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Eating disorders are very serious conditions that negatively affect every aspect of the human body from cells, tissues, organs, and even teeth. The food we ingest provides our bodies with the energy and nutrients that we need to function in our everyday lives. So when body dysmorphia, stress, family genetics, or any of the other many causes of eating disorders come into play, our health is seriously at risk.


Anorexia Effects on Teeth

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that takes the form of a distorted perception of body image. Overcontrolling one’s weight and shape through intense exercise and very minimal eating are very prevalent aspects of this disease. 

Severely restricting the food, and thus nutrients and vitamins, that enters one’s body leads to malnutrition. This can result in osteoporosis, which weakens the jaw bones and results in not only eventual tooth loss, but also bloody gums, insufficient production of saliva, and swollen salivary glands. 


Bulimia Effects on Teeth

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by secretly eating large amounts of food with the intention to later purge these calories, in the form of laxative abuse or self-induced vomiting. Loss of control over eating and extreme preoccupation with weight and body shape are also a part of this potentially life-threatening disease. 

Frequent vomiting is harmful to your teeth as it exposes the teeth to stomach acid. This exposure erodes the enamel, leaving your teeth vulnerable to decay, discoloration, and tooth loss.      

A good dental hygiene routine is a great way to avoid additional dental damage. If your teeth have been exposed to acid, it is best to wait at least thirty minutes to brush. Tooth enamel is weaker immediately after exposure to acid, whether this be in the form of acidic food or drink or from regurgitated stomach acid, and can be more easily brushed away. Rinsing with water and brushing, later on, is the best remedy in this situation. 


Visit Our Family Dental Office in Brookline  

Recovery can seem like a daunting road, but there are ways to get help. Supportive family and friends, a trusted licensed psychologist, a nutritionist, and your dentist can all play a role in helping on the road to recovery. As your dentist … Let’s begin the process to prevent additional damage from malnutrition and acid erosion.

The relationship between eating disorders and oral health is overwhelmingly negative, but we can help. Comfort Dental Care of Brookline is a family dentist in Brookline, MA that’s proud to offer affordable and high-quality dental care. We are committed to helping you own your best smile through compassionate and friendly service. Book an appointment with us.