How do eating disorders affect your mouth

Eating disorder is a kind of psychological problem that provokes atypical eating behaviors. Such unhealthy eating habits are detrimental to our oral health as well as our general health. Similar to obsession, weight gain or loss, abnormal dietary habits cause many lingering & damaging effects on dental health like enamel wear down, dry mouth, etc.

In this post, we have explained the common types of eating disorders and their adverse effects on your oral cavity.

Common types of eating disorders

Each compulsive eating behavior causes a variety of damages to your mouth. Dentists observe those impairments & lesions to pinpoint the type of eating disorder. After that, he/she derives the right treatment plan.

The common eating disorders we found in many people are as follows:

  • Anorexia Nervosa – This is the most common eating disorder many people have developed. People suffering from this condition view them as overweight, even though they are very lean. So they would restrict the amount of food they consume, especially food with calories. This practice deprives such people of essential nutrients for inner organs, teeth, and gums.
  • Bulimia Nervosa – It is life-threatening compulsive eating behavior. People with bulimia take large quantities of foods and indulge in odd activities to compensate the calories taken. Such purging activities include self-induced vomiting, taking enema & laxatives, fasting, and much more.
  • Pica – This is the habit of eating non-edible substances like soil, chalk, hair, cloth, soap, and much more. Apart from poisoning and injuring the gut, this practice will provide a way for bacterial infections that propagate in the mouth also.
  • Binge eating disorder – It is the habit of eating excessive foods in a short period. Likewise, people suffering from this atypical dietary habit consume food whenever they feel guilt, distress, guilt. People who are suffering from this dietary habit are highly susceptible to acid reflux diseases.
  • Rumination Disorder – This is a newly discovered eating disorder. It makes the sufferer regorges the swallowed food to his/her mouth, chew, and swallow it again. This problem is associated with problems like weight loss, GERD, malnutrition, etc.

Effects of eating disorders on the mouth

Nutrition deficiency is the main problem associated with compulsive eating behavior. Similar to our inner organs, teeth, gums, and other oral tissues also require nutrients like iron, calcium, vitamins, etc. Such nutrients supplied with blood are paramount for the tissues to do their regular activities.

In simply, malnutrition will weaken the oral tissues and teeth hence they cannot combat bacteria invasions. t will lead to cavities, gum diseases, dry mouth, bad breath, etc.

Here are the common dental illnesses that occur with a lack of vitamins:

  • Lack of calcium will make your teeth enamel brittle and weaken your jaw bone.
  • People with Vitamin D deficiency have high chances of tooth decay and cavities.
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency will increase the risk of infection in gums and severe periodontal diseases.

The other dental discomforts linked to eating disorders are:

  • Enamel wears down due to the frequent exposure of stomach acids to teeth. People with bulimia and rumination disorder are highly susceptible to problems in the enamel layer.
  • Dentists observe that people with eating disorders have enlarged salivary glands when compared to others.

Bottom line

In most cases, changes observed in the mouth are the first warning sign of eating disorders. Your dentist will pinpoint the type of disorder with those symptoms so that you can get the right treatments for cure.

On the other hand, dentists take care of curbing improper eating habits and providing treatments like fluoride treatments, teeth cleaning, etc to revamp the oral cavity.