Eating Disorders and your Teeth

Eating Disorders and your Teeth

It is currently estimated that 10 million Americans are affected today by an eating disorder such as bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating.  The consequences from such destructive eating habits range wildly and are dangerous to one’s health.  One of the first symptoms of pain and discomfort are felt from the damage done to teeth and gums.  A dentist, such as Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Doug Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman, can be the first to detect these harmful changes and help someone dealing with an eating disorder make the first steps towards improving their health. Periodontal Associates wants to help you identify some leading eating disorders and how such habits can lead to gum disease and/or the need for dental implants.
Bulimia involves alternating periods of overeating (or binge eating) followed by purging.  The fluctuation of high calories followed by expulsion is traumatic to the digestive system which includes the mouth.  Purging the high fat and sugar contents of a binge can be done by self-induced vomiting, diuretics, and/or the abuse of laxatives.  The most common solution for most is vomiting, and by doing so, the contents of food along with the acidic stomach hrejuices are then exposed to the sensitive tissues in the gums and teeth.  Studies have found that up to 89% of bulimic patients show signs of tooth erosion, according to the National Eating Disorders Association.  Although Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman can do many things to transform a smile, replacing enamel on teeth is not a possibility.
Anorexia involves restricting food and caloric intake in order to maintain a thin body image.  This can also include the same habits as bulimia with binge eating and purging; however, persons with anorexia often starve themselves.  In fact, anorexia is the highest psychiatric disorder resulting in death.
The negative side effects caused by both of these eating habits are destructive and obvious on teeth.  With deprivation or purging, the body is robbed of adequate amounts of minerals, vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients necessary for good health.  The weaker the body, the weaker the immune system and organ function.  Periodontal disease (gum disease) is then harder for the body to fight off.  The acid from the stomach breaks down any healthy gum tissues leading to gum loss, bone loss, and eventually the loss of teeth.  Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman unfortunately have many patients that needed dental implants as a result of the acidic oral environment and lack of nourishment.  Research studies have  also shown that there is also a strong association between periodontal disease and other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, pregnancy complications and respiratory disease.  With an already suppressed immune system, such conditions can be detrimental.
Salivary glands can become swollen and xerostomia (or dry mouth) can occur.  Lesions on soft tissues may begin to appear and gums will often begin to bleed.  The teeth may become more translucent as poor diet and a high acidic environment erodes the enamel.  Enamel is irreplaceable and results in sensitivity to hot or cold.  As enamel fades away, the teeth can then become more brittle which can result in future cracks and breaks.  When a tooth becomes so fragile and painful, a visit to Periodontal Associates in Aurora is needed as the tooth may need to be extracted and replaced with a dental implant.
Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman, or your dentist, can be the first to spot these dangerous symptoms.  In order to help persons dealing with such eating disorders smile again and keep their teeth strong and beautiful, Periodontal Associates wants to share some thoughts on how to treat the oral health problems resulting in these dietary habits.
– Patients who purge or vomit should never brush their teeth immediately after vomiting.  Instead, rinse with baking soda to contrast again the high acidity from stomach juices
– Patients should be counseled on their daily oral and overall hygiene routine.
– Patients should have an oral exam to assess current damages done and future treatment needs to help fight gum disease, sensitivity, or replace severely diminished teeth with dental implants.
– Patients should be set up on a frequent recall or hygiene schedule at offices such as Periodontal Associates.
If you are concerned about a friend or family member or you are seeking more information regarding eating disorders and health concerns, Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman urge you to contact the National Eating Disorder Association.  If you have suffered from a disorder in the past, please visit Periodontal Associates in Aurora, CO to maintain bi-annual exams and hygiene appointments. To schedule your next cleaning, please call us at (303) 755-4500.

Parents are linked to the number of cavities in their kids’ teeth

Mom’s Emotions Affect Kid’s Dental Health

Periodontal Associates wants everyone to know that gum disease and poor dental health can occur for many reasons.  Dr. Versman, Heller & Beckman suggest you talk to them about your home dental care to make sure you are doing everything you can to prevent gingivitis, cavities, and the need for dental implants.  With that being said, let’s take some time to discuss a new research determining factors in the number of cavities in children.

Researchers at the Case Western Reserve University, US recently released a study that links a mother’s emotional stability and educational background during her kid’s younger years to her child’s dental health at age 14.  The case was structure by interviewing candidates at the ages of three, eight, and finally 14 years old to determine what elements shaped their current oral health and number of cavities.

Suchitra Nelson, lead investigator on the study, had a team examine the teeth of the 224 adolescent participants in a longitudinal study that also followed very low birth weight vs. normal birth weight children. Factors like the number of decayed, filled, or missing permanent teeth and the level of dental plaque were used to determine the quality of oral health.  Case Western Dental School states that these are all direct symptoms of poor hygiene maintenance and Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman agree.

Even the mothers, or care givers, were interviewed to reveal their knowledge about preventative treatments like sealants, mouthwash, sugar drinks, access to dental care, and the frequency of visitations to a dentist.  The data revealed that even with access to dental insurance, fluoride treatments, and sealants as young children, it did not always prevent cavities by the age of 14, said Nelson.

Researchers were then able to conclude that the mothers and their overall emotional health, education level, and knowledge when children were at ages 3 and 8 were responsible for increased numbers of cavities when their children reached the age of 14.

Nelson stated, “We can’t ignore the environments of these children.  It isn’t enough to tell children to brush and floss; they need more — and particularly from their caregivers.”

The researchers also found that mothers with more education beyond high school, with healthy emotional states, and knowledge about eating right had children with healthier teeth.

If you are concerned about your knowledge and how to protect your family, continue to follow our blogs or schedule an appointment at Periodontal Associates to meet with one of our doctors: Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, or Dr.Beckman.  You can schedule by calling us at (303) 755-4500, visiting our website at www.periodontalhealth.com, or clicking here.  Our patients come from all over Colorado but we primarily serve the Denver metro area as we are located in Aurora, CO.

Dr. Beckman is in Arizona at the Spear Education “Implant Restorative Dentistry” 3-Day Lecture and Hands On-Course

Dr. Beckman in Arizona learning about dental implants
Implant Restorative Dentistry” 3-Day Lecture and Hands On-Course

Our very own Dr. Eric Beckman is in Arizona at the Spear Education Implant Restorative Dentistry 3-day lecture and hands on-course along with 300 other dentists from around the US. Periodontal Associates – The Dental Implant Team locally hosts a monthly Spear Education study club which “combines hands-on learning in small groups of peers is a proven way to master new clinical skills and build confidence” (speareducation.com). The doctors at Periodontal Associates believe in providing the best care for their patients. One of the ways the doctors do this is through the Spear Education study clubs to stay on the forefront of periodontics.

Meet Dr. Kenneth Versman, Periodontist at Periodontal Associates – The Dental Implant Team

What made you want to become a dentist?
I have wanted to be a dentist since 5th grade. As time progressed during my high school and college years I felt it would be a great profession where I would have the chance to interact with people and help them with their oral health.

What made you want to specialize in periodontics?
I had a periodontal professor who gave me great encouragement to become a periodontist. It was my favorite course in dental school.

What’s your favorite part of being a Periodontist?
Helping people achieve oral health through complete evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment planning.

Are you originally from Colorado and what’s your favorite part about living here?
I grew up in Illinois. I love just about everything in Colorado… the people, weather, recreation, sports and culture offered in our community.

What do you think makes Periodontal Associates stand out from other Periodontal offices?
We have always been dedicated to taking care of people just as we would want to be healed. Our open communications allow us to not only help our patients, but to get to know them on a special level.