Eating disorders are an epidemic that plague over 10 million Americans. While they’re typically more common in teenagers and adult women, eating disorders can affect anyone despite age or gender. They’re particularly dangerous for the body and for mental health, but they can also negatively affect your mouth.
Types of Eating Disorders
There are several different types of eating disorders, and each one has its own set of symptoms and characteristics. Some disorders include:
- Binge Eating
How Teeth Are Affected
One of the main concerns associated with all types of eating disorder is the lack of necessary nutrients typically received from a balanced diet. Without proper nutrition, gums bleed more easily, salivary glands decrease production, resulting in dry mouth, and if vomiting occurs often, enamel weakens.
Signs and Symptoms
Many times your Spokane dentist may be the first person on a healthcare team to suspect an eating disorder. This is because there are many telltale signs that show in the mouth including:
- Brittle, translucent teeth
- Enlarged salivary glands
- Tooth decay
How to Limit Damage
Those with an eating disorder should seek help from a trusted medical professional as soon as possible to help begin the healing process. In terms of dental health, my Spokane dental office has some advice.
- Do not brush teeth immediately after vomiting. Rinse with water instead to limit damage.
- Continue to brush twice a day and floss once a day, every day.
- Maintain regular visits.
If you’re suffering from an eating disorder, we encourage you to find a treatment that works. Not only is your oral health affected, but an eating disorder can cause major whole-body concerns. At my dental office in Spokane, we’re here to help keep your mouth healthy during recovery, and for a lifetime. Schedule an appointment with us today.