If You Suffer From Bulimia, Keep Your Dental Health In Mind

Bulimia is an all-encompassing disease. It can take over your life and consume your every thought. Hopefully, you are exploring ways to move past your eating disorder and pursue recovery. While you do so, you need to be aware of the risks that bulimia poses to your dental health and how to minimize these risks. Here's a look.

How does bulimia damage your teeth?

Whenever you vomit, you expose your teeth to harsh stomach acid. This acid weakens your enamel, making it more prone to cavities and decay. The stomach acid is not good for your gums, either. It can damage your gum tissue, making gum disease more likely. Once gum disease sets in, you may struggle to get over it since a body weakened by an eating disorder is not as efficient at fighting off the oral bacteria that cause gum disease.

Many bulimics also do not get the nutrients they need in their diets. You may not get enough calcium or magnesium in your diet to keep your teeth healthy. Or you may lack vitamin C, leading to weak gums and an increased risk of mouth sores.

How can you reduce the amount of damage that bulimia does to your teeth?

Ideally, you will recover from your eating disorder and stop purging, which will protect your teeth going forward. However, recovery can take time. Here are a few things you can do in the meantime to protect your teeth.

  • Always rinse your mouth with water after purging. This rinses the acid off of your teeth.
  • Wait an hour after purging to brush your teeth. This gives your enamel a chance to harden before you brush.
  • Take multivitamins to boost your nutrient intake.
  • See your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups, and let them know about your eating disorder.

What can your dentist do about acid damage caused by bulimia?

It depends how advanced your acid damage is. If you have spots of enamel that are very thin and weak, your dentist may use a procedure called dental bonding to build up the enamel in these areas. Bonding is much like having a filling put into place. Your dentist may also recommend fluoride treatments. During a fluoride treatment, your teeth are exposed to a high concentration of fluoride, which helps strengthen your enamel and prevent cavities. 

Don't let your bulimia ruin your teeth. Follow the tips above to keep your teeth healthy as you move towards recovery. For more information, visit websites like http://www.accentdentalnwi.com/.