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Bulimia/ Anorexia and Oral Health

Bulimia/ Anorexia and Oral Health

One of the more detrimental and common side effects of bulimia involves dental damage. The negative ways in which teeth are impacted by bulimia is often overshadowed by other major health consequences, such as cardiovascular complications, electrolyte imbalances, gastrointestinal distress and bone loss.

However, when a person with bulimia engages in the repeated act of self-induced vomiting, teeth are subjected to continual exposure of acid from the stomach. Chronic purging and the resulting presence of hydrochloric acid in the mouth can produce many dental conditions and symptoms, including the following:

  • Dry mouth
  • Enamel erosion on teeth
  • Dental caries or an increased susceptibility to cavity development
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Hoarse voice
  • Painful or bleeding gums
  • Difficulty or pain in swallowing
  • Soft palate damage
  • Salivary gland enlargement
  • Decreased saliva production
  • Abnormalities with jaw alignment
  • Broken, cracked, or missing teeth
  • Chewing difficulties
  • Reversal of previous dental work
  • Esophageal damage.