According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), as many as 24 million Americans suffer from some form of eating disorder. There is no fast cure, but in the last few years there has been a focus on preventive methodologies of eating disorders before the onset of the disorder. Dr. Ken LeBlanc says, “Programs have sprung-up everywhere, designed to promote early identification, so that eating disorders can be treated before they spiral out of control.”
Lafayette, LA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/29/2014 -- There are two main eating disorders most often heard and talked about; bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. In contrast to bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that is basically self-imposed starvation. Long-term problems associated with eating disorders include osteoporosis, infertility and anemia. “Poor dental health is another unfortunate side-effect of eating disorders,” remarks Dr. LeBlanc. If a person suffers from bulimia nervosa, an eating disorder characterized by a cycle of food binges and vomiting, the person’s teeth may show signs of tooth erosion from the acids in the stomach that constantly bathe the teeth.
Dental diseases in each disorder happen for different reasons, in bulimia, tooth erosion is caused by stomach acid, which is highly acidic and damaging. How often a person engages in this activity will determine how badly the teeth are affected. Usually, the erosion is first noticed on the upper front teeth. The salivary glands can become enlarged in more severe cases causing the side of the face to become puffy. Anorexics, on the other hand, may have dental problems because they are often negligent about hygiene and grooming in general, including oral hygiene.
“Every time your teenager visits our office, we will conduct a thorough examination, which includes looking out for the specific signs of eating disorders. If we do find that your teenager has severe tooth erosion, we'll be sure to discuss our findings with you,” remarks Dr. LeBlanc. Dr. LeBlanc may recommend a sodium fluoride mouth rinse to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce its loss. Most importantly, Dr. LeBlanc urges speaking with the child and seeking guidance from a professional to help deal with the issue.
Signs of eating disorders include obsessing about dieting, continuously talking about calories, fats, and carbs, becoming anxious around food and panicking if unable to exercise or work out. If a friend or child has these symptoms call Dr. LeBlanc at (337) 406-9994 for help.