The Care that you Need...by People that you Trust.
J.Thomas Russell DDS
1030 Xenia Avenue,Yellow Springs, Ohio
Call: (937) 767-7731
How to Find the Right Dentist for You
Healthy and beautiful looking teeth have a dramatic effect on a person's attractiveness to others as well as on his or her own self-image and self-esteem. Studies have shown that appearance will have a strong effect on social and career success by influencing how a person is perceived.
According to the Institute of Dental Research and Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals, 28% of bulimia cases are first diagnosed during dental exams. Yet in a study conducted by Old Dominion University, fewer than 33% of dentists and 43% of dental hygienists currently assess patients for eating disorders. Worse yet, fewer than 20% of dentists and 17% of dental hygienists refer these patients for treatment.
Yet many women (and men) who are desperate to attain the perfect image will destroy a beautiful smile, ruining their dental health while literally risking their own lives to be thin. A study by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reported that 5% to 10% of anorexics die within 10 years of contracting the disease. Up to 20% will be dead within 20 years. For women ages 15 to 24 years old the death rate associated with anorexia is 12 times higher than the death rate of all other causes combined.
Starvation can cause major organs to shut down. A heart attack is one of the most common causes of death from those suffering with an eating disorder. People can die from eating disorders at any body weight. Since depression accompanies anorexia, suicide is also a risk factor. Approximately 25% of all anorexics attempt suicide, and about 50% of anorexic deaths result from suicide.
Observing these symptoms could reveal the effects of eating disorders on dental health:
- Erosion of teeth enamel by stomach acid brought into the mouth due to purging
- Accelerated tooth decay and gum disease
- Cracked and painful lips, tongue and gums
- Dry mouth and swollen salivary glands due to frequent vomiting
- Deterioration of bones and gums supporting the teeth due to lack of nutrition
- Bruised mouth and gums
- Infected nerves
Since the destruction of teeth and gums from anorexia and bulimia can start as early as three months after extreme dieting or “purging” (vomiting), dentists and dental hygienists may be the first health care providers to see the physical and oral effects of eating disorders.