Eating Disorders

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Eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa and binge eating disorder can affect your dental health as well as your general health.  Common dental problems can include enamel erosion, xerostomia (dry mouth) and tooth decay.

Individuals diagnosed with bulimia nervosa usually experience the most damage to their teeth due to frequent vomiting.  Vomit contains highly erosive acid, which, when it comes into contact with teeth will cause the enamel to wear away.

Individuals who suffer from anorexia nervosa receive a lack of nutrients and can suffer dental problems such as osteoporosis (a condition affecting the bones) which can cause bone loss in the jaw and lead to tooth loss.

Those suffering from binge eating disorder can develop tooth decay due to the frequent bingeing on sugary food and drink.

After vomiting, do not brush your teeth for about an hour as this will mean brushing the acid directly into the tooth surface and causing further damage.  Instead rinse your mouth with water or a fluoride mouthwash to combat the effects of the acid wearing away your teeth.

After bingeing on sugary food and drink, again try to rinse your mouth with water/fluoride mouthwash and try to wait at least an hour after eating to brush teeth.  If you experience any pain or sensitivity, try using a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.

It is important that you visit your GP if you are experiencing any signs of an eating disorder and to visit your dentist for advice on keeping your teeth as healthy as possible.

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