Eating Disorders and Oral Health
Kent dentist on the Dental Effects of Eating Disorders
With March being “National Nutrition Month,” your Kent dentist wanted to talk to you today about a subject that can sometimes be overlooked or shied away from by many patients and doctors alike- eating disorders. According to some statistics, it is estimated that 10-15% of Americans face some sort of eating disorder, from anorexia nervosa to bulimia, to various others. Women typically face these disorders more commonly than men, and patients in a younger age range (teens to college age) are often more common as well. However, despite all of the statistics, one thing is for certain: all eating disorders not only have whole-body-health and psychological consequences or implications but can also impact your oral health as well.
So what are some of the effects of eating disorders on oral health?
Eating disorders can result in nutritional problems, like not getting the right amounts of vitamins, minerals and other substances your body needs. This includes your mouth and gums. Without proper nutrition, the gums can bleed easier and become diseased, the saliva glands can swell, reducing salivation and increasing chances for tooth decay too.
One of the more “taboo” subjects in this disorder scope, vomiting, also, of course, impacts the teeth negatively. Much in the way that too much exposure to acids from food and drink and wear away your enamel going down, it can do the same coming up too. Stomach acids can erode the teeth, leading to weaker, discolored teeth and even teeth or tissue loss. Teeth decay and infections of the teeth and tissue are also common in relation to frequent vomiting.
There are many other ways that eating disorders can impact your oral health, as well as means of treatment. To find out more about those effects and treatments as they relate to oral health, you can review the following article, provided by the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA): Click Here.
A disorder is only called a disorder because the prefix refers to being “apart from” or “having a negative or reversing force…” but order can always be restored! With the help of your Kent dentist and other health professionals, you can defeat the throes of your eating disorder and all of the whole-body, mental and oral health issues tied to it.
Call your Kent dentist today at (253) 630-8686 to address and face ANY oral health issue- with our help!