Dental Exams Can Uncover Bulimia Effects on Teeth
Eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating affect millions of Americans. Classic signs include preoccupation with weight, distorted body image, extreme dieting, and abnormal eating behaviors. People with anorexia severely limit their food intake, and become extremely thin and undernourished. Those with bulimia binge-eat and then later purge by deliberately vomiting, taking laxatives, or engaging in excessive exercise. While these diseases have devastating consequences on their victims’ general health, the signs of anorexia and bulimia effects on teeth are often noticed first by dentists. Acid erosion on teeth, weakened bone, and mouth sores are common symptoms that may develop early.
11 Signs of Bulimia Effects on Teeth
Eating disorders are alarmingly common in children and adolescents. Parents may not recognize signs of anorexia or bulimia if behaviors are hidden, but signs of an eating disorder become apparent during a child’s routine dental appointments. When a dentist can spot warning signs early, there is a better chance for parents to get help for their children before serious medical problems develop. Signs of anorexic or bulimic teeth include the following.
- Mouth sores
- Dry mouth
- Bleeding gums
- Cracked lips
- Tender or enlarged salivary glands
- Bad breath
- Chipped or thinning enamel
- Worn teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
- Acid erosion on teeth
- Teeth that appear translucent
When dentists detect an eating disorder, they usually refer the patient for medical or psychiatric treatment. They can also teach the patient how to minimize acid erosion on teeth and other effects of unhealthy behaviors. For example, patients who induce vomiting should immediately rinse with club soda or sugarless mouth rinse to neutralize the stomach acid in their mouths. Unfortunately, sometimes eating disorders remain hidden until permanent damage to teeth has occurred. At this point, implants or cosmetic dentistry may be the only options for restoring the structure and function of anorexic or bulimic teeth.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in West Chester, call Gentle Dental of West Chester today at (484) 643-4417 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in West Chester. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of West Chester, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of West Chester.