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People suffering from the eating disorder known as Bulimia Nervosa are at a very high risk of oral health complications.

Frequent vomiting leads to strong stomach acid being exposed to the teeth and the oral cavity. Enamel is likely to be lost. Bulimia can also cause the teeth can change in color, shape and length, becoming brittle, translucent and weak.

Tissue loss and erosive lesions on the palate may occur. Edges of dentition may become thin and break easily. We have seen extreme cases where even the pulp is exposed. This can cause infection, discoloration or death of the pulp.

Tooth decay can actually be aggravated by extensive tooth brushing or rinsing following vomiting. 

Purging or vomiting can lead to redness, scratches and cuts inside the mouth, especially on the soft palate. This can pose as a bulimic warning sign for dental professionals, because healthy daily behaviors rarely cause harm to this area.

Soft palate damage is often accompanied by cuts or bruises on the knuckles as a result of an individual’s teeth placing pressure on the skin while attempting to purge. 

A frequent binge-and-purge cycle can cause an enlargement of the salivary glands. Enlarged glands can be painful and are often visible to others, which can lead to emotional distress.

Advice for people suffering from Bulimia

Talk with your oral health professional, they can help you!

After purging patients should immediately rinse their mouth with water.

Bulimic patients should swish only water around their mouth due to the high acidic content in the oral cavity.

Brushing should be halted for an hour to avoid actually scrubbing the stomach acids deeper into the tooth enamel. 

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please visit our website,

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or simply call 248-671-6932

We are happy to help you.

Joseph R. Nemeth DDS & Associates
29829 Telegraph Road #111
Southfield, MI 48034
(248) 357-3100

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