Not only can eating disorders have an impact on your general health but they can impact your oral health too. There are a number of different oral problems that can be caused by eating disorders like bulimia (binge eating followed by purging). This includes tooth decay and xerostomia (dry mouth), as well as acid erosion of the surface of the teeth. With that being said, read on to discover more about bulimia and caring for your teeth if you are suffering from this type of eating disorder.
Damage to the teeth experienced through bulimia Nervosa
Those experiencing bulimia Nervosa tend to notice damage to their teeth. This happens because of frequent vomit. Vomit contains gastric or stomach acid. This is highly erosive. When it comes into contact with your teeth on a regular basis, it will start to wear the enamel away. It is not uncommon for someone to experience pain and sensitivity when this happens. This is because the enamel layer of the tooth can give way to the next layer, for example, the dentine and the pulp may end up exposed. A lot of people will notice that this sensitivity and pain gets worse when they eat or drink sweet, cold, or hot drinks and foods. You will also notice that your teeth start to look different as well. They will become more yellow, as well as having a glassy and smoother appearance. These are not the only issues that tend to be experienced by someone who is suffering from bulimia. Frequent binging on drinks and sugary snacks can lead to cavities or tooth decay. Not only this but you may also notice that your salivary glands become swollen because of continual vomiting.
How can you protect your teeth?
Now that you have a better understanding of how bulimia has an impact on your oral health, it is important to take the steps to protect your teeth. What should you do?
- Please seek medical help for you condition! The dentist‘s at Rose Dental Nashua can help you
- You should make sure you brush your teeth two times a day. Use a toothbrush that is bristled and has a small head. You are also advised to use fluoride toothpaste.
- You can also use a fluoride mouthwash. This will either be used on a weekly or daily basis depending on the instructions on the manufacturer’s packaging.
- You also need to make sure you clean below the gum line and between the teeth. You can use this with interdental brushes or through flossing.
- Once you have had an episode of vomiting, you are advised to rinse out your mouth with fluoride mouthwash. This will help to prevent the impact of gastric acid on your teeth. If you do not have fluoride acid, you are advised to simply use water to wash your mouth out.
- Once you have vomited, you should not brush your teeth for at least an hour. This is important because it enables the acid conditions that have been created in your mouth to settle down. If you vomit and then brush your teeth straight after this, you are simply brushing the acid directly onto your tooth’s surface, and this is going to cause greater destruction.