How Purging Can Hurt Your Teeth

HomeDental FactsHow Purging Can Hurt Your Teeth

We care about your health and the health of your family. That’s why we’d like to use this post to discuss a very serious condition that can affect your overall health and the condition of your mouth and teeth. Purging and bulimia are terrible for your teeth. If you know anyone who is affected by this disease, you know it’s nothing to be taken lightly. As a dental practice, we see the long-term complications caused by eating disorders. We seek to educate so that our patients know that purging is a very dangerous habit and should be treated. It’s not a healthy way to lose weight and can have lasting effects on teeth. Here are just a few.

Nutritional Deficiency Can Lead to Problems

Bone loss, tooth decay, gum disease, and lost teeth are all just a few negative aspects of nutritional deficiency. The act of purging means that proper nutrients are not being ingested and converted to be used by the body. Bad breath is often a symptom of nutritional deficiency. Gums become red and inflamed. And these are just the temporary problems.

Demineralization & Enamel Loss

The enamel is the outer layer of your teeth. Over time, behaviors and foods can lead to wearing away of the enamel. This can create permanent damage like tooth yellowing, cavities, and broken teeth. Purging creates a hazardous environment for enamel. The teeth are consistently exposed to stomach acid, which is extremely corrosive. This leads to permanent damage of the teeth that can’t be reversed.

girl hiding her mouth behind a big green leaf

Dry Mouth & Bad Breath

As mentioned, purging leads to a highly acidic and foul-smelling environment in the mouth. In addition, the salivary glands become swollen and produce less saliva. This leads to dry mouth and bad breath.

Arthritis of the Jaw

One common consequence of purging is arthritis of the jaw. The temporomandibular joint becomes arthritic, leading to painful problems like trouble chewing and chronic headaches.

What to Do

If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, it’s important to get help right away. A qualified therapist can help, and many programs exist to treat purging. If you are working on healing but are concerned about the care of your teeth, let us know. Our patients are safe talking with us about these difficult topics, and we can help guide you to alternatives toward healthier teeth. Please let us know if purging is a concern for you. We want to help.

Written by

John Cutting, DMD is an Annapolis dentist experienced in all aspects of dentistry. He provides complete care from general dentistry to cosmetic and restorative dentistry in his conveniently located and comfortable office, Edgewater Dental Arts.