Eating disorders don’t just affect your physical appearance; they can have a severe impact on your oral health as well. Some common signs of poor oral health include bleeding gums, tooth decay, and gum disease. If you think about it, it makes sense that people with eating disorders may not properly care for their teeth due to adequate finances.
Read on as we explore the connection between eating disorders and tooth decay. We also outline some ways to promote oral health during recovery from an eating disorder.
How Eating Disorders Have Affected Dental Health
Although we don’t know the exact number of people who have eating disorders in the United States, experts believe that around 9 million Americans suffer from severe cases of anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder. Since many people with eating disorders don’t seek treatment, it’s difficult to assess how many suffer from these illnesses. Furthermore, for those who do seek help, some may not receive a formal diagnosis.
You must get help from a reputable dentist in your area. Delayed dental treatment could cause a patient to lose their natural teeth, causing the need for implants, which can be expensive. Also, seeking professional assistance may assist in other dental-related complications such as fixing crooked teeth or wrongly aligned teeth. If you need assistance, you may search Invisalign dentist near me on the search engine, and the internet will provide you with quick results.
Most people have heard of anorexia and bulimia by now, but what exactly is binge eating disorder? Individuals with this illness compulsively eat large quantities of food until they feel uncomfortably full or bloated. An individual who suffers from a binge eating disorder usually loses control while eating and often may eat too quickly.
It is common to assume that people with anorexia or bulimia would have a higher risk of developing oral health problems. Nevertheless, it would surprise you to learn that binge eating disorder is linked to many dental issues. People with binge eating disorders are more likely to take care of their teeth improperly than those with other eating disorders. What’s more, they often develop severe tooth decay as a result.
Common Diseases That Lead to Dental Problems
People with anorexia usually have low body fat levels and may suffer from dehydration, brittle nails, hair loss, and dry skin. Going without food for long periods can result in cavities or gum disease due to poor nutrition.
People with bulimia often have swollen salivary glands, minor tongue abrasions, and tooth enamel erosion.
Binge Eating Disorder
Like those with bulimia and anorexia, people with binge eating disorders are likely to suffer from dental issues as well, including cavities and gum disease.
Factors Linking Dental Issues With Binge Eating
The reasons behind this connection between dental issues and binge eating may be rooted in several factors:
- People with this type of disordered eating tend to eat alone or secretly. This can mean that they nibble on food during the day, which ultimately leads to tooth decay.
- People with this type of disordered eating often don’t brush their teeth as aggressively as other people.
- The chemicals released in your mouth when you eat certain foods (such as sugar and flour) can encourage the growth of bacteria and plaque. Bacteria in your mouth follow a particular range of pH levels, meaning that they are more likely to survive in an acidic environment than an alkaline environment.
- It means that during periods of increased intake of sugary or starchy foods, the waste products created by bacteria may be more easily absorbed into your body — which can lead to dental problems.
What should you do if you’re dealing with a food addiction or have an eating disorder? Start by following your dentist’s advice about maintaining proper oral health. Don’t forget to visit your dentist regularly.
Also, talk with a dietitian or nutritionist about the best way to approach the problem of bingeing and vomiting, as in this case, it can be costly and emotionally draining.
Finally, make sure that when you’re ready to start working on getting your eating back under control, you seek professional advice from someone who understands addiction and eating disorders.