February 10, 2015
Good nutrition and dietary habits play a major role in supporting your oral health. Researchers report that more than 10 million Americans are currently suffering from a serious eating disorder like anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating. While it is generally understood that eating too much sugar leads to cavities, it is not commonly known that harmful eating habits and nutritional deficiencies can have similar effects. Eating disorders can cause severe oral health complications. It is often pain and discomfort from these complications which lead affected individuals to seek treatment. If you, or someone close to you, are currently struggling with oral health complications from an eating disorder, schedule an appointment with Dr. Auster, Dr. Tang, or Dr. Tesser at Cosmetic Dentistry Associates today. The Cosmetic Dentistry Associates are highly qualified and experienced practitioners, now proudly serving patients daily throughout Pomona, NY, Rockland County, New City, Suffern, Northern New Jersey, and the surrounding communities. In fact, Dr. Auster is a proud supporter of the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) and recently published an article for them centered around this very subject.
Bulimia and Oral Health
Bulimic patients have an obsessive desire to lose weight characterized by extreme overeating followed by depression and self-induced vomiting, purging, and fasting. Both bulimic patients and patients with highly restrictive dietary habits can exhibit signs of the tooth erosion. In fact, according to the National Eating Disorders Association, as much as 89% of bulimic patients suffer from enamel erosion due to the powerful effects of stomach acids. Dr. Auster recently completed two special bulimia cases in which his patients had sustained substantial damage to their teeth. He genuinely enjoys the opportunity he has to help his patients achieve excellent oral health in an environment that promotes understanding, compassion, and open communication.
Anorexia and Oral Health
Anorexic individuals attempt to maintain an inappropriately low body weight by restricting their food intake. But doing so can rob the body of needed minerals, vitamins, proteins and other nutrients. For example, insufficient calcium levels can promote tooth decay and gum disease, and even if you do get enough calcium, you need enough vitamin D for your body to absorb it. Insufficient iron can foster the development of sores inside the mouth, and insufficient amounts of vitamin B3 can contribute to bad breath and the development of canker sores.
8 Common Oral Health Complications from Eating Disorders
- Tooth decay
- Gum Disease
- Loss of tissue and erosive lesions on the surface of teeth
- Changes in the color, shape, and length of teeth
- Teeth that are brittle, translucent, or weak
- Increased sensitivity to temperature
- Enlargement of the salivary glands, dry mouth, and dry cracked lips
- Unprovoked, spontaneous pain within a particular tooth
Oral health deterioration is often the first physical complication of an eating disorder. If you have an eating disorder and are experiencing any of the above symptoms, we can help. There are methods for improving your oral health as you seek help to change harmful eating habits. Schedule the appointment you need with Dr. Auster, Dr. Tang, or Dr. Tesser at Cosmetic Dentistry Associates today. The Cosmetic Dentistry Associates deliver quality care daily throughout Pomona, NY, Rockland County, New City, Suffern, Northern New Jersey, and the neighboring areas. We sincerely look forward to welcoming you and providing you with the exceptional care and kindness you deserve.
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