The consequences of an eating disorder to a person’s health can be dramatic: bones become weakened due to a depletion of calcium; skin bruises easily without the proper vitamins; critical bodily organs like the kidneys begin to shut down; and much, much more. Added to this long list are the harmful effects on a person’s oral health. Although both of the major types of eating disorders – bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa – negatively impact the mouth and teeth by causing nutritional deficiencies, bulimia is especially destructive.
This type of disorder is characterized by repeated binge eating, followed by purging through the use of vomiting, laxatives, and other methods. Not surprisingly, research has found that repeated, self-induced vomiting can cause erosion of tooth enamel. The strongly acidic nature of a person’s stomach acid leads to a host of other oral problems, not the least of which is tooth decay. (American Health Advantage)