Bulimia-Related Erosion of Teeth Can Destroy Your Smile
Most people know that conditions like bulimia can cause serious medical complications, but many don’t realize that an eating disorder and teeth problems go hand in hand. If you’re bulimic, your cyclical binge eating and vomiting behaviors cause serious damage to your oral health. When you vomit, regurgitated stomach acids are in direct contact with your tooth enamel. In a relatively short period of time, it wears away the surface of your teeth; this erosion of teeth results in cavities, chips, fractures, and tooth loss. In fact, your dentist may be the first person to notice bulimia effects on teeth.
Recognizing Bulimia Effects on Teeth
Dental professionals can often recognize signs of past or present bulimia during a routine exam. If you have the disease, your teeth may appear clear in color because of severe damage to tooth enamel. They may be slightly rounded in shape. Tooth decay and gingivitis are common. The type of damage seen is similar to that of patients who had nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy treatment or who suffered severe morning sickness while pregnant. However, the damage is often significantly worse due to the duration of bulimia, which can be ongoing for many years.
Dealing with Extensive Erosion of Teeth
When bulimia effects on teeth become evident, conservative treatments may have limited value. Dentists typically recommend strict dental hygiene, including twice-daily brushing and daily flossing. Crowns may be needed when erosion of teeth becomes severe. When a tooth is damaged beyond repair, extraction may be the only option. Your physician may be able to refer you to a dentist who specializes in treating bulimic patients. Before having extensive restorative dental work performed, it’s best that you obtain treatment for your bulimia. If you continued to vomit regularly after dental treatment, further damage would compromise your new restorations.
Address the Root Cause of Your Eating Disorder and Teeth Problems
Eating disorders like bulimia can destroy your healthy smile, and they can also ruin your general health. Because having an eating disorder is a serious matter, your dentist is likely to refer you for specialized treatment if he or she suspects bulimia. A medical doctor or mental health specialist can help you understand your illness, and find ways to stop your unhealthy behaviors.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Reading, call Gentle Dental of Reading today at (484) 334-2592 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Reading. 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 Reading, 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 Reading.