Eating disorders, such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating, are serious illnesses that cause major harm — at times even leading to death. You might be surprised to learn that dental professionals are often among the first persons to observe the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder. This is because these disorders often produce very noticeable effects on the teeth and mouth.
For example, consider a person struggling with bulimia — which involves forced vomiting. The result is that stomach acid gradually wears away at the tooth enamel. This causes a change in the appearance of the teeth, a tendency for teeth to chip easily, and increased tooth sensitivity to hot and cold.
It’s true that other factors may cause similar symptoms, but a dental professional is trained to identify further warning signs that together can help identify the presence of an eating disorder.
How Your Carmichael Dentist Can Help
At the Marconi Dental Group, our Carmichael dentists and hygienists are trained to help identify symptoms of those suffering from eating disorders. These dental professionals know such disorders are complex and must be dealt with appropriately. Often, patients need the help of psychological counseling or possibly even hospitalization. Treatment will depend on the individual patient, but it’s our goal to get the person help as soon as possible.
Once the patient has conquered their disorder, we can help them heal their teeth and mouth by strengthening their dental habits. For example, we may recommend a sodium fluoride mouthrinse to help strengthen the enamel on a patient’s teeth. We can also help restore the appearance of the teeth using cosmetic dentistry practices, including the use of veneers and crowns.
If you or a loved one are struggling with an eating disorder, it’s important you reach out to a healthcare professional right away! As your trusted Carmichael dental office, the Marconi Dental Group is happy to assist you in getting the proper help.
You may also contact the National Eating Disorders Association for additional information.