Eating Disorders and Oral Health

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Eating Disorders and Oral Health

According to the statistics, there are a minimum of 9% of the world population that have some sort of eating disorder and these are only those that have been formally identified. In the United States alone, 9% of the population reportedly suffer from such afflictions during their lifetime. There is much research into eating disorders including, the development of the ailment, the efficacy of various available treatments, and the origin of such conditions. As low as 28% but as high as 74% of people with eating disorders may have inherited their issues as a matter of genetics.

Eating disorders are considered mental illnesses and are some of the most deadly mental health conditions that a person can have. Every year there are more than 10,000 people that will die because of an eating disorder. This comes out to one life lost every 52 minutes. Eating disorders can be difficult to overcome but recovery is not impossible. While working through recovery is a process, there is hope for those that are trying to get better and be healthy again.

How Eating Disorders Harm Oral Health

There are numerous different types of eating disorders that exist. Eating disorders can have widespread health implications for suffers, including a negative impact on oral health. Those individuals that suffer from bulimia, binge eating, and anorexia, for example, are at higher risk of having their eating disorder affect their oral health. For this reason, the Oral Health Foundation has been front and center in promoting awareness to the public of how detrimental eating disorders are with an emphasis on oral health degradation. 


People who have anorexia do not eat enough food and drink because of their fear of excess weight gain. To rid the body of any food taken in, an anorexic individual may excessively exercise, take laxatives, or force themselves to vomit.


Those that suffer from bulimia will eat a substantial amount of food in one sitting and then purge it all out. This taking in an over-abundance of calories and then expelling them quickly as a matter of regular practice over a prolonged period of time is a problem. Unlike anorexics, a bulimic may not show definite signs of distress so loved ones and even medical providers may not notice the condition right away.

Binge Eating

Binge eaters or food addicts as they can also be commonly called will eat enormous amounts of food with no ability to stop themselves. They may consume food very fast and then feel so full it hurts, but they do not purge themselves. As a result, they feel guilt over the quantity of food eaten and could hide their eating habits. Eating Disorders and Oral Health

These irregular eating patterns can be incredibly detrimental to a person’s wellbeing. In terms of how eating disorders affect one’s oral health, the following issues can exist:

  • Salivary glands that are bigger than normal
  • Dry mouth
  • Enamel degradation
  • Cavities
  • Dry lips
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Sores and lesions on the mouth
  • Mouth bruising

For information on how to address and remedy these oral health issues and more, the San Marcos preventative dentist at McBride Dental can help.

Speak to a San Marcos Dentist Today

Coping with an eating disorder is not easy. For anyone suffering oral health conditions as a result of an eating disorder, the compassionate team at the San Marcos dental office McBride Dental is here for you and ready to help you regain your oral health again. Call the San Diego cosmetic dentist today at  (760) 471-1003 for trusted, and caring support and assistance so you can reclaim strong teeth, gums, and your brilliant smile.

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