Eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia have serious implications on a person’s wellness and their oral health. Unfortunately millions of people across the United States are battling eating disorders. Whether triggered by the desire to be thinner or by other stress factors, eating disorders can be hard for patients and their families and friends to diagnose, treat, or provide support to.

Bulimia is an eating disorder in which patients binge eat and then cause themselves to vomit while patients with anorexia cause themselves to enter a state of starvation through not eating. Both types of eating disorders prevent the body from receiving important nutrients, vitamins, and proteins that are critical for optimal health. A patient with an eating disorder often suffers from heart problems, yellow or dried skin, hair loss, a reduction in muscle mass, osteoporosis, and other health complications.

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Eating disorders are often hard to diagnose because patients tend to hide their behaviour from family, friends, and physicians. In fact, dentists are frequently the first health professional to recognize the disease because they notice physical symptoms in the mouth. In bulimic patients, the frequent vomiting causes the enamel of the teeth to begin to erode away. In anorexic patients, the teeth become brittle and weak because of the lack of nutrients entering the body. Other dental health complications include teeth sensitivity, sharp toothaches, oral sores and lesions, and a dry mouth or throat.

Eating disorders are serious health problems. Getting help can be challenging for patients and often requires medical, dental, and therapeutic specialties. However, help is available and professionals are willing and able to provide support and medical expertise to help patients overcome their disease.

Dr. Dean Dietrich knows that oral health is connected to overall health and he has a complete dedication to his patients overall health and wellness. If you’re suffering from an eating disorder, or know someone who is, Dr. Dietrich can provide you with the care, support, and referrals that you need to change your life. For more information, call the Pleasant Dental office in Dolton, IL.

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