Understanding and Treating Bulimia Effects on Teeth
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by cyclical binge eating and purging. It can seriously damage your general health, and it can also ruin your smile. Because signs of acid erosion of teeth occur in a relatively short time period after the onset of bulimia, your dentist may be the first person to determine that your eating disorder and teeth problems are related. The biggest contributors to tooth damage are the stomach acids that come into contact with your tooth enamel when you vomit regularly. The powerful acids cause erosion of teeth, cavities, tooth sensitivity, and other problems.
Signs of Bulimia Effects on Teeth
A dental professional can recognize the effects of past or present bulimia just by looking at your teeth. If you have the disease, your teeth may appear clear in color because of severe damage to tooth enamel. They may be slightly rounded in shape. Tooth decay and gingivitis are common. The type of damage seen is similar to that of patients who had nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy treatment or who suffered severe morning sickness while pregnant. However, the erosion of teeth and other damage are often significantly worse due to the duration of bulimia, which can be ongoing for many years.
Treating Severe Erosion of Teeth
By the time bulimia effects on teeth are evident, conservative treatments may be of little value. Dentists typically recommend strict dental hygiene, including twice-daily brushing and daily flossing. Crowns may be needed when erosion of teeth becomes severe. When a tooth is damaged beyond repair, extraction may be the only option. Your physician may be able to refer you to a dentist who specializes in treating bulimic patients. Before having extensive restorative dental work performed, it’s best that you obtain treatment for your bulimia. If you continued to vomit regularly after dental treatment, further damage would compromise your new restorations.
Seek Help for Your Eating Disorder and Teeth Problems
Because having an eating disorder is a serious matter, your dentist is likely to refer you for specialized treatment if he or she suspects bulimia. A medical doctor or mental health specialist can help you understand your illness, and find ways to stop your unhealthy behaviors. Eating disorders like bulimia can destroy your healthy smile, and they can also ruin your general health.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Springfield, call Gentle Dental of Springfield today at (484) 810-1247 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Springfield. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Springfield, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of Springfield.