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More than 10 million people in the United States suffer from eating disorders like bulimia, binge eating and anorexia reports the National Eating Disorders Association. Although much of the research about these conditions has focused on the detrimental effects they can have on the body such as dehydration, malnutrition and electrolyte imbalances, it's also important to note that afflictions like these can also take a toll on a person's oral health.

The American Dental Association (ADA) says that, eating disorders can cause the gums and soft tissues inside the mouth to bleed easily. Another common symptom of these diseases is that victims have chronic dry mouth because the glands that make saliva become larger.

Of course, vomiting has also been shown to damage teeth. Stomach acid that is constantly making contact with pearly whites erodes enamel which can even alter tooth shape, color and length. Foods and drinks that were once enjoyable to consume like soup and lemonade may become unbearable because eating disorders increase sensitivity to anything that is hot or cold. Finally, teeth become so brittle and weak that they may break or chip easier than ever before.

If you do suffer from anorexia, bulimia or binge eating, in addition to trying to get profesional help for your illness, the ADA following the suggestions below as they will minimize the side effects of these diseases such as: 

1) Make a conscious effort to practice a good oral health care regime. That means flossing and brushing at least twice a day.

2) After you throw up, don't brush your teeth right away. Instead, counteract the effects of the stomach acid by gargling with water and baking soda.

3) Consult with your Raleigh dentist about how to specifically treat any oral damage that has occurred.

4) Schedule regular checkups with a trust and experienced dentist like Dr. Thomas Cook.

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