You may understand that eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating can have a harmful effect of the health of your body, but do you know that they can also have an effect on your mouth?
Those with anorexia fear gaining weight and often limit their food intake. This creates several problems for the mouth because of vitamin deficiency. Your tooth enamel will not have enough minerals to rebuild its structure and your gums are more likely to develop periodontal disease since the immune system doesn’t have the nutrients it needs to function efficiently. Additionally, anorexics may have a decreased saliva flow, which can cause even more problems for their oral health.
Bulimia is characterized by excess overeating of sweet and fat foods, followed by a purging of these foods from the body. One of the most common forms of purging is through vomiting, which bathes the teeth with stomach acids. Your teeth will not only have an increased risk for decay, but they also become thin, translucent, and brittle.
People who binge eat consume large amounts of food in a short time, feel guilty about what they have done, and often binge some more as a result of their feelings. This condition puts a lot of sugar in the mouth, which feeds plaque bacteria. These bacteria will multiple from the sugar intake and produce acids that can decay teeth and irritate the oral tissues, which may result in gum disease.