Anorexia and Bulimia Effects on Teeth and Health in Teens and Children

dca-blog_eating-disorders-and-dental-health

If your child has developed unhealthy eating behaviors, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from eating disorders, and many of those are children and teens. Two relatively common and dangerous eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. If your child is anorexic, he or she may refuse to eat enough calories to provide adequate nutritional support. You may also notice a preoccupation with appearance and weight. A bulimic child will eat large amounts of food and then purge by vomiting or taking laxatives to prevent weight gain. Besides causing serious medical problems, an eating disorder can have negative effects on your child’s oral health.

Anorexia and Bulimia Effects on Teeth – Bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and teeth problems often go hand in hand. Dental symptoms are related to malnutrition from self-starvation and frequent vomiting, which exposes tooth enamel to powerful stomach acids, causing erosion of teeth. Common signs of eating disorders that your child’s dentist may find include the following.

  • Translucent teeth
  • Acid erosion of teeth
  • Altered length or shape of teeth
  • Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Enlarged salivary glands
  • Dry, cracked lips
  • Mouth sores that bleed easily

Malnutrition and Oral Health – If your child has anorexia nervosa, erosion of teeth and mouth sores may not be the only problems. A severe lack of vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids can produce multiple oral health issues due to impairment of immune response, epithelial tissue integrity, collagen production, and calcification of bone. Malnutrition also leads to periodontal disease such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Loose teeth, pale or bluish-red gums, burning or swollen tongue, difficulty swallowing, and inflammation of the corners of the mouth may be due to anorexia-induced anemia.

Bulimia Nervosa, Anorexia Nervosa and Teeth Problems – It can be difficult for your child’s dentist to approach the subject of eating disorders. Many children keep their behaviors a secret. However, leading questions that focus on dental issues may help children to be more honest. If your dentist suspects that your child has an eating disorder, it’s important to get professional medical and psychiatric treatment for him or her as soon as possible. Prompt treatment may prevent serious medical complications as well as damaging anorexia and bulimia effects on teeth.

To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Peoria, call Maple Shade Dental Group today at (855) 979-3356 or make an appointment.

Maple Shade Dental Group offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Peoria. With 3 affiliated practices throughout Illinois, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Maple Shade Dental Group, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Maple Shade Dental Group.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
The staff is very friendly, patient , and I wouldn’t change my dentist for anything! I look forward to getting my teeth cleaned !
#5
My hygenist is fantastic – not only the face of Maple Shade, but the hands and the heart of Maple Shade as well.
Michael R.
Jessica was great with my 11 year old; she was patient and kind! Great job!
Lincoln D.
My hygienist, Jen, is why I continue to come back. She knows me and my family and all about the type of care my teeth need. She makes it feel like going to see a friend rather than a random dental […]
Kevin M.
Everyone is so friendly!!!
Donna A.
Doctor Ruffner is amazing! He really cares about his patients and about the work he does. He knows I have terrible anxiety but he still wipes the tears away when I’m having a hard time. I can’t […]
Sara L.
I had a great teeth cleaning, the staff was very friendly and skilled!
Jeremy S.
Friendly, efficient
Thomas B.
Really kind people, calm appealing environment, quick visits. Would recommend.
Breeisnotonfire
Everyone is always so nice and helpful
Richard L.
Both the hygienist and the dentist was very polite and thorough. Both asked if I had any concerns or problems with my teeth. I would recommend anyone to go to this group.
Jim K.
Excellent. Dr Ruffner is very experienced and thoughtful.
Sandhya P.
Dr. Wolf and his staff were excellent. Very kind and put me at ease during my visit. I’m so glad I chose them.
Audra R.
Friendly people, great service provided and I always leave with a smile!
Dana B.
Jen does a really good job on the cleaning. awesome actually.
Jason N.
Loved the quality of service and the kindness in the staff.
Sade B.
Maple Shade is a very warm and caring group of professionals.
Kosta D.
Everyone i came into contact with was extremely nice and courteous.
Heidi B.
My family loves Maple Shade Dental! Dr Shanahan is an Amazing dentist!!
Trista A.
Everybody was very friendly and nice and answered any question you had. I like when people tell me upfront what is going to be happening instead of just doing it.
Joy H.
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
Learn More

We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

No Insurance? No Worries! See our discounts and offers here