Oral Consequences Of Eating Disorders

Posted on: 13 April 2016


Suffering from an eating disorder can have detrimental effects on your whole body, including your mouth. If you or someone you love is suffering from an eating disorder, you might be aware of the effects that it can take on physical health but not on oral health. You should know a few of the different oral consequences of eating disorders. 

Bleeding and Swollen Gums

If your body isn't getting enough of the proper nutrition, either due to the fact that you are restricting your caloric intake or purging after you eat, it can lead to gums, or other soft tissues in your mouth, bleeding. Your gums can also swell up and take on a very shiny appearance. 

Dry Mouth

As you continue to get improper nutrition, you might find that your mouth starts to dry out. The salivary glands in your mouth will start to swell and they will become less adept at producing salvia. Dry mouth can be dangerous due to the fact that salvia is needed to help wash away acids and bacteria from the teeth. You might also discover that your lips become cracked, dry and chapped due to dry mouth. 

Nutritional Deficiencies 

Your body needs a few different vitamins in order to keep your teeth healthy and strong, namely calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B3. If you aren't getting enough calcium and vitamin D, your teeth will become weakened and be more prone to decay. If you aren't getting enough vitamin B3, you will find that you start to develop canker sores. Lack of vitamin B3 can also lead to bad breath. 

Enamel Breakdown

If you are purging often after you eat, your enamel will start to break down. This is due to the fact that when you vomit, acid will flow over the teeth, damaging the enamel. On top of that, if you brush after you purge, you might be furthering the damage due to the fact that you are actually brushing the acids into your teeth. The acid in your vomit breaking down the enamel will lead to teeth changing in color and shape and becoming brittle and more prone to decay. 

If you or someone you know are suffering from an eating disorder, as uncomfortable as it might be, you should discuss the matter with the dentist. He will be able to help you or your loved one cope with the oral consequence that eating disorders pose. For more information, contact professionals such as Chan Peter Dr Professional Corp & Associate.