Dental Signs of Eating Disorders

It is now estimated that up to 10 million women and 1 million men are affected by eating disorders. With so many people struggling, dentists are becoming trained to spot the signs of eating disorders in the patients. If you are taking your child to the dentist, you can feel confident knowing the dentist might be able to see the indications of these problems while there is still time to get help.
 
Eating Disorders
 
People who struggle with preoccupations surrounded by food and weight issues are said to have an eating disorder. Often, they are battling physical, social and emotional issues that others aren’t aware of. 
 
If they suffer from anorexia, they will limit the amount of food they consume. This is done in an effort to avoid gaining weight but typically means they end up dangerously thin. If they are suffering from bulimia, they will eat compulsively and then purge the food by vomiting, using laxatives or exercising too much. 
 
Dental Signs of Eating Disorders
 
The dentist is trained to look for signs of eating disorders in patients. Some of these include:
Bad breath
Sensitive teeth
Tooth erosion
Tender mouth including the throat and salivary glands
Mouth sores
Cracked lips
Worn teeth; can appear almost translucent
Dry mouth
Bleeding gums
 
Treatment
 
If the dentist detects a patient who might be suffering from an eating disorder, they may recommend therapy. This will also help the patient learn how to treat their disorder and start coping with life better. 
 
The dentist can also help them learn to take care of their teeth in the process of healing. For example, if a patient is still vomiting, the dentist will instruct them to rinse their mouth afterward with club soda or a sugar-free rinse. This helps to neutralize the stomach acids that have been introduced in the mouth. They should also brush with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste as soon as possible.
 
Eating disorders can bring damaging and irreversible effects to the teeth. Early detection of issues is important for a successful recovery, both for the mouth and the body. Talk to your Hesperia, CA dentist about any eating disorder concerns you are facing and allow them to help you get better. 
 

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