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Dental Implants: A Guide for Seniors

If you are a senior considering dental implants, you may have to worry about issues other dental patients don't have to think about. For example, you may need more time to recover after receiving your implants. My name is Jodi, and I've been working with seniors for years. I decided to create this blog to help the seniors I can't meet in person. In this space, I'm going to post entries on everything related to dental implants and seniors. From tips on flossing implants after arthritis has claimed some of your dexterity, to guiding you through the implants-vs-dentures debate, this blog is designed for you. Thanks for reading. I hope you find what you need!



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Dental Implants: A Guide for Seniors

3 Ways Bulimia Can Impact Your Dental Health And How Your Dentist Can Help

by Jimmy Carter

Bulimia can damage your oral health by exposing your teeth and gums to corrosive stomach acid each time you vomit. You may not want to discuss your eating disorder with your dentist, but they can help you maintain your oral health while struggling with this illness, and your dentist won't reveal details of your health to anyone else. Here are three ways your dental health can be damaged by bulimia and three ways your dentist can help:

3 Ways Bulimia Can Damage Your Oral Health

Bulimia can cause the following:

  • Acid Erosion - The corrosive acid in your vomit can wear down your tooth enamel, which can cause increased sensitivity and discolouration. More worryingly, when your teeth lose their protective enamel coating, they are prone to decay and infections in the tooth pulp and roots as a result of greater exposure to the bacteria in your mouth.
  • Dry Mouth - Those with bulimia are prone to having a dry mouth due to dehydration. Having a dry mouth doesn't sound serious, but it creates a favourable environment for bacteria to thrive by allowing your mouth to become acidic. High levels of bacteria are associated with an increased risk of developing gum disease as a result of increased plaque formation. Plaque is a sticky substance that coats your teeth and causes inflammation around your gum line. It forms when food particles and bacteria bind together, and it causes decay over time.
  • Localised Irritation - As vomit tends to be highly acidic, frequent vomiting can cause localised irritation affecting your lips, inner cheeks, tongue, and gums. Even small lesions in the delicate tissue of your mouth can lead to a bacterial or fungal infection, which can leave you in pain and at risk of the infection spreading to already damaged teeth.

3 Ways Your Dentist Can Help

Your dentist can help you minimise the impact of bulimia on your oral health in the following ways:

  • Product Recommendations - There are a number of products that can protect your teeth from acid erosion and decay, such as fluoride gel and xylitol. Fluoride gel creates a barrier around your teeth that repels bacteria, so it's particularly useful if you've already suffered enamel loss. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that dentists recommend, as its presence in your mouth creates an inhospitable environment for bacteria. You can chew xylitol gum or eat mints containing xylitol after you vomit, and your dentist will be happy to discuss a xylitol treatment plan with you.
  • Oral Hygiene Advice - Patients with bulimia often brush their teeth straight after vomiting, but this can do more harm than good. Brushing can spread acid across your teeth and damage already compromised enamel, so ask your dentist for their advice on looking after your teeth. They will discuss the best times to brush and advise you on how to minimise the damage done to your teeth. For example, you can lower the acidity level in your mouth by rinsing with sodium bicarbonate in water a few times a day.
  • Restorative Treatment - Your dentist can suggest a restorative treatment plan to protect teeth with enamel erosion from further damage. Examples of restorative treatments include composite resins and crowns, and this kind of proactive treatment can prevent further decay and tooth loss.

A professional dentist, like those at Genesis Dental, will be happy to discuss the management of your oral health with you, so inform them of your illness and ask them to assess the current health of your teeth and gums.