth sensitivity will be an issue as well.

And of course, all of the problems related to bulimia itself. That is, for the throat area and eating problems. Moreover, since the salivary glands are affected, the saliva production is too. This means that the person is more likely to suffer from dry mouth.

So in order to have it clear, we have:

  • Tooth erosion from stomach acid.
  • Swollen and irritated salivary glands.
  • Increased risk for tooth decay.
  • Misaligned bite.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Sore throat.
  • Decreased saliva production.
  • Throat damage.


Regarding teeth health

Los Algodones dentists recommend addressing bulimia as fast as possible. Most of the dental problems that someone with bulimia have are hard to address when the source of the problem keeps happening over and over again. Leaving bulimia untreated will definitely lead to difficulty swallowing and chewing, while also damaging teeth to the point of breaking.

Leaving that aside, there are treatments to lower the impact bulimia has on the teeth. At the dental office, your dentist can help your teeth by giving you fluoride treatment, as well as prescribing a fluoride gel in order to help against the whole enamel issue.

In the case where bulimia is under control, then it is possible to get into teeth restoration. Depending on the case, just visiting the dentist and following instructions will be enough to deal with them. In the cases where the teeth have received severe damage, then some dental procedures will be required: tooth extraction, dental implants and bridges.

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