Bulimia, How It Can Affect Your Dental Health

Bulimia is a disease with serious consequences. In a society where the image of the body is at the heart of the news with women’s magazines full of thinner icons, anorexia-bulimia is in full swing. In the United States, anorexia nervosa is the third chronic disease in adolescents after obesity and asthma. Anorexia is an eating disorder characterized by voluntary weight loss in a context of complex psychic disorders, with changes in the body’s image and a fear of gaining weight. Bulimia manifests itself in bouts of compulsions that can be associated with induced vomiting, which in turn can put a lot of pressure on the teeth and gums. It may cause erosion of the teeth. It can also affect dental health generally in quite a profound way. 

Irreversible dental injuries

It is not uncommon for dentists to see patients arriving in their office with massive and irreversible erosions of dental enamel indirectly making it possible to establish the diagnosis of anorexia or bulimia. In the context of eating disorders, the causes of erosion can be either extrinsic by consuming acidic food or drinks; or intrinsic by repeated regurgitation or vomiting (acid gastric fluid). Indeed, the repeated action of acids on dental tissues (email, dentin) can lead to significant destruction of teeth. These dental lesions, once installed, are disastrous and irreversible.

Other consequences of the oral sphere are sometimes observed: mucous and gum problems or dental hypersensitivities with pain when consuming hot, cold or acidic food. The purpose of the treatment is to preserve dental tissue. When restorative dental treatment is necessary, it can only be considered after eradicating the causal factor, i.e. a cure of the psychic pathology. The orthodontist is a key player in screening and they must be the ones to diagnose any issues as early on as possible. It is essential that after making the diagnosis, orthodontists  will broach the subject with the patient and offer them the necessary assistance to help them. They will also be able to recommend ways to protect the teeth during this time. 

According to the High Health Authority (HAS), prevention is better than the cure and therefore any risk of progression to a chronic form and somatic could be bad. The same applies at the dental level, the earlier management, the less complex techniques will be used and preventive treatment will be preferred. The dental surgeon has a duty not only to inform the patient of their observations, but also to refer them to the right person.

Brushing teeth after an episode of vomiting is more harmful than one might think, in reality. The best thing to do is to rinse your mouth thoroughly. You must do this with a neutral solution, including baking soda and water. A dentist should also be able to assess your dental health and offer you the best treatment solutions. You should consider seeing an orthodontist as often as possible to avoid any irreversible damage to your teeth.

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