Eating Disorders and Oral Health

Eating Disorders and Oral HealthPeople who struggle with eating disorders have risks not only for psychological issues, but also for physical ones. The three most common types of eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia and binging and purging), plus eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS), can cause a variety of problems, including issues with oral health. Bad oral health can become a severe problem, so seek professional help to ensure that you recover.

Oral Health Problems from Eating Disorders

Eating disorders can cause a wide range of oral health issues, spanning from minor to major ones. The following oral health problems can all develop in response to an eating disorder:

  • Gum erosion – Consistent vomiting related to bulimia and/or binging and purging can erode gums, as the acid from the stomach eats away at them. This can start relatively early in the process, putting an individual’s teeth in danger of suffering more extreme damage as the gums erode further.
  • Yellowing and shape – Anorexia, bulimia and binging and purging can damage the appearance of teeth, as well as their overall health. Receiving inadequate calcium and vitamins can cause teeth to become thin (both in width and length), while consistent vomiting can cause them to become yellow.
  • Tooth decay – Eating disorders can destroy teeth if people do not nourish or properly care for their oral hygiene. Unfortunately, extensive teeth brushing following binging and purging behaviors can cause tooth decay to get worse, and eating large amounts of unhealthy foods at one time can also cause teeth to begin to decay.
  • Toothaches – As people engage in eating disorder behaviors, the above listed factors can contribute to deeper, less noticeable issues, including extreme toothaches. This can develop as gums and teeth begin to rot, causing problems with the nerves in the teeth and mouth.

Eating disorders can cause any of the aforementioned oral health problems, but people can seek professional help to recover.

Preventing Poor Oral Health from Eating Disorders

The only way for people with eating disorders to prevent poor oral health is to get professional help as soon as possible. By seeking treatment that involves intensive medical attention and evidence-based therapeutic approaches, people with eating disorders can end their dangerous patterns of behavior before they suffer the many damaging effects of poor oral health. You can recover not only from the disorder, but also from its effects, if you seek medical care as soon as possible.

Help Finding Treatment for an Eating Disorder

Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline right now to obtain the resources you need to stop destroying your body. Do not wait any longer – call us today for instant help to control your eating habits and to heal from their devastating problems.