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Dent Clin North Am. 2003 Apr;47(2):395-410.

Recognition and management of eating disorders in the dental office.

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Department of Prosthodontics, School of Dentistry, University of Washington, 7015 Southeast 32nd Street, Mercer Island, WA 98040, USA.


Extensive damage to the teeth may result from self-induced vomiting. Recognition of the oral signs of eating disorders is a responsibility of dental care providers. Young women with BN and AN may seek dental care before seeking medical treatment because they are concerned about their appearance. Early identification of oral changes by the dental practitioner and referral to medical and psychiatric therapists can reduce the risk of further physical damage to the body or greater loss of tooth surface enamel. Home care instructions will be followed when the reasons for timing of toothbrushing, rinsing after vomiting, and use of fluoride are explained. Careful selection of beverages and snacks will help reduce the risk of further erosion and dental caries. Comprehensive dental procedures should not be undertaken until significant improvement in vomiting behavior or complete recovery has occurred.

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