When you suffer from an eating disorder such as bulimia (also known as bulimia nervosa), your weight and nutrition are not the only aspects of your health that are affected. While you may not realize it at the time, your dental and oral health suffer greatly as a result. To protect your dental health, you need to understand the possible oral health consequences of your bulimia nervosa and the treatment options available for you. Once you know what you need to do, you can be sure to take proper care of your teeth and mouth in the future.
One of the most common side effects of bulimia nervosa on the mouth is the erosion of your dental enamel and tooth structure. When you vomit, the acids from your stomach (that were never meant to exit the body) enter the mouth and eat away at the structural integrity of your teeth.
This process starts with the enamel of your teeth, the protective coating of your teeth. If this wears away completely, the erosion continues and can even extend to the pulp of your teeth causing excruciating pain.
Dentists can treat this dental erosion in various ways depending on the extent of the damage. If the damage is minor, your dentist may simply treat any infection that has developed and fill your cavities.
However, if the damage is extensive, you will likely need extensive restorative dental work. Your damaged teeth that have not fallen out already will be removed and your infection treated.
But, if your bulimia nervosa still involves active periods of vomiting, your dentist may be hesitant to provide you with replacement teeth. If you have the vomiting aspect of your disorder under control, you may be able to get dental implants.
These permanent replacement teeth look just like the real thing and function just the same as well. So, if you have damaged or missing teeth from your bulimia nervosa and your symptoms are under control, you do have options to restore your teeth.
The other common oral health problem associated with bulimia nervosa is periodontal disease (also known as gum disease). The same stomach acids that erode your teeth can also do untold damage to the delicate tissue of your gums.
Periodontal disease can cause bleeding, gum erosion exposing nerves and bone, and necrosis (rot and deadening) of the gum tissue. This particular affliction can be treated with oral antibiotics and surgeries.
However, as long as your eating disorder is active and involvesvomiting, you will likely have additional bouts of gum disease. Try to keep your mouth as clean as possible in the meantime. While your eating disorder symptoms may be difficult to get under control, you should try to do everything in your power to keep your gums as healthy as possible.
As you can see, your bulimia nervosa can have extensive effects on your overall oral health. If you have suffered from any of these dental health problems as a result of your bulimia nervosa, there are treatment options available to you. So, make sure to get to the dentist and get your oral health under control. Check out sites like http://www.completedentalhealthmi.com for more information.