It’s not a secret… eating disorders affect our oral health.
What is kept a secret is that someone close to you may be suffering from an eating disorder. As a result, eating disorders can have a severe negative impact on a person’s quality of life in addition to their oral health.
Common types of eating disorders:
- Anorexia Nervosa– An excessive fear of gaining weight and having a distorted perception of body image.
- Bulimia Nervosa– Repeatedly binge eating and then as a result, engaging in behaviors that over compensate, such as self-induced vomiting, over using laxatives, or compulsively exercising.
- Binge Eating– Frequently eating excessive amounts of food, however, there are no compensational behavior. With obesity as a result.
Consequently, eating disorders can cause severe pain and sensitivity to the teeth and gums. Often promoting sufferers to seek dental help. Therefor, dentists are often the first health care professionals to see signs and symptoms of eating disorders.
Dental Symptoms of an eating disorder
- Enamel on the teeth is weakened and eroded from frequent exposure to strong stomach acids.
- Gums may recede and bleed when there is a lack of minerals and nutrients needed for healthy gums.
- Teeth can become very sensitive to hot and cold temperatures
- Teeth can become misshaped, cracked, and translucent in color.
- Salivary glands may become enlarged.
- Chronic dry mouth and bad breath.
Dr. Anthony has a unique and compassionate approach to helping people with eating disorders. She is an active part of The Body Balance Program team. The Body Balance Program is an outpatient eating disorder treatment program offered through Kalispell Regional Healthcare.
Here to help
Most importantly, if you or someone you love is suffering from the oral complications of an eating disorder Dr. Leslie Anthony is here to help.
Let Dr. Anthony help you on the road to recovery and restoring your smile.