The Canadian Mental Health Association reports that between One to Four percent of women in Canada suffer from bulimia or anorexia nervosa. Two percent of all Canadians have a binge-eating disorder that compels them to eat and purge large amounts of food periodically.
Additional facts about eating disorders published by the CMHA include:
- The majority (90 percent) of those diagnosed with bulimia or anorexia are women
- Both men and women experience binge-eating disorder more equal than other eating disorders
- Eating disorders, especially anorexia and bulimia, tend to run in families
Why Eating Disorders Lead to Poor Oral Health
In addition to causing severe malnutrition and organ failure, eating disorders that continue for several years will detrimentally affect your teeth, gums and jawbone integrity.
Those with bulimia force themselves to vomit frequently, which exposes their teeth to excessive amounts of erosive stomach acids. Enamel pitting, tooth decay and tooth loss inevitably occur, along with probable deterioration of the jawbone.
Other oral health problems caused by eating disorders include:
- Chronic halitosis
- Mouth/lip sores
- Dry mouth/cracked lips
- Bleeding gums (gingivitis)
For people with anorexia, vomiting is not the primary cause of poor oral health. Instead, malnutrition and the lack of vitamins and minerals essential to teeth and gum health is responsible for serious, often irreversible, oral health problems.
If You Suffer from an Eating Disorder
Although difficult to treat, eating disorders can be successfully managed through a combination of psychotherapy, medications and nutritional education.
If you have an eating disorder and need more information about where to get help, please visit:
To ensure that your eating disorder has not affected your oral health, contact your Huntsville dentist to book your dental checkup today!