Eating Disorders and Dentistry

Bulimia, Anorexia and Acid Reflux all contribute to the destruction of enamel. Protection, prevention, maintenance, and treatment dentally are important for the long term preservation of these patient’s teeth. With bulimia and anorexia, it is even more important to seek professional support in dealing with the emotional and medical ravages of these potentially life threatening illnesses.

The dental affects of eating disorders can include:
  • Acid erosion of tooth enamel from frequent vomiting
  • Deeper erosion leads to chipping and thermal sensitivity or pain
  • Changes in chewing ability
  • Occlusal disharmony sometimes leading to muscular and joint dysfunction
  • Chronic dry mouth and reddened cracked lips
  • Swollen salivary glands, soft palate and tonsils


Action Steps to Protect Teeth & Slow Down Destructive Process:
  • Inform your dentist - Our role is to listen and guide in anon- threatening environment
  • Use a custom made mouthguard before purging
  • Rinse mouth with baking soda and water after purging
  • Use a sugar-free mouth rinse
  • Do home fluoride treatments daily
  • Brush with soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste after purging along with daily care including flossing
  • Early protection of eroded teeth with composite bonded restorations
  • With medium level of destruction, consider LUMINEER Laminates or direct composite restorations


Reality Check:
  • Even after tooth restoration and rehabilitative dentistry, the ravages of frequent purging leads to continued problems
  • A restored dentition and smile can lead to improved function and self-esteem, but a long term team approach from medical professionals trained in treating all types of eating disorders is necessary

Contact us for more information or local resources. A dental check-up, following preventive protective procedures, or having limited to more extensive protective dental treatment or smile makeovers can all have a profound affect on your future. Are you ready to change your life? Call us at: 716-633-7070