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Protect Your Smile from Bulimia | Fort Lauderdale, FL | Dr. Patty

Protect Your Smile From Bulimia


Bulimia nervosa (more commonly known as bulimia) is an eating disorder associated with binge eating and then purging, either by vomiting, laxatives, or other means. Other than abnormal and harmful eating habits, the disorder is also associated with depression and anxiety, along with societal and sometimes familial pressure.

How does it affect teeth?

Bulimia can result in one’s teeth enamel being damaged overtime due to strong acids hitting the teeth on a regular basis. It’s possible those with bulimia can be hesitant about seeking help, but there’s a stronger chance they’d be more than willing to fix their teeth. It can be seen as a way of improving themselves, a sort of step in the right direction.

Excessive and frequent vomiting can cause the front teeth (upper and bottom) to become highly damaged, ruining the enamel and look of the teeth. Frequent vomiting also causes the cheeks and tongue to become swollen, red, and dry, which can result in the throat being extremely sore.

Erosion is the major concern, since the acids from vomiting damage the mouth, which then cause the teeth to erode. Teeth erosion–which isn’t always noticeable until it’s too late–can reduce the size of the teeth, as well as cause the loss of the teeth.

What treatment exists?

For those suffering from bulimia, a great way to keep your teeth safe during treatment is to rinse your mouth with water and baking soda. Water alone helps (in case you have no baking soda), and it is of course recommended that you drink water regularly to keep your mouth moist. On top of this, you can rinse your mouth with 0.05 percent fluoride, which is extremely helpful towards keeping teeth strong.

Since bulimia damages teeth, as well as soft tissue around the teeth, different types of treatment exist. While the most important thing is to stop binging and purging, your dentist can offer you different ways to keep your teeth safe during recovery. One such way is using custom trays to protect your teeth from stomach acids, which is useful in the early stages of treatment.

There are a variety of cosmetic procedures that can be done to enhance your smile. Once you’re ready to truly recover your teeth, veneers or crowns become an option; veneers reform tooth structure while crowns protect remaining tooth structure. This makes smile makeovers ideal for severely damaged teeth, as veneers and/or crowns can be offered as part of this procedure.

If you want to learn more about how to keep your teeth damage free, visit Dr. Patty’s Dental Boutique and Spa in Ft. Lauderdale. With a relaxing atmosphere and professional staff, we’ll make sure both you and your teeth are well taken care of. Call us today at 954-914-7407 to schedule your free consultation.