Do you think bulimia is causing my teeth to break?

Let me first say that I know I have an eating disorder. But I didn’t think I was really a bulimic because I don’t really throw up too often. For example, I throw up every few months or so. But lately, let’s say in the last three months, this has picked up. I have probably been vomiting two or three times a week. There have also been instances in the last few weeks where it has happened multiple times in a day. But I don’t think I’m as bad as some bulimics.

So let’s say there have been no more than 40 purges in the last three months, that even includes the days where I have thrown up a couple of times in a day. Well, my very back molars seem to have a couple hunks out of them. The one piece on the back, right side just fell off yesterday which is how I noticed them. It’s not causing me any pain or anything but I was wondering if this has been caused by my bulimia? Or maybe this is natural or something when wisdom teeth come in?

I just turned fifteen, so this really is something I know I need to take seriously. Whether or not it is or isn’t from my bulimia, I need to figure out what is happening to my teeth.

– Kayla in Minnesota


Thank you for reaching out, it is understandable that you are concerned about the condition of your teeth. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to tell you exactly what is going on with your molars without having seen your case. It very well could be from your bulimia or it could be another issues that is unrelated. Whatever the cause, you need to get into a dentist so your case can be evaluated before the condition of your molars worsens.

There is story after bulimia story, where individuals have shared the devastation that has been done to their teeth. In some cases the damage is irreversible. The acid from your stomach that passes through your mouth during purging is highly corrosive to your teeth. The enamel on your teeth erodes away because it is not designed to handle the exposure to such acidic substances. A bulimic’s teeth can become very brittle and almost translucent looking. Nerves can be come exposed when tooth decay is advanced. Fillings, root canals, crowns, porcelain veneers, and in severe cases dental implants have been used to treat teeth that come in contact with this stomach acid repeatedly.

Maybe you aren’t ready to seek professional help yet for your bulimia, although it is encouraged that you do. Here are some tips to help your teeth in the meantime:

  • See a dentist at least every six months for a regular cleaning and exam. And be honest about your condition.
  • Rinse with water after purging.
  • Do not brush immediately after purging because the bristles will intensify the erosion of your enamel.
  • Brush and floss at least twice daily.
  • Fluoride treatments may be helpful by your dentist.
  • Sealants may also be used to help protect back teeth.

Bulimia is a very serious disease and can reek havoc on your physical health and your dental health. Please seek professional help.

This post is sponsored by Phoenix dentist Arthur Chal Esthetic & Reconstructive Dentistry

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