Simple Steps To Better Dental Health
space placeholder
Featuring consumer information from Columbia School of Dental & Oral Surgery
Oral Health Made Simple: Your Prescription For Knowledge
Small BoxAll About Cavities
Small BoxBrushing and Flossing
Small BoxFluoride
Small BoxMouth-Healthy Eating
Small BoxSealants
Small BoxTaking Care of Your Teeth
Small BoxTobacco
Small BoxYour Dental Visit
Small BoxMORE
Small BoxBad Breath
Small BoxCavities
Small BoxCold Sores
Small BoxDry Mouth
Small BoxImpacted Tooth
Small BoxSensitive Teeth
Small BoxTMJ
Small BoxTooth Discoloration
Small BoxMORE
Small BoxCrowns
Small BoxDentures
Small BoxFillings: The Basics
Small BoxGum Surgery
Small BoxImplants
Small BoxRoot Canal Treatment
Small BoxScaling and Root Planing
Small BoxWhitening
Small BoxMORE
Small BoxControlling Pain
Small BoxCosmetic Dentistry
Small BoxEmergencies
Small BoxFill, Repair, Replace
Small BoxKids And Teens
Small BoxOral Health and Your Body
Small BoxOrthodontics
Small BoxPeriodontics
Small BoxSeniors
Small BoxMORE
Step 1 Prevent ProblemsSimplestepsPrevent Problems
Step 2 Understand ConditionsSimplestepsUnderstand Conditions
Step 3 Explore TreatmentsSimplestepsExplore Treatments

go to Interactive Tools go to Parents' Guide go to Dental Drugs go to Ask The Dentist

graphic for Dental News showing newspaper

Bulimia Causes Widespread Dental Problems
April 10, 2014

By Nancy Volkers
InteliHealth News Service

INTELIHEALTH - Nearly all women with bulimia have dental problems, and most do not talk about their condition with a dentist, a study has found.

Researchers from Northwestern University surveyed about 200 adult women with bulimia. This is an eating disorder in which a person eats large amounts of food and then vomits on purpose. Frequent vomiting can lead to worn tooth enamel, mouth sores and other oral problems.

About 92% of the women surveyed said they had dental problems. And nearly all of them were concerned about how bulimia might affect their mouths. But only 29% of the women had talked with a dentist about it.

Also, nearly 33% of the women brushed their teeth after vomiting, which is not recommended. This can spread stomach acids over the teeth. Instead, the American Dental Association suggests rinsing with baking soda. This neutralizes the acids.

An estimated 10 million Americans have a serious eating disorder, such as bulimia or anorexia. The conditions affect nearly every aspect of life, including dental health. Nearly 9 of every 10 people with bulimia will show signs of worn-down tooth enamel. Over time, teeth can change color and shape. They also can become brittle and sensitive to hot or cold. Many people with bulimia also have dry mouth. This can increase the risk of tooth decay.

The authors of the study suggest education for dental professionals about how to talk to patients who appear to have an eating disorder. Some of these patients are children or teenagers. The authors also recommend the development of policies and guidelines for notifying parents in such cases.

The study appears in the April issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association.

printer friendly format option iconPrinter-friendly version     
printer friendly format option iconPrinter-friendly version
Powered by Aetna Dental Plans

© 2002-2016 Aetna, Inc. All rights reserved. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before starting a new fitness regimen. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions. External website links provided on this site are meant for convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement. These external links open in a different window.