Why are bulimia and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) being discussed in relation to your teeth and a prosthodontist? Both conditions increase the amount and the frequency of stomach acid on your teeth. The effects can seriously damage your teeth and your oral tissue.
Facts about Bulimia
- Bulimia is characterized by binge eating followed by purging.
- According to the National Institute of Mental Health, binge eating is the most common eating disorder in the U.S. At some point in their life, about one percent of the U.S. population is affected by the disorder.
- Approximately 75% of bulimia sufferers are women and 10-25% are men.
- Purging can include one or more of the following:
- Diet pills
- Excessive exercise
- Self-induced vomiting
Facts about GERD
- GERD is a gastric disease characterized by stomach acid or bile that irritates the lining of your food pipe.
- It affects about 20% of the U.S. population.
- Symptoms include:
- bad breath
- chest or upper-abdomen pain
- difficulty swallowing or painful swallowing
- respiratory problems
Ways a Prosthodontist Can Help
A prosthodontist is a specialist. After dental school, he or she completes two years of post-graduate training specific to the replacement and restoration of teeth. When your teeth are repeatedly exposed to stomach acid, you need a dental professional to help preserve or restore your teeth. A prosthodontist will take the following steps:
Your prosthodonist will thoroughly examine your teeth and oral tissue for signs of damage, which can include:
- Thin tooth enamel
- Rounded edges or tips of teeth
- Tooth discoloration
- Tooth erosion
Your prosthodontist will have several suggestions to prevent further damage to your teeth, including:
- Limit your intake of soda, sugary food and drink, and acidic foods
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day
- Maintain good oral hygiene
- Rinse your mouth after regurgitating
- Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after vomiting, because they are weak from stomach acid
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Use non-abrasive toothpaste
Depending on the condition of your teeth and your stage of recovery, your prosthodontist will recommend one or more of the following options.
- Composite fillings – Tooth decay will be removed, and cavities can be filled with dental composite that matches your natural teeth.
- Dental bonding – Chips or cracks in teeth can be seamlessly repaired with chairside bonding.
- Dental crowns – Badly damaged teeth will need to be sanitized and protected with dental crowns.
- Dental bridge or dental implant – If any of your teeth have fallen out, or if they need to be extracted, they can be replaced with a dental bridge or dental implants.
- Other treatment – Your prosthodontist might recommend treatment for damage to your salivary glands, gum tissue, or other oral cavities.
Don’t delay getting help. Your oral health and overall well-being are closely related. Whether you have bulimia or GERD, a prosthodontist can help you preserve and restore your teeth.
This post is sponsored by Naperville prosthodontist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.