When people become fixated with their weight and food they eat, they may develop eating disorders. These disorders can affect the health of the mouth. Here are some of the most common reasons for oral health problems due to eating disorders and what you can do to prevent them.
Acid Wearing Away the Tooth Enamel
The main issue is with bulimia, where a person throws the food back up after eating. This leads to more acid in the mouth, which contributes to tooth decay. The acid wears away the tooth enamel, meaning the teeth are more susceptible to damage and cavities. The acid can also cause the teeth to change color, preventing that white smile.
While recovering from the eating disorder is the best thing you can do, there are steps you can take to protect your teeth while you get help. Avoid brushing right after vomiting. This just spreads the acid around your mouth. Give your mouth time to produce saliva to remove some of the acid first.
To get rid of the taste of vomit, rinse your mouth out with water or fluoride liquids. This will boost the protection on the teeth and help with the removal of acid.
Sugary Foods During Binge Eating
Binge eating involves eating large quantities of food, often constantly throughout the day. It doesn't include the purging part of bulimia, but it still leads to oral health problems.
Most of the time, binge eaters will choose high sugary foods like chocolate and cookies. The sugar remains in the mouth and attacks the tooth enamel. Food particles also lead to the growth of bacteria, which is the main cause of tooth decay and bad breath. This problem can also lead to type 2 diabetes, and you will be more susceptible to gum disease.
Avoid binge eating as much as possible. When you do feel the need to binge, think about the types of foods that will help protect your mouth.
Weaker Jaws Due to Nutrition Deficiency
Those with anorexia limit the amount of food they eat throughout the day, often leading to deficiency in needed nutrients. Without the likes of calcium, magnesium and vitamin B3, the bones weaken. This leads to weaker jaws, potentially contributing to tooth loss and gum problems. Bad breath is also a problem.
Focus on getting the right nutrients throughout the day. Getting enough to support your normal bodily functions and bone strength is essential.
Fighting against the eating disorder is important. This will help to protect your oral health from the problems mentioned above.
For a dentist, contact a clinic such as Sun Dental & Orthodontics.