If you suffer from an eating disorder there are certain things to be aware of, and how it can harm your teeth.
Frequent vomiting can damage the teeth due to the acid from your stomach wearing away the surface of the tooth, causing what is known as tooth or dental erosion.
After vomiting it is a good idea to rinse your mouth out with a solution of a teaspoon of baking powder and water to neutralise the acid. Swish the solution around your mouth and then spit it out.
Your tooth enamel will be softened by your stomach acid so don’t be tempted to brush your teeth straight away after vomiting, wait about an hour.
You may be dehydrated and feeling very thirsty after vomiting, but its best to avoid fizzy drinks as they can also cause a tooth acid attack and tooth erosion. Even sparkling water is acidic so just stick to plain water.
Some medications which are used in the treatment of eating disorders may cause dry mouth, sipping on water or chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol is helpful.
If you eat a lot of sweet foods, this will increase the risk of tooth decay.
If you are worried about damage to your teeth, don’t be afraid to speak with your dentist. They can give you the best advice on how to protect your teeth, and may also prescribe a high fluoride toothpaste to strengthen them (only available on prescription). The earlier damage is caught the better so that your dentist can manage treatment for you.
If you need further information and support about your eating disorder please contact Bodywhys - the Eating Disorders Association of Ireland
Bodywhys helpline 01 2107906
Email Support firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Recovery is Possible’