Eating Disorders and Oral Health

What are eating disorders?

Bulimia is when a person binge eats. Binge eating is when a person eats more than what is needed to feel full. Eating is usually done alone. After eating the person gets rid of the food by throwing up on purpose, or by taking laxatives or diet pills.

Anorexia is when a person is very afraid of gaining weight. She/he wants to be thinner. The person starves on purpose because of those fears.

Both of these eating disorders are bad for your health. They can cause death. It is important to know that you can get help and get better.

If you would like information or want to find out about treatment for eating disorders, please contact the National Eating Disorders Information and Referral Hotline at 800-931-2237.

What do eating disorders do to the mouth and teeth?

Eating disorders can damage your teeth in many ways. It is important to see a dentist for these problems.

When a person throws up after eating the acid from the stomach goes through the mouth. That acid can eat away the enamel on teeth and cause cavities. The acid can also cause you to lose teeth.

When a person starves, the body does not get the nutrients that it needs. This could lead to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease that makes the bones in your body weak. The jawbone can get weak and not hold on to the teeth and the teeth may fall out.