Bulimia is a serious eating disorder that is characterized by consuming a large volume of food, followed by purging before the food can be absorbed by the body. At the same time, however, bulimia is detrimental to your oral health, causing rapid tooth decay and even loss of teeth and periodontal disease.
The stomach acids associated with vomiting are normally neutralized by the salivary glands in your mouth, preventing serious dental problems. Frequent vomiting, however, exposes your teeth to more acid than the saliva can handle so the acid causes the enamel on your teeth to dissolve, leading to tooth decay.
If you’re bulimic, your dentist can be an important part of your treatment and recovery. As part of your health care team to treat the disorder, your dentist may be able to give you an appliance that covers your teeth and protects them from stomach acids.
As you struggle to control your bulimia, you can take steps to minimize the severity of damage to your teeth. After purging, rinse your mouth with a mixture of water and baking soda, but do not brush teeth right away because the acid weakens the enamel on your teeth and brushing can cause erosion of the enamel.
Once your bulimia is under control, you may need to have some of your teeth restored. If the enamel loss is stopped early, it can be replaced using materials called composite resin or amalgam. Teeth that have been damaged by the effects of bulimia can be restored using implants, crowns, bridges and veneers.
When you visit Smiles on Seven Aesthetic and Family Dentistry in Markham on a regular basis, the professional staff can recommend ways to restore teeth damaged by bulimia. For more information, visit www.smilesonseven.com.