How Bulimia Affects Your Teeth

Mar 11th, 2012 | By | Category: Cosmetic Dentistry, More dental news

teethMany people worry that their dentist will know they haven’t been brushing or flossing regularly when they go in for checkups, but did you know your dentist can spot more serious issues just by looking in your mouth? From drug use to vitamin deficiencies, your mouth can reveal a variety of secrets about your general health. One condition that dentists often spot before any other health professionals is the eating disorder bulimia nervosa, which wreaks havoc on the teeth, throat, and lips.

What is bulimia nervosa?

Bulimia nervosa, often shortened to “bulimia,” is an eating disorder that consists of binging on large quantities of food and then purging these foods from the system to avoid weight gain. Purging may involve self-induced vomiting or the use of laxatives. Although bulimia can strike men or women of any age, it is most often seen in teenage girls and young women. Bulimics are often at a normal weight but view themselves as being overweight.

How can my dentist tell if I have bulimia?

Some of the warning signs that Dr. Moiceanu often spots include:

  • Erosion of the tooth enamel. Frequent vomiting exposes the teeth to gastric acid, which wears away the tooth enamel, especially on the backs of the teeth. Repeated exposure to stomach acids can lead to cavities, gum disease, and even tooth loss.
  • Swollen parotid salivary glands. Vomiting affects the functioning of salivary glands, which leads to xerostomia, or chronic dry mouth. A lack of saliva contributes to acid erosion of tooth enamel.
  • Irritation on the roof of the mouth and in the throat. Bulimics often scratch the back of the throat with their fingernails when inducing vomiting, and vomit inflames the soft tissues of the mouth and throat.
  • Cracked or dry lips. Bulimics are often dehydrated and malnourished, which leads to dryness of the lips.

Can my teeth be restored after bulimia?

Your first step should be to seek treatment from your physician and an eating disorder therapist. Once your bulimia is under control, you can begin treatment with Dr. Moiceanu, who offers a variety of restorative and cosmetic procedures to correct your teeth. Dr. Moiceanu will treat decayed teeth with fillings, inlays, onlays, or crowns. If your teeth are worn down or discolored, he can restore their size, shape, and color with porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns.

If you have bulimia, restoring your smile is highly beneficial to your recovery, so call Dr. Stefan Moiceanu today at (510) 758-7222 to schedule an appointment. Hilltop Family Dental treats patients from Richmond, San Pablo, El Sobrante, Vallejo, Pinole, El Cerrito, Hercules, Benicia, and the greater Contra Costa County area.

View Larger Map

Share on Facebook
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,