How Do Eating Disorders Damage Oral Health?

Eating disorders can severely impact oral health, often in ways that require long-term care and treatment. One significant issue is tooth erosion caused by frequent vomiting in individuals with bulimia. Stomach acid repeatedly exposed to teeth can wear away enamel, leading to sensitivity, decay, and even tooth loss. This acid can also irritate the gums, causing inflammation and bleeding.

People with anorexia might experience oral health problems due to nutritional deficiencies.

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Lack of essential nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and iron can weaken teeth and gums. Salivary glands may also become swollen, and dry mouth (xerostomia) is common, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. The reduction in saliva can further exacerbate the damage by failing to neutralize acids and wash away food particles.

Those with binge eating disorders face unique oral health challenges as well. Frequent consumption of sugary and starchy foods can lead to a higher incidence of cavities and gum disease. Poor oral hygiene habits, often accompanying such disorders, can worsen these effects, leading to more severe dental issues over time.

Attending a binge eating disorder clinic can be an essential step in addressing these issues. Specialized clinics not only focus on the psychological aspects of eating disorders but also provide comprehensive health care, including dental treatment and education. By managing the disorder holistically, patients can work towards improving their overall health and mitigating the oral health damage caused by their eating disorder.

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