Anorexia and Bulimia Effects on Teeth in Children
Has your child developed unhealthy eating behaviors? Millions of people have anorexia and bulimia, and many of them are children or teens. If left untreated, eating disorders have serious consequences. Both anorexia and bulimia cause serious harm to general and oral health. Anorexia is characterized by a refusal to eat enough food to sustain health and an irrational fear of gaining weight. Bulimia effects on teeth are caused by cyclical binge eating and vomiting, or taking laxatives to prevent weight gain. Young persons with eating disorders often hide their behaviors. Even your child’s doctor may not spot early signs, but his or her dentist might become suspicious.
Erosion and Bulimia Effects on Teeth
Bulimia and 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. The following are common signs of eating disorders your child’s dentist may notice.
- Erosion of teeth
- Changes in length or shape of teeth
- Teeth that are translucent
- Salivary glands that are enlarged
- Lips that are cracked and dry
- Mouth sores that bleed
- Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold
Anorexia Nervosa and Teeth Problems
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. Malnutrition also leads to periodontal disease such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Anorexia-induced anemia can cause loose teeth, bluish-red or pale gums, a swollen or burning tongue, difficulty, inflammation of the corners of the mouth, and difficulty swallowing.
Talk to Your Dentist About the Effects of Eating Disorders
The subject of a child’s eating disorder may be difficult for you and your child’s dentist to discuss. If your dentist suspects that your child has an eating disorder, it’s important to get the child medical and psychiatric treatment as soon as possible. Many children keep their anorexic and bulimic behaviors a secret. By asking leading questions that focus on dental issues may help them to be more honest. Prompt treatment may prevent serious medical complications as well as the damaging anorexia and bulimia effects on teeth.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Collingdale, call Gentle Dental of Collingdale today at (484) 427-4663 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Collingdale. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Collingdale, 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 Gentle Dental of Collingdale.