When people speak of “abusing the body” it isn’t just about being on the heavy side.
There are many different dietary and consumption choices that can contribute to your oral and overall health – plenty of them apply to people of regular weight and those who exhibit eating disorders.
Your mouth is the doorway to your physical health
By explaining a statistic gathered during Dental Health Week last month, our team at justSMILE hope to reveal a few truths that you may not be aware of about how your diet and consumption behaviours directly affect your oral health.
Feel like eating 34 teaspoons of sugar?
According to the ADA (Australian Dental Association), Australians consume more than double the world’s average 17 teaspoons of sugar per person per day.
Thanks to the excess use of sugary flavour enhancers and the low cost of sweets and treats, decay has now become one of the most devastating chronic diseases for our up and coming generations. It is important to remember that by choosing fast food over home cooked meals, you could be sacrificing the oral and overall health of yourself and your family. Dr Rammo explains:
“When you consume sugary or starchy foods and beverages, the naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth produce acid that attacks the tooth’s enamel.”
Naturally putting up a good fight
When this kind of acid assaults your smile, your body produces saliva as a counter-attack. Different ways to help saliva production and clear away debris from food (as partially discussed in our article “5 simple ways to keep your teeth white” include:
- drinking water regularly
- Brushing and flossing habitually
- chewing sugar-free chewing gum
- attending regular check-ups
Simply by keeping track of your eating habits, drinking more water, brushing and flossing regularly and being mindful of the last time you visited the dentist, you can overcome some of the primary causes of too decay.
Eating disorders are not the answer
Denying yourself the simple urges of healthy minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins can be far worse for your body when it comes to your oral and general health – particularly when regarding Bulimia Nervosa, Anorexia Nervosa and Binge Eating disorders.
Focusing on bulimia for this particular example, according to the National Eating Disorders Collaboration (NEDC), bulimia is characterised by “repeated episodes of binge eating followed by compensatory behaviours.”
· What is binge eating?
Binge eating is described as a mix of two different elements:
- being unable to control the amount you eat
- eating large meals within a short period of time
To compensate for the excess of consumption, people with bulimia attempt to reinforce self-control with a counter measure. These are known as compensatory behaviours.
· What are compensatory behaviours?
Compensatory (purging) behaviours could include:
- Excessive exercise
- Misusing laxatives or diuretics
- Drug abuse (prescription or illegal consumption)
Bulimia and other eating disorders restrict the body’s natural strength and can cause a devastating affect to your internal organs and external appearance.
How does bulimia affect your oral health?
Generally in cases of severe bulimia, the most commonly associated compensatory behaviour is vomiting. When we vomit, we literally cover our teeth in acids that can cause severe tooth erosion especially if it is a habitual behaviour.
Patients with bulimia may exhibit:
- Sharp pain in a specific tooth
- Heightened tooth sensitivity
- Severe tooth decay
- Gum infection
- Dry mouth
Are you struggling to overcome an eating or body image problem?
Do you need help? Whether it is for yourself or someone you know, NEDC may be able to offer advice. Visit there site: https://nedc.com.au/ for more information.
Your health is important to us
Here at justSMILE, Dr Rammo practices an all-encompassing approach to dentistry. We believe that your ability to share a smile isn’t just about your oral health alone.
If you are concerned that your consumption habits or lifestyle choices may be impeding on the health of your smile, book a consultation with us today and find out how Dr Rammo can help you to get your oral and overall health back on track with helpful advice and treatment options to suit your needs.