Bulimia, a medical condition which involves binge-eating followed by purging does not only affect health in general, it may even cause long-term damage in teeth.
This long-term damage is produced both by the stomach acids that reach the mouth bulimics vomit. For those who prefer other types of purging such as taking laxatives, they are also at risk impacting their oral health. Malnourishment is frequent in people with bulimia since food is being purged, the body does not have sufficient nutrients to run body processes, it might also lead to anemia. In turn anemia might affect poor healing.
Also frequent vomiting may cause some visible changes in a person’s mouth, for example swelling salivary glands, the tissues of the mouth and tongue usually become dry, redness and soreness may also appear as symptoms. Also they might suffer from chronic sore throat and small hemorrhages under the palate’s skin.
How can a person with bulimia take better care of their teeth and oral health?
First it is recommended not to brush their teeth immediately after vomiting for it will cause further erosion on teeth. It is encouraged to dissolve some baking soda in water and flush with it, this will neutralize the acids that has collected around the teeth.
Going to the dentist at this stage will definitely be a great way to preserve your teeth. Dentists might prescribe a fluoride mouth wash and tooth paste since fluoride strengthens teeth, there are also treatments in form of gels.
Because of the vomiting the mouth might become excessively dry, it is recommended that enough water is consumed. Dentists can also prescribe saliva replacements.
Although visiting the dentist while the person is still in a bulimic stage can prevent further teeth damage, the work of replacing teeth and filling them up will take place once the person has treated their condition. If dental work is done and the person is still purging, all the work could be lost since frequent vomiting will further create erosion on teeth and further deterioration of tissues and structures.
For the sake of person’s overall health and oral health it is seriously recommended to seek out help to treat bulimia as soon as it has been discovered.
By: Prisma Dental
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