Fresno Dental

How Eating Disorders Affect Your Teeth

Eating DisordersIf you have an eating disorder, you may already see signs of the toll it is taking on your overall health. Perhaps you are constantly fatigued and become ill quite easily. Maybe your skin has become dry and your hair is falling out. There’s one more area of your body you should be concerned about if you have an eating disorder: your mouth. Untreated eating disorders can cause a variety of oral health problems, including tooth enamel erosion, gum disease, and even tooth loss.

What is an eating disorder?

Eating disorders are conditions in which you place an abnormal focus on the foods you eat. With the eating disorder anorexia, you are so concerned about your weight that you eat very little. If you are bulimic, you are also obsessed with your weight, but you try to control it by vomiting or using laxatives after eating large amounts of food. Yet another eating disorder is binge eating, characterized by eating large quantities of food, often in secret.Eating Disorders

How do eating disorders affect my oral health?

  • Anorexia. This eating disorder can cause severe malnutrition, as you are not getting the nutrients you need for your body to function properly. This deficiency of essential vitamins and minerals can cause dry mouth, bleeding gums, periodontal disease, and tooth decay. If you are not getting sufficient calcium and vitamin D for your bones, you may develop osteoporosis, which will cause deterioration of tissue in the jawbone and can lead to tooth loss.
  • Bulimia. The frequent vomiting that accompanies bulimia will expose your teeth to corrosive stomach acids, which will wear away at the tooth enamel. This will leave your teeth discolored, chalky, and vulnerable to decay. Bulimia also affects your salivary gland production, which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
  • Binge Eating. While binge eaters may be getting the proper nutrients from their diet, they usually eat lots of starchy and sugary foods during a binge. These acidic substances can demineralize the tooth enamel and cause widespread decay.

What treatments can correct my teeth?

First, you must seek help for your eating disorder from your physician, a therapist, or an eating disorders treatment program. Once your eating disorders is under control, Dr. Denes can proceed with appropriate treatments of any gum disease or cavities you may have. If your teeth are worn down, discolored, or severely decayed, Dr. Denes can both treat them and improve their appearance and functioning with all-porcelain crowns or porcelain veneers.

If your teeth have been damaged by an eating disorder, call Drs. Alex and Claudia Denes today at (559) 297-1800 to schedule an appointment. Fresno Dental Studio happily treats patients from Fresno, Clovis, Sanger, Mendota, Orange Cove, Reedley, Selma, and the surrounding areas.

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