How does bulimia nervosa affect teeth?

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The eating disorder bulimia nervosa not only harms overall health but also is particularly destructive to teeth. It involves secret repeated binge eating followed by purging -- self-induced vomiting, fasting and use of laxatives, diuretics or diet pills.

The digestive system contains strong acids that break down food. When vomiting is used to purge food from the body, these acids attack tooth enamel. Repeated vomiting can erode tooth enamel severely. Over time, teeth exposed to stomach acids can become worn and translucent. The mouth, throat and salivary glands may become swollen and tender. Bad breath can result.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.