Eating disorders and keeping a healthy mouth

eating should be fun

Dental problems from eating disorders
Anorexia nervosa
Bulimia nervosa

Eating disorders such as anorexia nervous and bulimia nervosa maybe recognized by the dentist before any other health care professional.

Dental problems from eating disorders

  • Tooth erosion -Vomiting causes teeth to erode (wear) because the acid in the stomach attacks the tooth enamel. When this happens AND someone is drinking large amounts of acid drinks the enamel and tooth surfaces wears considerably fast than ‘normal’.
  • Dental caries - Antidepressants used in the treatment of eating disorders may decrease saliva flow and increase the risk of decay
  • Bone health - Adolescent females with an eating disorder may show low peak bone mass so it would be expected that periodontal disease may be a greater problem later in life.
  • Soft tissue - Inducing vomiting by putting objects down your throat will cause injuries that dentist may see. Glossitis (inflammation of the tongue), ulcers and candida infections can be a sign of lack of vitamins and other nutritional deficiencies that can result from an eating disorder.
  • Salivary glands - Some people who vomit with bulimia nervosa have salivary gland swelling.
  • Taste impairment (hypogeusia) is associated with bulimia nervosa.

Anorexia nervosa:

  • Body weight is maintained at less than 85 % expected for age
  • Distorted body image
  • Endocrine disorder typified by amenorrhoea (absence of a menstrual period in a woman of reproductive age)

Bulimia nervosa:

  • Persistent preoccupation with eating
  • Compensating for over-eating with behaviour to decrease calorie intake or expend calories e.g. vomiting, exercise, laxative abuse.
  • Fear of becoming fat

    Eating disorders such as anorexia nervous and bulimia nervosa maybe recognized by the dentist before any other health care professional.

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03 9905 1000

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Dr Erik Magee BDSc (Melb)
Dr Stephen Liew BDSc (Mel), FPFA, FADI, MAICD, FICD
Dr Sue King BDSc (Melb)
Dr Lin Liang BDSc (Hons Melb)
Dr Edward Ounapuu BDSc (Adel)
Dr Marjan Ardebili BDS (Manchester,UK), MFDS (RCS Ed)
Dr Nigel Gamage BDSc (Sheffield)
Dr Balakka Reddy BDSc
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