When it comes to the problems like eating disorders, the first adverse effect is observed on the general health of a person. However, another immediate effect is also observed on the oral health of the person too. The first thing to do while dealing with an eating disorder is to recognize the exact type of eating disorder. Generally, there are common types of eating disorders including anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and binge eating. Once a type of eating disorder is known, it will be easier to find a proper solution for it.

What is anorexia nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa makes people feel that they will increase their weight more when they eat food. So they limit their food intake that deprives the person of nutrients that are important for body and oral health. As these people avoid food that is good in calories, they do not get the necessary ingredients for dental health.

What is bulimia?

Bulimia disorder involves overeating the food that is required during a meal and then doing self-induced vomiting. This process involves binging and purging. This habit has shown oral health issues in many cases.

What is binge eating?

Binge eaters are having the habit of eating more food. They constantly like eating food in large quantities. They keep eating the food until they feel uncomfortable and they eat the food faster. These habits affect the health of the individual adversely.

Effect on mouth due to eating disorder:

1. Deficiency in the essential nutrients

The foods we take are good sources of nutrients like iron, calcium, and different types of vitamins. The deficiency of iron causes oral issues like sores. An insufficient amount of Vitamin B3 causes problems like canker sores and bad breath. Calcium is one of the important nutrients for dental health, any deficiency in calcium causes tooth decay, gum disease like Gingivitis, and other oral health issues.

2. Affecting saliva producing glands

A proper amount of saliva in the mouth is very essential for keeping the mouth away from problems like plaque development. It also helps to keep the body away from other bacteria development. Insufficiency in the essential nutrients due to eating disorders can affect saliva production in the mouth. It can further lead to more plaque build-up and other bacteria development in the mouth.

3. Enamel wears out due to vomiting

Eating disorder problems can also lead to problems like vomiting. The stomach acid present in the vomiting affects the teeth. It slowly wears out the enamel layer of the teeth that eventually gets removed. Removal or weakening of the enamel layer leads to the faster decay of the teeth. It can also affect the pulp areas of the teeth causing different complications.

4. Enlargement of salivary glands

In some of the cases, it is found that binge eating habits can cause the enlargement of the salivary glands. The enlarged glands in the person are not good and it can cause emotional disturbance to the person.

5. Sensitivity in teethsensitive teeth

Eating disorder problems often lead to the problem of teeth sensitivity. Here, the eating disorder deprives the person of essential nutrients for dental health. It further leads to more sensitivity while eating or drinking hot, cold, or sweet things.

These are some of the common adverse effects on oral health due to eating disorder problems. There are some other complications too due to eating disorders in the person. These problems involve a complicated treatment process for getting proper oral health. The treatments can also be very costly.

What treatment can work for oral health issues due to eating disorders?

There are few oral treatments that can be helpful for the person to make things better.

Here are some of the common treatments for oral issues caused due to eating disorder:

1. Teeth cleaning

Generally, a basic teeth cleaning habit like brushing, flossing, rinsing, etc. needs to be done regularly. Also, in case of plaque and tartar development, teeth cleaning must also be done through dental experts.

2. Proper fluoride treatmentfluoride treatment

Proper treatment from the dental expert is essential to ensure that the teeth keep away from plaque and other bacteria development. It will also keep the teeth strong during the problems caused due to eating disorders.

3. Curbing improper eating habits

As improper eating habits have caused several eating disorders, it is essential to curb different eating habits. Proper eating habits will avoid many such oral issues and provide necessary ingredients for keeping up oral health.

4. Occasional visit to the dental expertvisit to the dental expert

Most people do not realize the smaller dental issues at an earlier stage. However, if it is not treated at an early stage then it can cause different grave problems later. So, a proper occasional visit to the dental expert for checking oral health is essential.

These are some of the general treatments to keep the oral health issues away that are caused due to eating disorders. Proper eating habits are always better than dealing with the other complicated issues of oral health.

Expert opinion

  • Dr. Ankita Gada Dental Director of Sabka dentist says "An eating disorder affects the oral health of the individual. Dental experts suggest curbing habits of eating disorders for avoiding several oral health complications. It becomes difficult to understand oral issues at an early stage due to eating disorders. Getting oral treatment sooner is always better.”

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