Eating disorders continue to be a pressing issue in our nation. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), up to 24 million people of all ages and gender suffer from an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder) in the U.S. The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) explains that eating disorders usually involved extreme attitudes and emotions towards weight and food issues. This disorder can ultimately have a grave impact on health, productivity and relationships. While most people know that eating disorders affect the individuals’ body, including their bones as well as their heart, these disorders also have detrimental consequences on teeth.
Without sufficient nutrition, gums and other soft tissue that are in the mouth may have a greater tendency to bleed. The glands that are responsible for the production of saliva may become inflamed, leading to chronic dry mouth. The American Dental Association (ADA) notes that tooth surfaces are in danger during the course of the disease when people decide to clear the contents of their stomach through their mouth. The teeth are then exposed to harsh gastric acids that can wear down teeth, leaving them thin and translucent. Teeth will become brittle and will be more susceptible to chipping.
The ADA also provides some treatment options to ease oral health consequences of eating disorders. Patients who purge by vomiting are advised to rinse with baking soda to neutralize the harmful effects of stomach acid. Patients should also be assessed in terms of their oral health, with treatment options including additional fluoride modalities. What is most important is that family and friends help set good examples of healthy eating habits and offer positive encouragement should surround the individuals suffering from eating disorders. Please feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org