How Eating Disorders Affect Your Teeth

By  //  September 11, 2020

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Eating disorders significantly affect a person’s teeth and oral health. The poor habits formed by the person and the nutritional scarcities of these eating disorders significantly impair dental health. So dental visits are not merely for keeping your pearly whites healthy but are also a window to your overall health as affected on how you are eating.   

The status of your teeth, gums, and tongue do reveal a lot about your health. A regular visit to a dental office is recommended since dental hygienists can recognize the signs of critical eating disorders. Once symptoms are identified, they can offer a treatment plan and refer a relevant health practitioner.

Eating Disorders

There are various eating disorders, with each having a specific effect on the body and oral health. These behaviors can affect people of any demographic and are often triggered by emotional, physical, and social issues. The common types of eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge eating.


Anorexia is a disorder that makes an individual limit the intake of food to an intense degree. Individuals suffering from anorexia may always fear extreme weight gain. To keep their weight in a standard they set, they starve themselves, perform exercises profusely, or force themselves to throw up.


Bulimia includes overeating accompanied by steps to offset their initial action. Similar to Anorexic people, individuals who have bulimia will force themselves to vomit, overdo intense workouts, or excessively use laxatives.

Binge Eating

Also called compulsive overeating, it is often common among food addicts. They eat a considerable amount of food, but unlike bulimics, they do not get rid of the food that they have taken. Most people who have binge eating disorder are obese and at risk to develop other health issues.

Chewing and Spitting Disorder

A lesser-known behavior is the Chewing and Spitting Disorder or CHSP. This eating disorder is indicative of a compulsive habit of chewing and spitting food instead of swallowing the food which an individual discerns as bad or forbidden.

Impact of Eating Disorders to Oral Health

Here are significant implications of eating disorders in a person’s dental health.

Impact on Teeth

The effects of binging and purging, or forcing to vomit, on the teeth may trigger certain damages. This includes enamel loss, tooth discoloration, tooth erosion, and even weakening of teeth. Purging can cause stomach acid to come into contact with teeth, making it weak, brittle, and discolored. Another outcome of stomach acid is decaying teeth, frequent cavities or root canals, sensitive teeth, as well as worn and translucent teeth.

An extreme deficiency in nutrition is a major effect that tends to post various oral health concerns. The lack of nutrients absorbed by the body can cause tooth decay because of the absence of calcium. Experts from Dr Silman Smile Spa mentions that food that you eat has a direct impact on dental health, and recommends dairy to be a part of one’s diet, especially probiotic yogurt.

This dairy product has a high level of calcium and also increases the levels of good bacteria that fight off the harmful bacteria responsible for cavities. Bad breath can also be a result of the lack of vitamin B3 and vitamin D or due to tooth decay.

The consequence of this CHSP disorder often leads to tooth decay, tooth rot, painful cavities, and swollen glands. This behavior often triggers the mind and body of a person that it is eating, but actually, a minimum amount of food (if any) is really ingested. Hence, the acid that is produced in the body in anticipation of digestion often leads to mouth and stomach ulcers which are notably harmful and painful to oral health.

Impact on Gums

The palate, gums, and back of the throat can also be damaged because of forcibly trying to vomit. And because of dehydration, gums and lips can be dry and cracked, the person will have difficulty swallowing, and inflamed salivary glands are prevalent. The development of distressing canker sores or aphthous ulcers is another result of purging. Canker sores are small, shallow lesions that develop at the base of the gums or even on the soft tissues in the mouth.

It is vital to have good oral health, and the food we put in our mouth and body influences it greatly. Eating disorders significantly disrupt the typical nutrition and eating process, which also affects oral health.

It involves the teeth, which can show discoloration, erosion, weakening, and loss, as the body does not properly absorb the needed nutrients. The acids of vomit and excessive sugars in food can also cause tooth decay. Therefore, ending eating disorders will help keep your teeth healthy and reduce damage. Disordered eating can also have irreversible effects on your teeth and mouth, so it helps to be mindful of how you eat.