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Eating Disorders

More than 10 million Americans currently are affected by serious eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. While anyone can suffer from an eating disorder, they are most common in teenagers and young adult women. In addition to having a negative impact on an individual’s health and quality of life, eating disorders also affect self-image, relationships with families and friends, and performance in school or at work. If you suffer from an eating disorder, it’s important to talk to your health care provider.

Eating disorders can also affect a person’s oral health. Without the proper nutrition, gums and other soft tissue inside the mouth may bleed easily. The glands that produce saliva may swell and individuals may experience chronic dry mouth. Throwing up frequently can affect teeth too. That’s because when strong stomach acid repeatedly flows over teeth, the tooth’s enamel can be lost to the point that the teeth change in color, shape and length. The edges of teeth become thin and break off easily. Eating hot or cold food or drink may become uncomfortable.

If you suffer from an eating disorder these practices can reduce oral health problems associated with it: Maintain meticulous oral health care related to tooth brushing and flossing, Immediately after throwing up, do NOT brush but rinse with baking soda to help neutralize the effects of the stomach acid, Consult with your dentist about your specific treatment needs, See your dentist regularly. Call Aegis Dental if you are concerned about the oral health if you experience any of the eating disorders.