Eating disorders drastically affect your health and should always be treated as a serious health condition. Eating disorders can cause the body to shut down and not function properly, and one of the easiest signs of eating disorders that can be seen is reflected in the mouth. At Oak Grove Dental Center, we recognize the importance of noticing the early warning signs of eating disorders and how eating disorders can affect your mouth. Below, we’ll provide some key signs to look for when someone you love has an eating disorder and know how these disorders can affect your oral health.
How Do Eating Disorders Affect Your Mouth?
While almost anyone can suffer from an eating disorder, these disorders are most common in teenagers and young adult women. All eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating, adversely affect the sufferer’s body. They harm the person’s health and often greatly affect their self-image and relationships with loved ones.
However, eating disorders can also affect a person’s oral health. Because of the lack of proper nutrition, the teeth, gums, and other soft tissues in the mouth. Some of the most prominent problems a person with an eating disorder can have with their mouth include:
- Tooth Erosion: Frequent self-induced vomiting, a common behavior associated with eating disorders, exposes the teeth to stomach acid. This acid erodes the protective enamel, leading to tooth erosion. Over time, this can cause sensitivity, discoloration, and increased risk of cavities.
- Salivary Gland Enlargement: In some cases of bulimia nervosa, the constant stimulation of salivary glands due to repeated vomiting can cause them to enlarge. This can lead to swelling and discomfort in the mouth and difficulty swallowing and speaking.
Why You Should Seek Oral Care From Oak Grove Dental Center
Eating disorders arise from various physical, mental, and social issues that must be addressed. If you or a loved one is dealing with an eating disorder, it’s essential to seek professional help from healthcare providers specializing in treating it. In addition to addressing the underlying mental health issues, our dental team can collaborate with your healthcare providers to develop a comprehensive oral healthcare plan.
To address and manage these oral health issues, seeking dental care is crucial for individuals struggling with eating disorders. At Oak Grove Dental Center, we are here to support you and provide the necessary dental care you need. If you need help with your dental care, call us at (503) 654-9521 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kevin H. Speer in Milwaukie, OR.