The Effects of Eating Disorders on Teeth

eating disorder

Eating disorders are an epidemic that plague over 10 million Americans. While they’re typically more common in teenagers and adult women, eating disorders can affect anyone despite age or gender. They’re particularly dangerous for the body and for mental health, but they can also negatively affect your mouth.

Types of Eating Disorders

There are several different types of eating disorders, and each one has its own set of symptoms and characteristics. Some disorders include:

  • Anorexia
  • Bulimia
  • Binge Eating

How Teeth Are Affected

One of the main concerns associated with all types of eating disorder is the lack of necessary nutrients typically received from a balanced diet. Without proper nutrition, gums bleed more easily, salivary glands decrease production, resulting in dry mouth, and if vomiting occurs often, enamel weakens.

Signs and Symptoms

Many times a dentist in Lewisburg may be the first person on a healthcare team to suspect an eating disorder. This is because there are many telltale signs that show in the mouth including:

  • Sensitivity
  • Brittle, translucent teeth
  • Enlarged salivary glands
  • Tooth decay

How to Limit Damage

Those with an eating disorder should seek help from a trusted medical professional as soon as possible to help begin the healing process. In terms of dental health, my Lewisburg dental office has some advice.

  • Do not brush teeth immediately after vomiting. Rinse with water instead to limit damage.
  • Continue to brush twice a day and floss once a day, every day.
  • Maintain regular visits.

If you’re suffering from an eating disorder, we encourage you to find a treatment that works. Not only is your oral health affected, but an eating disorder can cause major whole-body concerns. At my dental office in Lewisburg, we’re here to help keep your mouth healthy during recovery, and for a lifetime. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Accepting patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, and Williamsport.

Top Benefits of Smiling

smile healthy

A smile can do more for you than simply express emotion. There are also a multitude of health benefits associated with the act of smiling. All of us at my Lewisburg dental office want to share the top benefits behind turning your frown upside down, showing off your pearly whites, and grinning from ear to ear.

  • Build a Super-Strong Immune System. Smiling is so powerful, it can actually protect your body from dangerous bacteria and germs. Smiling actually makes our bodies produce more white blood cells, this means a stronger immune system and a tougher defense against illness.
  • Feel Happy. When we smile, our brains release endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals that allow us to experience the feeling of happiness. They can be triggered by intense workouts, running (what’s known as a runner’s high), and smiling.
  • Squash Stress. Those powerful endorphins do even more than make us feel happy. They also help ease stress and lower anxiety. When stressed, our bodies produce more cortisol. It’s this pesky hormone that makes feel unpleasant. Endorphins lower the amount of cortisol which removes the unpleasant feelings and replaces them with feelings of happiness.
  • Spread the Feeling. Smiling is contagious. Research proves that just seeing another person smile triggers the spot in your brain that controls facial movement. The result? A smile. So by simply shooting a smile at someone else, you can share the benefits.

If you’re feeling a bit down, try smiling more. It really can help. Need a few motivators? Here are some smiling-inducing tricks:

  • Fake a Smile, Still Feel Happy. Believe it or not, our brains can’t tell the difference between a real smile and a forced one. So even if you make yourself grin, your brain still releases endorphins and you still get all the benefits.
  • Call Some Friends. Sometimes all it takes to increase the number of smiles in a day is to hang out with people who make you happy and may even cause a chuckle or two. Spend some time around those people and start smiling more.
  • Chuckle with a Comedy. Not feeling up for a night out with friends? Curl up on the couch, pop in a comedy movie or show, and laugh and smile until your belly hurts.

Not smiling often or hiding it behind closed lips? It may be because you’re embarrassed by your teeth. Don’t let yourself miss out on the benefits of smiling. We can help get you a confident smile with our cosmetic dentistry options. No matter your smile goals, we’ll work with you so you can get back to smiling. Call my Lewisburg dental office and schedule an appointment today.

Serving patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, and Williamsport.