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How Eating Disorders Can Affect Your Mouth

Posted on 12/10/2021 by SRD Muscle Shoals
How Eating Disorders Can Affect Your MouthAn eating disorder is a psychological condition that's dangerous and involved a person having negative feelings about food and their body image. This affects their eating behavior significantly. When a person has an eating disorder, they may eat very little amounts of food or have periods where they eat too much and then purge afterwards. These eating behaviors are abnormal and can create severe problems with their health, including their oral health. Oral health may not be the first thing to come to mind when concerning eating disorders, but its essential that people are informed of the oral health risks involved.

Types of Eating Disorders

Bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and binge eating disorders are the most common and recognized forms of eating behaviors. People who have eating disorders will eventually develop severe and permanent oral damage. One reason why people with eating disorders have poor oral health is because they aren't getting the proper nutrition required since they are not consuming enough food. When people don't consume the right foods and get the nutrients they need, they can develop problems like dry mouth and their gums can become swollen, resulting in gingivitis. A person is also more susceptible to tooth decay if they aren't getting enough vitamin D and calcium in their diet.

When a person has bulimia, they create a set of problems for their teeth. Because a person with bulimia makes themselves vomit by sticking a finger down their throat, this manual manipulation may damage and bruise the mouth's soft tissues. The salivary glands can become swollen and painful because of constant purging. Tissue loss, sores, and lesions are also common. Vomiting brings up stomach acids through the throat and mouth and are very damaging and corrosive. The acid damages tooth enamel and makes the teeth brittle and weak. Decay is an unfortunate consequence to vomiting up stomach acid. Even with vigorous oral health care including brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist cant rid the damage cause by eating disorders in terms of decay. Binge eating disorders cause a person to consume huge amounts of food in one sitting. Usually, these foods are high in acid and sugar and low in nutrition. Cavities and decay are a result of binge eating these types of foods and can cause tooth sensitivity, tooth loss, and even infection.
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