Eating disorders and oral health

An eating disorder implies all the activities and habits by which food is eaten, either significantly more than required, or less than required, and due to these habits the persons physical and mental health can be in jeopardy. These eating disorders include Anorexia and Bulimia nervosa.

Anorexia is when the individual does not feel any interest in eating and the sensation of appetite decreases. Anorexia nervosa is also an eating disorder in which the individual declines to take sufficient food because of the fear of gaining weight. Similarly, Bulimia nervosa is another eating disorder in which the individual holds back eating food initially, and then goes through an over intake of food.

Due to eating disorders, the teeth start to wear away and the color changes from white to yellow. The bacteria flourish in the oral cavity of such individuals and produce toxins and acids. Eventually, plaque and infections are formed which can lead to numerous diseases of the teeth and gums. The enamel of the teeth start to become damaged as well. This causes the infection and the bacteria to reach into the inner part of the teeth, making the situation even worse.

Besides the color, the shape and size of the teeth are altered as well. The teeth become semi-transparent, fragile and delicate. The sensitivity toward temperatures increases significantly. Pain is felt when cold items are eaten or drunk. Sometimes, the salivary glands tend to enlarge as well, the mouth stays dry and the lips become cracked.

People who have eating disorders should without delay initiate treatment for their condition before it causes more damage to the oral cavity. Maintaining the health and cleanliness of the mouth is vital. Proper brushing and flossing should be done twice a day. Individuals suffering from eating disorders should visit a dentist occasionally to have the teeth examined and the plaque removed.