Eating disorders have negative effects on many aspects of a patient’s mental and physical health. The patient’s oral health can be adversely affected by conditions like bulimia and anorexia, which can wreak havoc on the smile.
Patients who have successfully overcome an eating disorder can work with a periodontist to undo the damage done to their smiles as a result of those conditions.
Purging, an activity common for people with bulimia and anorexia, causes significant wear and tear on the teeth. Frequent exposure to stomach acids erodes the enamel, weakening the teeth to the point that the mere act of chewing can be a challenge.
In such cases, cosmetic dental surgery can help to restore a smile’s appearance and improve the teeth’s functionality.
For example, teeth that have gradually worn away can appear unusually short. Crown lengthening, in which a small amount of gum tissue is removed to expose more of the tooth’s enamel, can bring the appearance of the smile into the proper proportions.
When performing the crown lengthening procedure, the periodontist will use gentle techniques to remove and re-contour the gum tissue. In turn, the teeth will appear longer—or in the case of patient with tooth erosion, a normal size.
Crown lengthening is an outpatient procedure that takes just a few hours, a minimal investment to get back your beautiful smile. Many patients will be able to tolerate the procedure with just a local anesthetic.
In addition to crown lengthening, many patients also work with a prosthodontist to get restorations like crowns or onlays to strengthen their compromised teeth. The prosthodontist and the periodontist often collaborate in developing the overall treatment plan.
Just as it is possible to recover psychologically and physically from an eating disorder, you can heal your smile as well. To learn more about a patient named Allison and her real-life experience with these procedures, you can watch this video.
Contact our office to learn more about these interventions if you feel that you could benefit from cosmetic dental surgery to restore your smile as an important component of your eating disorder recovery.