Having an eating disorder is a serious disease that stems from misconceived mental thoughts about one’s self-image. Those who suffer from an eating disorder not only suffer with unhappy thoughts about themselves, they inflict damage to their bodies and smiles. In fact, many extreme cases of eating disorders have resulted in multiple tooth extractions due to tooth decay caused by acid erosion.

Dr. Deborah Gennero, your Houston, TX dentist, discusses the effects of eating disorders on overall and oral health in this blog.

Types of Eating Disorders

  • Anorexia. Patience who suffer from anorexia, have an incredible fear of becoming fat or gaining even the slightest amount of weight. Regardless of what their actual weight is, these patients refer to themselves as fat and even obese. To control their fears, anorexic patients go through bouts of extreme fasting, which only includes drinking water. Paired with their lack of eating, anorexic patients also exercise excessively.
    Additionally, when their hunger overtakes, anorexic patients binge and then purge, similar to those who suffer from bulimia. According to your
    Houston, TX dentist, this persistent purging causes damage to the enamel, since it’s making frequent contact with stomach acid.
  • Bulimia. Patients with bulimia share similar traits to those with anorexia. However, rather than the occasional bout of binging and purging, bulimia patients do this daily—sometimes even multiple times a day.
    For example, a bulimia sufferer will gorge on foods high in fat and carbs. Then, once they’ve finished eating, a great sense of guilt overtakes them. Thus, these patients utilize laxatives and vomiting to rid their bodies of the food they have consumed. As aforementioned, the purging exposes teeth and oral tissues to stomach acids. Yet, with bulimia patients the effects of acid erosion on teeth is worsened since purging occurs daily.

Talk to Your Houston, TX Dentist Restoring Your Smile

If you’ve recently overcome an eating disorder and would like more information on repairing your smile, talk to Dr. Gennero. She can listen to your situation and devise a treatment plan that can make your smile beautiful again. To schedule an appointment with your Houston, TX dentist, call us at (281) 578-6200. Also, visit our website for services, patient forms, and to learn more about the team. We gladly welcome patients from Clear Lake, The Woodlands, Katy, Sugarland, and surrounding cities.