Both men and women can suffer from eating disorders, and if you have been diagnosed with Bulimia or Anorexia Nervosa, your body and your teeth and gums can suffer from it.
According to Web MD, Anorexia is an eating disorder that causes people to fear weight gain. Affecting both the mind and the body, Anorexia Nervosa is a disease that makes people think about dieting, food and weight all of the time. Those who suffer from this debilitating disease have a body image that is distorted. So much so that when they look in the mirror, they only see a fat person even though they may be dangerously thin.
Although Anorexia Nervosa is more common in females, males in their teens can be affected as well. If left untreated, Anorexia can lead to a lifetime of problems such as kidney damage, heart problems, and osteoporosis.
Bulimia Nervosa is more common than Anorexia Nervosa, but is just as dangerous, especially when it comes to your teeth and gums. Bulimia is often associated with binge eating, but people who have food issues may wish to vomit after eating any amount of food. Typical Bulimia sufferers will eat large amounts of food before vomiting. Those who suffer may also resort to too much exercise or excessive laxative use. People who suffer from Bulimia eat too much, which makes them lose control. After binging, guilt and weight gain fear sets in causing he or she to vomit after binging.
Both Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa can cause serious heart problems as well as other health issues. Those who suffer will also have problems with gum disease and tooth decay. People who purge after eating will have stomach acids in their mouth that will eat away at the enamel on their teeth leading to dental caries.
Although both of these eating disorders are most common in teenagers researchers are beginning to see younger people affected thanks to the media and the importance of being thin. Older people who have dealt with Anorexia and Bulimia in the past may have something occur that triggers the old starving and binging and purging habit.
According to your dentist, it is not just the stomach acids that can cause problems. Persistent vomiting can also cause cavities, tooth discoloration, and even tooth loss. Eating disorders such as Anorexia and Bulimia can also cause problems for existing fillings and braces.