Eating Disorders and Oral Health

Eating disorders can affect your oral health, which Dr. Suhair Shamoon can treat with restorative services. If you have had an eating disorder in the past, come to Dentistry With A Smile, LLC, where our dentist can restore your smile and boost your confidence. Schedule your next visit by calling 508-672-6471, to learn more about eating disorders and oral health in Fall River, Massachusetts.

Millions of people in the United States, especially young teenage girls, experience an eating disorder, particularly anorexia and bulimia. Both tend to overlap considerably, and they can have an effect on your oral health as well as your overall health.

Anorexia, which is intentional starvation and over-abundance of exercise, causes lack of nutrition that leads to more tooth decay and gum disease. Bulimia is characterized by overeating followed by induced vomiting. The acid from your stomach has a negative effect on your teeth, resulting in erosion of the enamel. More than 90% experience tooth erosion, resulting in more tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, as well as chipped or worn teeth. Acid erosion on bulimics is more evident on the upper front teeth, whereas the bottom teeth are more protected by the tongue during vomiting.

The gums can still be damaged by acid erosion, while the back of the throat, tongue and roof of the mouth can be traumatized by repetitive agitation from the fingers when inducing gagging. Severe cases can cause the salivary glands to swell and enlarge, causing the face under the ears to look puffy.

If you suffer from an eating disorder, we highly encourage you to visit a healthcare professional or therapist to get your life and health back on track. You can visit the National Eating Disorders Association for more helpful information. In the meantime, we suggest short-term treatment by not brushing your teeth immediately after vomiting. Instead, rinse your mouth with a mixture of water and a little baking soda to neutralize the acid. We will be happy to restore your smile and oral health with our restorative dental services at Dentistry With A Smile, LLC. Please give us a call so that we can help you get your smile back!