Bulimia is a serious eating disorder that affects your physical, emotional and mental health, as well as your oral health. With repeated vomiting, the teeth are continuously coming into contact with gastric acid, which causes multiple problems. If you’re struggling with, or recovering from, bulimia, Dr. Anthony LaVacca can help preserve or restore your teeth. Request an appointment online or by calling us at (630) 848-2010 to get the compassionate, expert dental care you deserve.
The Effects of Bulimia on Teeth
As gastric acid wears away the enamel of the teeth, the nerves can be effected. As complications begin, you may notice your teeth are sensitive to heat and cold. There can also be an increase in cavities. Over time, the enamel will continue to wear off and the teeth will get discolored and thin. They often start to chip, crack, crumble and, in some instances, the pulp (living tissue) inside of your teeth may be exposed. Severe cases can lead to tooth loss.
Teeth that are softened by stomach acid can be further damaged if you brush your teeth immediately after vomiting. Brushing right away can also cause your gums to become sore or bleed. Instead of brushing soon after vomiting, it’s best to use a fluoride mouth rinse or, if that’s not readily available, a rinse made from baking soda and water. Rinsing your mouth will help reduce the acid and it’s gentle on your teeth. It’s also a good idea to avoid acidic foods and drinks, such as citrus fruit and carbonated beverages.