Eating Disorders and Your Teeth

It has been estimated that more than 10 million Americans currently are affected by serious eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. While anyone can suffer from an eating disorder, they are the most common in teens and young adult women. Eating disorders can rob the body of adequate minerals, vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients needed for good health. Eating disorders can also affect oral health. More and more dentists are becoming the first line of defense when it comes to spotting eating disorders in patients. Bad breath, sensitive teeth, and tooth erosion are just a few of the signs that dentists use to determine whether a patient suffers from eating disorders. Sometimes these disorders may not be discovered until it is too late and then irreversible damage has been done to the body as well as the teeth. If you know of someone suspected of having an eating disorder, encourage him or her to see their dentist as soon as possible.