Bulimia is an eating disorder of binging and purging. People with this disorder binge-eat on food and then purge by throwing up or fasting. They also use some other means of laxatives and excessive exercise to get rid of the calories. This disorder has harmful effects on the heart, kidneys, liver, and other organs of the body. It also poses a lot of damage to the teeth and dental health.
Your dental health is involved especially when you have this type of eating disorder. It is directly affected because food and drinks, as well as stomach acids, pass through your mouth each time you try to expel them from your body.
Here are some effects of purging acts that one does with bulimia:
Repeated Vomiting. Most people suffering from bulimia vomit the food that they consume. This act damages the teeth because vomit contains stomach acids. It is a toxic for your teeth as this acid is responsible for digestion of food. Acid is corrosive for the tooth’s enamel. The hard protective layer of the tooth is easily eroded making it easier for bacteria to stick and attack the teeth that can lead to tooth decay.
Cavities. Cavities form eventually as the thinning of the tooth enamel continues. Oral cavities are tiny holes that grow wider and deeper as the time pass by. These holes are often attacked by bacteria and penetrate the tooth that causes tooth decay. If left untreated, this can lead to tooth extraction or root canals.
Brittle Teeth. As the tooth erosion worsens, the softer layer of the tooth is more visible. This layer is yellowish making people with this disorder have yellow smiles. This also makes the teeth easier to chip or break because it has become weak.
Swollen Salivary Glands. The acid levels of vomit can also make your salivary gland irritated and swell. Saliva usually helps you swallow and wash away bacteria and food particles. This will make your mouth dry and a risk factor for tooth decay and gum disease.
Teeth Sensitivity and Pain. Your teeth being eroded by gastric juices expose the more sensitive layer of your teeth. This layer has the nerves and blood vessels that keep your teeth strong. Patients with the bulimic disorder will feel pain in chewing and especially in sudden changes of temperature like eating hot or cold drinks. This will cause discomfort each time you eat hot and cold foods or drinks.
The quick fixes for dental issues caused by bulimia are to treat the dental conditions. A 24 hour dentist Chicago can do fillings, repair broken teeth, and help take care of your gums. The long-term answer is to look for treatment for bulimia. Dental repairs can only last for so long.
It is important to know there is an answer and treatment for your dental health and overall health. You can always ask for psychiatric help to recover from bulimia and gain strength, self-esteem and embrace your own individuality.