All the way down to the cellular level, our systems require a variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in order to function properly. A large part of what makes eating disorders such a severe issue is the fact that consuming enough food and the correct kinds of food are essential for maintaining good health. But in addition to being bad for your general health, it can also affect your teeth and gums.
Malnutrition’s Effect on Overall Health
Anorexia nervosa and bulimia are two eating disorders that can have a severe effect on a person’s mental, emotional, and physical health. The mouth is affected by the effects on the entire body. When talking about eating disorders, dental professionals don’t always consider the consequences on dental health, but we wish to tell our patients as much as we can about this.
How the Oral Tissues Are Starved by Anorexia
Extremely little food is consumed, and the eating disorder anorexia nervosa is sometimes accompanied by purging, excessive exercise, or both. Malnutrition caused by anorexia is harmful to oral health. Osteoporosis can form in the jawbones in the absence of sufficient nutrients, increasing the risk of tooth loss. It’s possible that the salivary glands can’t create as much saliva, which causes dry mouth and raises the risk of tooth decay. Additionally, gums are more prone to bleeding.
Stomach Acid Contacts Teeth as a Result of Bulimia
The toughest substance in the human body is tooth enamel, although it is susceptible to acid erosion. This is why bulimia, an eating disorder marked by binge eating followed by compulsion to purge food through vomiting or laxatives, poses such a threat to dental health. Regular contact with the stomach’s powerful acid can erode dental enamel, causing discolouration, decay, and tooth loss.
Promoting Good Oral Health
Everyone should practice proper dental hygiene, but those who are battling or recovering from an eating disorder should pay special attention. Waiting at least 30 minutes before brushing after vomiting is the best approach to prevent enamel loss from acid and give saliva time to balance the mouth’s pH and start remineralising the teeth.
You don’t have to face this alone.
Because eating disorders are significant mental diseases, recovery sometimes involves more than just making the decision to stop and following through. It’s crucial to seek the appropriate assistance, which can range from the guidance of qualified psychologists to a network of loving family and friends.
Making contact with the National Eating Disorders Helpline would be a wise first step on the road to recovery. A person can always visit the dentist for assistance in maintaining the health of their teeth and gums throughout and after this battle, regardless of what stage of recovery they are in.
Your best ally for optimum dental health is the dentist!
Make an appointment with Diamond Dental Care & Implant today, and let’s work together to reach your goal of good oral health!
Soon, we hope to see you!