Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterised by binging on foods and then purging (vomiting) to get rid of the calories that have been consumed.
It has long lasting impacts on the body, not least on oral health.
Erosion Of Teeth
Vomit is very acidic because it contains stomach acid designed to break down your food. Having vomit in your mouth regularly is harmful for your teeth, because that acid begins to wear away the protective enamel that keeps your teeth healthy.
This can lead to the formation of cavities. In addition to this, people with Bulimia will often clean their teeth a lot more often than another person might to get rid of the taste and smell of vomit, and also to combat the halitosis (bad breath) that often comes along with it. Brushing your teeth too hard and too often is a risk factor for tooth erosion, and when combined with the excess acid it means the teeth are worn away even more quickly.
Once the teeth have become eroded they won’t grow back, however there are veneers and caps available that will help the teeth to appear healthy again.
Increased Risk Of Gum Disease
The soft inside of the mouth being exposed to stomach acid regularly is a risk factor for periodontal (gum) disease. The acid causes the gums to become inflamed which leads to gingivitis.
Like teeth, once the gums begin to recede they won’t grow back. This is just one of many reasons to seek early treatment for Bulimia. The Eden Center offers bulimia treatment in Las Vegas specifically for women, drawing on a number of different therapies so that the right approach for the individual can be found.
There are multiple treatment options for gum disease. If it’s caught early enough then it can be halted with good oral hygiene or with a scale and polish at the dentist’s office. More severe cases where the tissue around the teeth is unhealthy and cannot be repaired require dental surgery to resolve the issue, including bone grafts, guided tissue regeneration and soft tissue grafts.
Constant exposure to stomach acid, combined with malnutrition and calcium deficiency can lead the teeth to become brittle. They may become yellow and discolored and be jagged at the bottom where bits of the teeth have crumbled and fallen.
Once the root of the issue has been resolved, brittle teeth can be treated by ‘remineralizing’ your teeth. The most important part of this for someone with Bulimia is to ensure that they are getting enough calcium and vitamins for the teeth to grow strong again.
Bulimia can also change the shape and length of your teeth, because they will become worn away by the stomach acid in the mouth.
Pain And Sensitivity
The erosion of the tooth’s enamel and the formation of cavities can lead to a lot of discomfort, and teeth may become more sensitive. This means that you will experience pain when you are eating or drinking something very cold.