Oral Health Tips for People with Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are medical conditions that are diagnosed and treated by physicians, psychologists and other medical professionals. However, dentists can also play a role in the diagnosis and treatment of several types of eating disorders. For example, bulimia and anorexia are both characterized by self induced vomiting. Since the substances in the digestive system are highly acidic and can attack the teeth when vomiting, symptoms of eating disorders can become very apparent on your teeth and to your dentist, including:
- Bad breath
- Tooth enamel loss
- Dry mouth syndrome
- Sensitive teeth
- Change in the shape, color and length of the teeth
- Tooth decay, cracks, chips and tooth loss
The good news is that dentists can provide treatment for the oral symptoms associated with eating disorders. There are both restorative and cosmetic dentistry options to explore, including:
- Bad breath can be treated with oral rinses, sprays and gum. As well, there are proactive measures that you can take to reduce your risk of bad breath.
- Dry mouth syndrome may be prevented (link to story). There are also a variety of treatments for dry mouth syndrome.
- Sensitive teeth can be treated with fluoridated toothpastes, mouthwashes, gels or varnishes.
- Tooth enamel loss that weakens the teeth may be reversed with fluoride treatments.
- Tooth decay, root damage and other general dentistry concerns can be treated with dental fillings, root canals and crowns
- Chipped or cracked teeth can be treated with bonding or dental veneers, depending upon the severity of the condition.
- Tooth loss can be treated with dental implants.
- Changes in the anatomy of the teeth can be prevented with mouth guards and improved through dental veneers.
If you think you have an eating disorder, call Dr. Mark Sweeney, an Austin Texas dentist at (512) 452-9296 to schedule an appointment and develop a comprehensive treatment plan.