Erosion of Teeth and Other Keys to Detecting Bulimia

dca-blog_eating-disorders-and-dental-health

A serious eating disorder and teeth problems often go hand in hand. Millions of Americans suffer from bulimia nervosa, which is characterized by unhealthy eating behaviors including cyclical binge eating and purging. Common purging behaviors include frequent self-induced vomiting and laxative use. Although many bulimia sufferers are able to hide their condition from their families, friends, and even their doctors, it is difficult to keep the condition a secret at the dentist’s office. Significant changes inside the mouth of a bulimic patient are easily detected during a routine oral exam.

Common Bulimia Effects on Teeth

A strong indicator of bulimic behavior is surface erosion of teeth, which is caused by exposure to stomach acids during vomiting. The enamel and dentin loss typically occurs on the front inside surfaces of upper teeth. Affected teeth have a smooth, glass-like appearance and are free from stains. When erosion of teeth includes molars, patients become highly susceptible to decay and nerve infection. These bulimia effects on teeth often become obvious after the patient has been engaging in induced vomiting for at least two years. The degree of tooth erosion and the frequency of vomiting are related. If damage is allowed to progress, patients may experience tooth sensitivity, changes in bite, dry mouth, parotid gland swelling, and gum injuries. 



Treating Both an Eating Disorder and Teeth Damage

Because of the serious nature of an eating disorder and teeth problems, as well as the effects on general health, it is important to treat both the dental manifestations and the underlying condition. The following recommendations and treatments can be useful for bulimic patients in recovery:

  • Commitment to professional medical treatment of eating disorder
  • Strict dental hygiene habits
  • Desensitizing toothpaste
  • Artificial saliva
  • Regular dental exams and professional cleanings
  • Treatments to promote re-mineralization
  • Rinsing with water after vomiting
  • Refraining from brushing teeth immediately after vomiting
  • Healthy diet and supplemental calcium as needed
  • Cosmetic dental restoration after recovery

To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Detroit, call Gentle Dental of Michigan today at (855) 979-3393 or make an appointment.

Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Detroit. With 8 affiliated practices throughout Michigan, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Michigan, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of Michigan.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
Dr. Zang, Amber, and Tonya did a wonderful job of making sure I was comfortable and understood what was going on. They were upfront with what treatment they recommended, and how much it would cost me […]
Dennis R.
My dentist hygiene Tracy was great
Emannuel H.
All around great visit. I had to go in on an emergency, and they were able to get me in within 24 hours. I had an unpleasant dental situation that had to be attended to, and Dr. Hanan, Tameka and the […]
Mel K.
very nice and friendly. very good dentist and cleaning done for your teeth
Robert B.
I had one extraction and several fillings worked on. Dr. Oliver and her assistant were wonderful. My teeth are in bad shape and Dr. Oliver took care of me in a timely, very professional manner. I […]
Vanessa K.
They are really great glad to have them for a dentist. Jakiya was wonderful. And Amber, don, Dr Kay was really insightful on the service I needed. Very friendly cast of employees.​. I Will return
Branden A.
Friendly staff and great service
Rosie Y.
I took my very nervous 6 year old here and they were amazing with her. They helped her see that going to the dentist is not that bad. The second time she went there she was still nervous and crying, […]
Stephanie K.
I was nervous of coming in. Everyone was nice and I am glad I came in.
Heather W.
Fast friendly help me out with a lot
Shamika S.
Great dentist! First time there and I didn’t feel any pressured into anything. Great experience.
Katelyn M.
Best dentist around. Timely and super friendly staff. Dentist is super talented. He saved a tooth that was on the way to having a root canal. And a couple of years later it still feels great. Highly […]
Louis F.
Got me in same day with no appointment and took care of my problem.
Carron R.
My assistant Jakiya was wonderful
Money W.
Great atmosphere, the staff and dentists were extremely nice and helpful….They are really funny too ….I have my reservation about going to the dentist, but not anymore!!! They are the epitome of […]
MRS E.
Friendly staff, always very informative about the procedures, and I appreciate that appointments are on time.
Nicole B.
Love the staff and their professionalism
Jullian C.
Staff is great! After having surgery I experienced some complications and both dentists called back immediately to help.They also checked on me several times that night.It really helped to calm my […]
Brenna L.
I like the fact that the doctors and dental assistants care about the patients and do a great job that keeps me coming back
Dexter G.
Amber was very helpful to me..and Patient..
Tanika R.
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
Learn More

We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

No Insurance? No Worries! See our discounts and offers here