Eating Disorders Leading to Dental Erosion
It is estimated that over eight million Americans suffer from eating disorders. This figure is probably too low, due to the large number of Americans that keep their eating disorders a secret. Our Northridge dentist draws attention to the fact that individuals suffering from eating disorder experience a marked increase in dental issues. Those afflicted with anorexia and bulimia often are faced with teeth sensitivity, acute dental erosion, and facial pain.
A study by the University of Bergen in Norway indicates that one in three individuals experiencing an eating disorder demonstrates severe dental erosion, compared to only one in ten in the control group. Those suffering from anorexia and bulimia also often have facial pain and dry mouth. Additionally, overall tooth sensitivity is amplified.
Our Northridge root canal treatment expert points out that bulimia, which features vomiting after eating, has a direct correlation with oral health. The high acid content erodes tooth enamel. Consistent abuse of vomiting inhibits individuals' saliva from naturally repairing the damage from contact with acidic vomit, thus increasing tooth erosion. Those suffering from eating disorders should rinse immediately after vomiting to preserve the health of their teeth. Brushing after vomiting is not recommended as the acidic vomit can sweep away softened enamel.
To protect oral health, anorexia and bulimia sufferers should visit dentists regularly. Dentists can prescribe high strength fluoride toothpastes to protect their teeth. They can also outfit sufferers with sugar-free chewing gum to increase saliva flow. If treatment is required, dentists can recommend an effective course of action.
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