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Eating Disorders and Your Teeth - What You Should Know

Posted on 3/10/2017 by Jonathan Woodyard
A patient suffering from gum disease, because of an eating disorder.
It is devastating to have an eating disorder. It wreaks havoc on your body due to the lack of nutrition. It also causes horrible consequences for your teeth. You may not think about it, but your mouth isn't just your teeth, it is also your gums. Both can be irreversibly damaged by eating disorders. Here's how.

How Do Eating Disorders Affect My Teeth?

Whether you are bulimic or anorexic, some of the effects on your teeth and reasons for the effects, are the same. When you have an eating disorder you typically don't get enough nutrition to maintain your health, let alone your oral health.

Your teeth are protected by saliva, which neutralizes the acid that causes cavities. When you have an eating disorder several changes to your body can affect your saliva production. The glands that produce saliva can swell; you may experience chronic dry mouth.

If you frequently vomit, the acid from the vomit washes over the teeth and speeds up the decay process. The acid eats away the tooth enamel and your teeth can change color or shape, or they may become brittle and crack. Excessive brushing that you do to wash away the vomit may cause the enamel from your teeth to be worn off.

How About My Gums?
The lack of vitamins and minerals can cause your gums a lot of problems. If you don't get enough calcium, you could end up with decayed teeth and gum disease. If you don't get enough Vitamin D your body won't be able to utilize the calcium.

If you have an iron deficiency you could develop sores in your mouth. A lack of Vitamin B3 can cause canker sores and can also cause bad breath - chronic not occasional.

Lack of nutrition can cause your gums and other soft tissues within your mouth to bleed. Your soft palate, the upper surface of your mouth, can get red, and can also end up with cuts and scratches on it from the pressure placed on the skin by your knuckles when purging.

Please contact our office if you have any questions about eating disorders.


Woodyard Dental Care, PSC

Dr. Jonathan Woodyard, DMD

3235 Olivet Church Road
Paducah, KY 42001



Phone: (270) 408-1321

Fax: (270) 408-1323


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