The Surprising Effects of Bulimia on Teeth

For a person struggling with bulimia, eating is an unescapable struggle—it is a battle to stay thin while giving in to the compulsion to overeat. Bulimia nervosa, or more commonly known as bulimia, is an eating disorder characterised by a series of binge eating and attempts to get rid of the food immediately, usually through self-induced vomiting. It is a futile effort to stay in shape, and it causes damage to the stomach and kidneys.
dental solutionsBulimia also has adverse effects on teeth. We explain the relationship between this eating disorder and a person’s dental health in the discussion that follows:
The Dental Repercussions of Bulimia
Bulimia causes dental problems in two ways. First, bingeing on sugary foods and drinks may make a person’s teeth a breeding ground of cavity-causing bacteria. Second, bulimics usually induce vomit to get the food out of their stomach. Vomit contains bacteria and acid that may cause dental erosion.
Damage to the enamel may depend on the frequency of purging and the countermeasure to neutralise the acid content in the mouth. When the enamel is worn down, the teeth become sensitive to cold and hot food. They also become vulnerable to infection-causing bacteria, which also attack the gums and cause tooth loss.
Vomiting also abnormally stimulates the salivary glands, which may then lead to swelling. As the vomit is acidic, it may cause mouth sores.
What to Do
We advise people struggling with bulimia to have their teeth checked as soon as possible. Usually, we recommend using fluoride mouthwash and toothpaste. It is also recommended not to brush teeth aggressively, as the enamel is already delicate at this point. If vomiting cannot be avoided, rinsing thoroughly with water will help neutralise the acid’s effects on the teeth.  Contact us today to find the right dental solutions that suit your current needs.
For a long-term solution, however, we advise people to consult a counsellor. Recovering from this type of eating disorder can be difficult, especially if mind and body are already used to it.