Diet And Eating Disorders
Losing weight is healthy especially if you have too many extra pounds around your belly. However, the right way to do it will keep you and your dental health in good condition. If not, your health will suffer the consequences; especially with eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia.
Anorexia and bulimia
Anorexia and bulimia are the two most popular eating disorders. These characteristics can be developed if one has an obsession on loosing weight. Bulimics tend to overeat and then vomit everything after eating because they don’t want to get fat and/or they think they are fat. Anorexics tend to starve themselves because subconsciously they think that they are fat. Anorexia nervosa is a psychological disease where one does not eat even to starvation. Because of these, malnutrition sets in. The lack of nutrition can make the body weak, even the teeth.
One dental problem that is seen in both of these disorders (anorexia and bulimia) is dental erosion, a condition that the teeth become weak and thin due to the erosion of the enamel. 90% of those people who have bulimia are suffering from teeth erosion and about 20% of those who have anorexia nervosa are suffering from the same condition.
The erosion of the teeth is caused by the acids from the stomach during vomiting. The gastro-esophageal acid is too strong for the enamel to resist destruction. Erosion can also most commonly occur due to acids from certain beverages and juices, but the pattern of the erosion is different.
The teeth that suffer from acids due to vomiting are the upper front teeth usually behind the upper front teeth and on the incisal edges. It starts with the thinning process. The teeth can become so weak and thin that sometimes the teeth crack at a slightest bite. The bottom teeth don’t get effected much because they are protected by the tongue during vomiting. Other areas that can get effected by bulimics are the palate and the throat, which can become red by the inducing action of the finger to vomit. Also there can be soft tissue ulcerations caused by the stomach acids. Bulimics also tend to brush their teeth after vomiting which will actually exacerbate the erosion of the teeth due to the acids softening the enamel and the toothbrush bristles removing the softened enamel.
As for anorexics, they tend to not be very hygienic which will contribute to several dental problems as they refuse to maintain good hygiene practice. They tend to have teeth and gum problems.
How to cure these eating disorders?
You have to talk to the person frankly. Tell them that they are suffering from bad practice of dieting. The mouth and the rest of their body suffer. Reorient them of the nutrition facts and why food is essential to the body. Help them have a scheduled exercise. Introduce nutritious and delicious foods which are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. You can have them speak to a nutritionist.
Make sure you take them to the dentist and have their teeth examined to see if there have any tooth decay that need to be treated. Also to check how much damage has been done to the teeth by the stomach acids and what can be done about it. Be honest with your dentist about these disorders. The appearance of your teeth affects the totality of how you look.
Anorexia and bulimia are advanced eating disorders. Early prevention is the cure. If there are signs of this condition, take the person to psychiatric help before the condition escalates and damage the whole body.
Here is a video to watch on eating disorders:
By: Ladan Zinati
candiceDecember 4, 2013
Excellent article with a great deal of good information. Anorexia and bulimia are both very serious disorders and we really need to learn as much as we can about them.
Diet plan And Consuming Disorders: Exactly what...December 7, 2013
[…] Bulimics usually tend to eat way too much and after that threw up every little thing after consuming since they do not desire to obtain fatty tissue and they believe they are fatty tissue. Anorexics usually tend to deprive themselves since unconsciously they believe that they are fatty tissue. Anorexia nervosa is a mental illness where one does not consume also to deprivation. […]
Diet And Eating Disorders: What Are The Consequ...December 11, 2013
[…] Anorexia and bulimia are the two most preferred eating ailments. These attributes can be developed if one has an obsession on loosing weight. Bulimics often tend to overeat and then vomit everything after eating because they don't want to get fat and/or they think they are fat. Anorexics often tend to starve themselves because subconsciously they think that they are fat. Anorexia nervosa is a psychological disease where one does not eat even to hunger. Because of these, lack of nutrition sets in. The lack of nutrition can make the body unsteady, even the teeth. […]
Diet plan And Eating Disorders: Exactly what Are The Effects On Your Dental Wellness? | wellness & spaDecember 11, 2013
[…] Anorexia and bulimia are the two most popular eating disorders. These characteristics can be established if one has a fascination on loosing weight. Bulimics have the tendency to eat way too much then threw up everything after eating since they don’t wish to obtain fatty tissue and/or they believe they are fatty tissue. Anorexics have the tendency to deprive themselves since subconsciously they believe that they are fatty tissue. Anorexia nervosa is a mental illness where one does not eat even to starvation. Due to these, malnutrition sets in. The lack of nourishment can make the body weak, even the teeth. https://www.dentistcudahyca.com/diet-and-eating-disorders-what-ar… […]
RobertDecember 22, 2013
I have often wondered if eating disorders have any effect on your oral health. When I was in college, I played basketball and weight was very important. I suffered from bulimia for my first 2 seasons. I also wonder what effect’s this could have on my over all oral health in the future.
adminDecember 23, 2013
Robert, thank you for sharing with us about your bulemia. Your dentist and your physician are the ones who can answer that question fo you depending on how much damage was done to your teeth and your body.
skyhigh181January 20, 2014
It is such a little known fact about the effect eating disorders can have on dental health. Thank you for providing some great info on this issue.
adminJanuary 22, 2014
You are very welcome.
MBWJanuary 27, 2014
I guess I never really realized that the acids in our stomach can have such a negative impact on our teeth, not that I have an eating disorder. It’s just something I never really thought about.
adminJanuary 29, 2014
Yah, I guess most people don’t think about that!
lamparJanuary 30, 2014
Having read through the article make me realize that keeping our oral/mouth hygiene regularly is not enough to prevent tooth decay and dental health problem from happening, we still need to have proper diet and treat any eating disorder immediately in order to have a healthy dental. Thank for this great information.
adminFebruary 2, 2014
You are very welcome, Lampar.
SarahFebruary 2, 2014
This article was very helpful to me because I have a friend that has bulimia. I have tried to constantly get her to get help but she would refuse to believe she had a problem. I sat her down and showed her this article and it helped a lot! Thank you.
adminFebruary 5, 2014
Sarah, you are very welcome. I am so glad that my article helped your friend. Thanks for sharing it with her:)
Sam JohnFebruary 6, 2014
I never knew before reading this article the fact that the diet and eating disorders will have oral dental problems. Moreover I have heard that people having stomach problems have bad breath. Anyways the information is useful.
adminFebruary 9, 2014
sam, you are definitely correct. People with stomach problems do have bad breath, but not only that, People with gum disease or any infection in your mouth also have bad breath.
Maria GFebruary 8, 2014
I’ve struggled with bulimia on and off throughout the past ten years. It really does have a horrible effect on your teeth and I can see the damage every day in the mirror. It’s really hard to let go of those impulses to cleanse myself and get the food out of my stomach. The sad thing about bulimia is it isn’t even good for weight-loss, it’s more of a control thing. Most bulimics are healthy weights or even on the chubby side since vomiting doesn’t get rid of all the calories. Any eating order is very serious though, and I’ve been in therapy for two years battling with mine. Thank you for this wonderful article that will hopefully enlighten others about the plight of those of us with eating disorders.
adminFebruary 8, 2014
Maria, thank you for sharing with us what you’ve been going through. I am glad you have been getting help. Keep up the good job:) I hope my article helped you as well.