The Damage Teeth Take When You Have an Eating Disorder

An eating disorder can do terrible things to your health and your quality of life. Between the reduced levels of nutrition, the obsessive behavior, and the frantic counting of calories, you can begin to suffer a number of ill effects.

While an eating disorder is a very serious thing, one aspect that many people never consider is the effect that it can have on their teeth.

When you engage in some of the behaviors commonly associated with certain eating disorders, the impact on your teeth can be catastrophic.

Bulimia Nervosa

A common eating disorder is bulimia nervosa. People who suffer from bulimia may engage in normal eating activity for a few reasons, such as to appear socially normal or simply because they like the way the food tastes.

However, they will then engage in extremely destructive behavior such as self-induced vomiting. While this behavior can harm your health in a number of ways, our focus here is the impact on your teeth.

Keep in mind that your stomach is filled with an acidic fluid that is useful in digesting the food you have eaten. While this fluid is highly caustic, the stomach has a specialized lining that keeps it from causing any damage.

However, when you vomit, this acidic fluid can come up and coat the teeth in your mouth (not to mention the mucous membranes in your throat). This can lead to severe tooth damage, as the fluid begins to slowly eat away at the teeth.

Even if you rinse your mouth out after vomiting, there are usually traces of the stomach acids left behind. As such, regular vomiting-such as the kind frequently seen with bulimia-can quickly lead to a mouthful of damaged teeth.

If you have an eating disorder, please seek out help. Your teeth will thank you.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (512) 506-9889 today.

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