Bulimia is a frightening and life-threatening eating disorder in which a person may vomit frequently or excessively in order to lose weight. In addition to the long list of health complications that can develop due to this disorder, there are a number of serious dental problems that can occur as well.
If you or someone that you know is suffering from bulimia, you should include your Smithfield NC dentist as part of your healthcare team. Frequent vomiting exposes your teeth to destructive stomach acids that will erode and dissolve your enamel. This excessive vomiting can also contribute to swollen salivary glands and soft tissue inflammation. The mouth and tongue can become painful and tender.
Sometimes, the dental damage that is caused by bulimia is not readily visible. For instance, much of the erosion occurs on the back surfaces of the top front teeth. In other instances, the risk for dental complications can increase even as the disorder is being brought under control. Many of the medications that are used to treat bulimia and other related conditions can cause dryness in the mouth and increase the risk for tooth decay or gum disease.
Restoring the damage caused by this eating disorder can involve various dental procedures. If possible, the weak or damaged teeth can be strengthened with tooth-colored fillings, crowns, or veneers. If the erosion is too severe, the teeth may need to be removed and then replaced with dental implants or bridges. Fortunately, all of these restorative solutions are also designed to make your teeth stronger and more beautiful.
Once your smile has been rebuilt and stabilized, you’ll need to visit your dental office in Smithfield NC for routine monitoring and a personalized preventive regimen. You will receive specific oral hygiene instructions, and a prescription-strength fluoride product may be recommended for you as well.
For more tips on managing the dental effects of bulimia, call to schedule a private consultation today.