If you, or someone you know has ever suffered from an eating disorder, you realize what a destructive thing it is to the body. Beyond the damaging effects of malnutrition and rapid weight loss, the concerns of dental damage are also worth pointing out.
In discussing this topic, it is necessary to approach it with sensitivity. As your dentist, we want you to know that you can confide in us and trust in doctor-patient confidentiality. Come in for an evaluation and allow us to help you. Understanding that, there are things which we much discuss boldly to underscore the seriousness of the situation.
The most harmful act to the teeth of an anorexic or bulimic person is the compulsion to vomit. The strong acids of the stomach are extremely harmful to the teeth, and regular regurgitation erodes away the protective enamel that shields your teeth from harmful bacteria and decay. Apart from this, consistent vomiting stains the teeth and gives you bad breath.
To reduce the damage, be sure to follow good habits of oral hygiene. First, keep up a thorough toothbrushing routine at least twice a day and floss once a day. It is important to remember NOT to brush immediately after vomiting. Brushing when there is still acid residue in your mouth creates further risks of enamel erosion. Instead, rinse and gargle pure water in your mouth. You can also rinse with a little baking soda to help neutralize the acid. Don’t brush until at least an hour after purging.
If you’d like more education about eating disorder and your dental health, call Dr. Omar Damji and our helpful team at Executive Park Dentistry. Phone: 404-633-1853, or come by our office in Atlanta, Georgia.