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    February 13, 2011

    Eating disorders and your oral health

    Eating Disorders can have a profound effect on your oral health. Bulimia in particular can have serious ramifications for the long term health of your teeth.
    Bulimia involves the purging of food from the stomach after a period of binge eating. After vomiting, the acids from the stomach enter the mouth and seriously effect the enamel on the teeth. The dissolution of the enamel occurs in areas which are hard to see, except by your dentist. Generally from the backs of the upper and lower front teeth and in more severe cases the lower back teeth.
    Other oral manifestations are enlargement of the parotid gland, damage to the soft palate and throat, dry mouth and increase in dental decay.
    While addressing the dental issues, help must also be sought in addressing the cause of the eating disorder. The butterfly foundation at www.thebutterflyfoundation.org.au has information and links to help in this area.
    Preventive treatment options
    1. Rinse mouth out with water after a vomiting episode. Do not brush teeth for at least ½ hour to prevent wearing away of the softened tooth surfaces.
    2. Use of fluoride mouth rinses and high strength fluoride toothpastes such as neutrafluor 5000 will reduce decay and sensitivity. Special trays can be made to hold fluoride in place.
    3. Use of GC mousse plus to harden and remineralise the softened surfaces.
    Once damage has been done there are many treatment options are available but they can be costly and prevention is much better than the cure.
    If you have any questions or concerns please contact me, Dr Caroline Downing at mdt dental Neutral Bay Sydney or at advice@dentalcareproducts.com.au
    Please spread the word
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