Talk to Your Dentist About Bulimia Nervosa
Bulimia nervosa is a serious mental health disorder that can also effect a person’s dental health. The stomach acid that is produced by frequent purging can be very harmful to your teeth. However, a study by the Journal of the American Dental Association found that most people who suffer from Bulimia Nervosa do not consult with their dentist about what they can do to prevent the erosion of their teeth.
Patients who were being treated for bulimia nervosa at an eating disorder treatment facility were asked to complete an online survey to see what their oral health behaviors were. The survey found that 32.5 percent of the people participating in the survey said that they brushed their teeth right away after purging. However, 92.4 percent of people said they had dental health issues. And only 29.2 percent of people said that they have talked to their dentist about their Bulimia Nervosa and what they can do to help prevent dental problems.
This survey found that although people with Bulimia Nervosa know that they are likely to have dental health issues because of their mental health disease, they are not likely to talk with their dentist about the problem. This most likely happens because patients do not feel comfortable talking with their dentist about mental health issues. Also, many times patients can feel embarrassed about their problem, or even have not been able to admit to themselves if they have a problem. Sometimes, a dentist may be able to tell that a patient has been purging just by looking at the damage to their teeth that the stomach acid has done.
It is very important to talk to your dentist if you have Bulimia Nervosa because they can help to prevent addition problems from happening in your mouth. At The Smile Center, we pride ourselves in creating a safe, comforting environment so that our patients feel free to share their health concerns, whatever they may be.